The government of Egypt licensed 125 churches and church-affiliated buildings on November 14.
It is the 24th batch of approvals made since the government committee overseeing the licensing process started work in 2017.
The decision brings the number of churches granted licenses to 2,526 out of the 3,730 that applied for registration after a Law for Building and Restoring Churches abolished Ottoman-era restrictions on church buildings in 2016.
At the committee’s previous meeting in April, members approved 239 churches, their largest batch.
To obtain a license, churches must prove land ownership and comply with structural and safety regulations, including the provision of fire extinguishers.
Before the committee started work it was extremely difficult for churches to obtain a license and many congregations had no option but to worship illegally in unlicensed buildings.
In 2018 the government permitted Christians to worship in unregistered buildings pending the completion of the licensing process.
Give thanks for the approval of 125 licenses to churches and church-affiliated buildings. Pray that the ongoing legalization process will lead to the reduction of hostility towards Christians from extremists in the Muslim-majority community.