Closed on security grounds: Sectarian tensions and attacks resulting from the construction and renovation of churches

Source: Egyptian Initiative For Personal Rights
Author(s): Ishak Ibrahim, Mohammed Medhat

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In August 2016, the House of Representatives adopted Law 80/2016 on the construction of churches to fulfill the terms of Article 235 of the 2014 Constitution, which required the House to issue a law regulating the construction of churches in its first session. While the law was under debate in Parliament, the EIPR launched a campaign entitled “Closed on Security Grounds” in an attempt to draw attention to the most significant hurdles to Egyptian Coptic citizens’ exercise of their right to religious practice and worship—most notably, the administrative and security complications involved in the construction of churches. In the campaign, the EIPR noted that the persistence of these barriers is the most significant driver of sectarian violence, particularly following Egypt’s 2011 revolution. Although the uprising paved the way for Coptic Egyptians to claim hard-won rights, attempts to do so soon ran up against an extensive set of obstacles…

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