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04/28/2022 Egypt (International Christian Concern) – Egyptian authorities released the nine Coptic Christians who were imprisoned earlier this year for protesting their church’s delayed authorization for rebuilding. The nine were reportedly released on the morning that Copts celebrate Easter. Those arrested were accused of “participating in an assembly that endangers public peace, and committing a terrorist act with the aim of disturbing public security.”

In January 2022, the congregation of St. Joseph and Abu Sefein Church in Ezbet Faragallah village led a peaceful protest requesting permission to rebuild their church. The only church in the village was destroyed in a fire in July 2016. In July 2021 the church received permission from Egyptian authorities to demolish the building and swiftly executed the action. However, authorities have yet to issue a rebuilding permit. The nine Coptic Christians were imprisoned in early February and held until their release on April 24.

Under Egypt’s non-Muslim worship guidelines and the Church Building Law No. 60 of 2016, all churches must receive permission to make edits to their places of worship. The law also stipulates a four-month decision period when a request is submitted, a provision that has been largely ignored by the permitting authorities.

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