“Encouraging”: Christian Entity Lauds Legalization of Churches in Egypt

Credit: CSW

The leadership of the Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), a UK-based human rights foundation, has described as “encouraging” the legalization of dozens of churches in Egypt. 

On November 14, the government committee, which oversees the legalization of churches in the Northern African nation granted legal status to 125 churches and places of worship during a meeting that was chaired by Egyptian Prime Minister, Mostafa Madbouly.

Members of the government committee said that they would invite the heads of the various Christian denominations to their next meeting to exchange ideas about safety and security measures, and how to speed up the process of legalizing churches and places of worship.

In a Tuesday, November 29 report, CSW officials say the latest legalization brings the number of churches and places of worship that have been granted legal status since the committee began its mandate in 2017 to 2,526.

“Reports that more churches have been legalized in Egypt, bringing the total of churches and places of worship granted legal status since 2017 to over 2,500, are encouraging,” says CSW Founder President, Mervyn Thomas.


Mr. Thomas says the legalization “is indicative of President Sisi’s personal commitment to improve the situation of Egypt’s Christian community.”

“We urge the president and his government to take this further still by ensuring the same provisions and rights currently enjoyed by the Christian community are extended to all religious and belief groups in Egypt, in line with the nation’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” says the CSW official. 

In Egypt, the leadership of churches and places of public are required to apply for legal status for their buildings to the country’s provincial governors. Before August 2016, security agencies had to approve such status.

In the November 29 report, CSW officials say that despite the improvement, “the law remains discriminatory as the same requirements do not apply to Sunni Muslim houses of worship, and other religious groups, such as the Ahmadi, Baha’i and Shia communities, are not covered by the Law.”

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.