Egypt’s evangelical and orthodox churches are contesting church construction draft laws which they say are filled with complexities and obstacles.
The draft law proposes that the space to be occupied by a newly constructed church should be equal to the number of Christians in the neighbourhood.
Although indicating one’s faith is compulsory on Egyptian identification papers, official statistics find it difficult to determine the number of Christians.
Others like the Coptic Orthodox have expressed shock on some amendments although the nature of amendments needed have not been clearly identified.
The implementation of current laws means churches take longer periods to build due to complicated administrative procedures involving local authorities, national security officials and major administrations.
The Christians have been protesting while hoping that the government will reduce the regulations involved in building a new church.
Until now, the construction of churches in Egypt had been regulated by the “Hamayoni Decree” put together during the Ottoman period but which has brought a lot of disputes on church construction at the local level.