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ICC Note:

One way that Egypt persecutes Christians is through church licensing. To operate, churches must be officially approved and licensed by the government. It is very difficult for churches to be licensed. One condition of licensing is that churches must not pose a security risk. Extremist Muslims can riot around the church to protest the building and ensure the church is deemed a security risk. For one village in Minya province, this is a reality. Officials closed the church in fear of extremists’ riots. Coptic Christians are furious that the “whims” of extremists are dictating official policy and denying Christians the right to have a place of worship.

08/15/2017 Egypt (Egypt Independent) – The Archbishopric of Egypt’s upper governorate of Minya released a statement on Sunday calling on the government to reopen the closed Coptic Church in ‘Kedwan’ village in Minya.

The statement made it clear Copts in Minya are angry that the authorities closed the church for nearly a month period, after extremists in the village expressed refusal to the presence of a church.

The church was believed to be unlicensed, according to several testimonies released from local residents.

The church was previously closed by security authorities in 2012, due to the same displays of disapproval by extremists.

“There should be the presence of state power; it should not be subordinate to people and extremists’ whims, we have engaged in several attempts to open communication channels with authorities to resume activity of the closed church, but to no avail,” Minya Bishop Makarios told Egypt Independent Sunday.

He asserted that the relations between the Copts and the Muslims in ‘Kedwan’ village are good, however the government is closing the church in fear the extremists might riot.

 

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