CHURCH STRANDED IN MID-RENOVATION, LOCAL GOVERNMENT WITHDRAWS LICENCE.
10 Apr 2003
EGYPT. 3 April 2003. The church in Assiut, Upper Egypt, received notification in March that permission had been granted to demolish and rebuild their building. However, after demolishing their old building and laying new foundations the local government withdrew their building licence.
The congregation now have no building and are facing an uncertain future. It is worrying to note that this is the second time this year that local officials in Assiut have thwarted the efforts of Christians to renovate their church buildings. Christian communities must seek presidential permission if they want to build a new church, while renovations only need the permission of local government officials. Thus many Christian communities face on the one hand a long and arduous application process (which will not necessarily be successful) for new churches, and on the other a system whereby church renovations can be impeded or opposed by local government opposition or hostility.