Renewed imprisonment of 9 Copts accused of demonstrating in order to issue a decision to rebuild a church, and EIPR calls for their release
The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights said that three years after its adoption, the church construction law has failed to end violations of Christians’ right to worship and address related sectarian tensions. It criticized the security apparatus for shutting down church buildings and thereby prohibiting many Copts in Egyptian villages from engaging in collective worship.
The EIPR found that from September 28, 2016, when the church construction law was issued, to April 2018, state institutions have shuttered 14 existing churches that were hosting religious services prior to the closure orders. Four of these churches were closed this year, with Copts denied access to them and prayer services in them prohibited.