By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
The nine believers were among 70 people demanding a license to rebuild a church in Ezbet Faragallah village in the Minya governorate of the Upper Egypt region.
They were freed Sunday, April 24, the day on which most Egyptian Christians celebrated Easter Sunday, confirmed Barnabas Fund, a Christian aid, and advocacy group.
“The church building was the only place of worship for around 800 Christians in Ezbet Faragallah. It was almost completely destroyed in a 2016 fire, which occurred in unconfirmed circumstances,” the group added.
The church – which had been granted legal status in 2011 – successfully applied for a demolition permit in 2021, implemented in July of that year.
“The church then applied to Minya governorate for permission to reconstruct the building, but that permission has yet to be granted,” Barnabas Fund noticed.
Since the repeal in 2016 of Ottoman-era restrictions on the construction of church buildings, an Egyptian Cabinet committee has granted licenses to 2,401 churches out of 3,730 applicants.
Yet, Christians continue to face attacks or pressure in several parts of the Muslim-majority nation following the recent killing of an Orthodox priest and other violent incidents.
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