Justice Ministry discusses unified law on places of worship

Justice Minister Mohamed al-Guindy held a meeting with the ministry’s legislative committee on Tuesday to discuss the unified draft law on places of worship.

The Coptic Orthodox Church requested that the committee consider the amendments it has suggested to the draft law before the government approves it in two weeks time.

Coptic Pope Shenouda III previously rejected the draft law, which was prepared by the National Council for Human Rights, when it was presented to him in June. He had reservations on nine articles.

The pope objected to the article stipulating that building or restoring places of worship should be by prior permission from the competent authorities and the leadership of the respective religious denomination.

He also rejected an article stipulating that places of worship should be proportional in number to the size of the respective religious population in a given area.

“All places in which masses are held should be considered as churches,” said Ramses al-Naggar, legal advisor of the Coptic Church.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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