Egyptian Churches Launch Campaign to Get out of Dark Tunnel

Egyptian Churches Launch Campaign to Get out of Dark Tunnel

By | 2009-03-01T11:37:00+00:00 March 1st, 2009|News|0 Comments

The Egyptian Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelical churches have decided to take part in the campaign launched by some Christian activists and expatriate Copts' websites to urge the government to speed up the enactment of the unified law for building places of worship.

The campaign, titled "Getting out of the dark tunnel", has issued a joint statement calling on all supporters to try to move the community away from ethnic and religious conflicts in order to obtain full citizenship.

The campaign managers said such a campaign was launched after the accident of Virgin Mary Church, in Sheikh Youssef village (governorate of Suhag) in which four neighboring houses collapsed and eight people were killed due the delay in restorations.

Bishop Morcos, chief the Church’s Media Committee and Bishop of Shubra al-Khaimah, has expressed surprise at the delay in the enactment of the unified law for building places of worship. He said: "This law puts citizens on an equal footing and reflects the state’s seriousness in implementing Article 1 of the Constitution."

The Church does not know the reason why the law has not been referred to the People’s Assembly for discussion, especially as Bishop Youannis, Pope Shenouda’s secretary, was among those who prepared the law in the National Council for Human Rights, Morcos said.

The Head of the Evangelical Church’s Media Committee Ikram Lamei shared Morcos’s point of view and said: "This law will solve many problems; first and foremost, it will put an end to sectarian sedition in case a church is built without a license."

Lamei has asked the People’s Assembly Speaker Ahmed Fathi Sorour to discuss the law in the next parliamentary session so that it could see the light soon.

The spokesman for the Catholic Church in Egypt Rafiq Gresh said the Church has been calling for this law for more than three years.

At every occasion attended by a minister or State officials, the Church always calls on them to speed up the enactment of the law, he adds.

This law is important because it would end the Hamayouni Line decree on the establishment of churches. This decree is the reason for all sectarian seditions that tarnish Egypt’s reputation abroad, Gresh said.