Pastor Andrea Zaki, president of the Evangelical church in Egypt, called for an emergency board meeting on Monday night to discuss the recent debates surrounding the law on the construction of churches, local media reported.
This comes as an initial agreement between the government and the three main churches has failed. On Thursday, the Coptic Orthodox church claimed that the government introduced new amendments to the law, voicing its objection to them.
Neither drafts were made available to the public, but church representatives had revealed some of the articles in the media. Among the examples, church officials said they rejected security interference in construction permits and imposed restrictions on activities held by the church.
Also, there was a very long debate on the status of the churches that exist but aren’t licensed. According to Zaki in an interview Thursday with the local CBC TV channel, the agreed upon draft law stated that any place where Christians practise their rituals should be legitimised. “Let’s face it, none of those places were established without prior approval, even if it was verbal,” Zaki said.
Moreover, he stated that the churches had agreed with the government to set a deadline of a few months for an official response to a request to construct a church. At the time, Zaki said the law was fair and hoped the process would continue to run smoothly.