Not only did 2019 witness the inauguration of Egypt’s largest church and mosque in the New Administrative Capital, it kicked off with the legalization of 80 churches and service buildings in the country, bringing the number of legalized Christian houses of worship to a total of 627.
The Cross of the "Great St. Antony Church", right, and the dome of the Great mosque, left, are illuminated in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019. (AP)
A long process
In this Oct. 18, 2017 photo, laborers work on building a church in the new administrative capital, 45 kilometers (28 miles) east of Cairo, Egypt. (AP)
According to the Project on Middle East Democracy’s report, bureaucracy might have played a major role in the slow process.
“One likely reason is that implementation of the law is taking place within a bureaucracy that remains extremely inefficient. To gain legal status, for example, unlicensed churches must provide a wealth of information that must be verified by local representatives and then reviewed by senior officials of the nine government bodies represented on the legalization committee.”