Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi ratified on Wednesday the country’s new law regulating the building of churches after it was approved by the House of Representatives in August.
The long-awaited law, the 13 articles of which have been published in Egypt’s official gazette, regulates the construction and restoration of churches in the country.
Egyptian Christians, have long struggled to obtain official permits required to build churches, with the process at times taking years.
The construction of churches was regulated by “hamayouni decree” issued by the Ottoman Empire in 1856 for non-Muslims, as building and restoration of churches were licensed with the consent of the Ottoman Sultan to prevent the domination and control of governors, and this authority moved to the head of the Egyptian state after independence.
Work continued with this Decree till 1934 where the “ten conditions” decree, was issued as Copts deemed these granting construction and renovation of churches permits conditions unfair .