10/18/2019 Egypt (International Christian Concern) – On Wednesday, October 16, St. George Church in al-Mansoura of Dakahlia Governate, was partially burned, reportedly due to an electrical spark that ignited the wooden frames.
Authorities were able to put out the flames before the entire building was engulfed. Though the sanctuary was not burned down, the adjoining second floor and library were severely damaged from the fire. Five locals were also taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
Though declared an accidental fire without malice, the church’s future is unclear. In Egypt, church buildings face significant struggle to rebuild or be officially recognized.
Church buildings and permits are tightly regulated. Until 2016, they were regulated under an Ottoman-era system that effectively prevented churches from ever being legally constructed, which included any additions or renovations to older church buildings.
The 2016 law was meant to allow an avenue for church construction, though a very limited number of churches have been granted permission and only in certain instances.
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