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Cairo, Egypt - Photo: Flickr / Andrew A. Shenouda
Cairo, Egypt - Photo: Flickr /
Andrew A. Shenouda (cc)

For the Christian minority in Egypt, regulations and bureaucracy have caused issues for years. Across Egypt, over 3,500 churches are presently in the process of being licensed; some have waited for over 20 years. In January, the government announced that Christians will be allowed to continue meeting in unlicensed churches pending the process. But in the Luxor governorate region alone, a Coptic diocese faced the forced closure of its eighth church due to pressure from mobs. All these churches were in the process of being officially approved by the government.

In the village of El-Zeniqa, a Coptic church was forced to close its doors on August 22nd, after a large group of young Muslim men gathered to shout threats against the Christians. The mob tried to break down the front door of the church but the members had locked it from the inside and called the police. The officers were able to disperse the crowd but then sealed the building, posting security forces outside. The protests began after rumours spread that the government was about to officially recognize the church.

In the Minya governorate, similar protests have been happening against churches. In the village of Ezbet Sultan Pasha, the church was first attacked on July 13th after villagers heard of its application for legalization. Crowds returned on August 24th, pelting the church building with rocks and damaging CCTV cameras. They then moved to a house where Christians had gathered to pray, before causing damage to some of the other homes in the area. During the attack, members of the mob shouted threats against those who were gathered, proclaiming that a church would never be allowed in the village.

Intercede for peace within these villages and in the hearts of the villagers. Pray that the targeted Christians will demonstrate the love and grace of God in the midst of opposition. May those opposing them be convicted of their sin and, as a result, turn to Christ for forgiveness. Also pray that the Egyptian authorities will take measures to expedite the church approval process, while providing these believers with the protection they need in the interim.

Country Information


106,437,241 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Egyptian (99.7), other (0.3)

Religion (%)
Islam (90), Christianity (10)

President Abdelfattah Said El-Sisi (2014)

Government type
Presidential republic

Legal system
Mixed legal system based on Napoleonic civil and penal law, Islamic religious law, and vestiges of colonial-era laws

Source: World Factbook

Pray for Egypt

Pray on behalf of those who are facing economic and social challenges because of their Christian faith. Ask the Lord to provide for their spiritual and practical needs – further strengthening and emboldening them so they can effectively share the message of the Gospel with others in their communities. May the hearts of those who hear it be open and receptive to the wonderful truths contained in God’s Word.


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Egypt News

  • Christian Appointed Head of the Supreme Constitutional Court
    Supreme Constitutional Court building
    Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt
    Photo: Wikipedia / Ahmad Badr (cc)

    On February 9th, the Egyptian president officially swore in the new head of the country's Supreme Constitutional Court: Boulos (Paul) Fahmy Eskandar. Judge Eskandar is the first Coptic Christian to be appointed to this positi

  • Legalization of More Churches
    St. Markos Church in Cairo
    Photo: Flickr / Andrew A. Shenouda (cc)

    Until 2016, it was nearly impossible for churches in Egypt to obtain the required licensing to build or restore a building for worship. As a result, many structures were built without a license. With the passing of legislation in September 2016, a government

  • Physically Disabled Christian Convert Beaten
    A mosque and a church in Egypt. - Photo: Flickr / David Evers
    Photo: Flickr / David Evers (cc)

    On March 17th, Brother "P" was lured from his house by neighbours and beaten because he had converted to Christianity. Due to a physical disability, he was unable to escape from his attackers, so fellow Christians came to his aid. As a result of their intervention,

  • Riots Follow Blasphemy Accusation
    Monastery in Egypt
    Roughly ten percent of Egypt's population is Christian, the majority of which are Copts.

    Egypt's Minya Governorate region erupted in violence on November 25th after rumours spread that a young, barely literate Christian man named Girgis Sameeh posted a message on Facebook that was considered insulti