This is a consequence of the fact that the Egyptian government is very slow to approve applications for the construction of new churches. All too often, Christians who go ahead with construction of an urgently needed church are then subjected to mob violence, often aided and abetted by government officials. Without a house of worship, Christians are forced to celebrate sacred rites in the street.
Please continue to remember in your prayers our brothers and sisters of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt as they are persecuted for their Christian faith. Pray for their safety and peace, and for that of the nation’s Greek Orthodox Christians as well.
“Coptic Christians Forced to Hold Funeral in Street,” International Christian Concern, February 15, 2019:
02/15/2019 Egypt (International Christian Concern) – Coptic Christians living in the village of Kom Al-Raheb have held a funeral in the streets for the third time because their church was closed by police in December 2018. The church, which was operating without a license, is seeking official recognition but has been targeted by hardline Islamists who do not want to see an official church in the village.
The village currently has no church, but there are approximately 2500 Coptic Christians living there, according to Watani. The police had closed the church in order to pacify the Islamists, who used a nearby mosque’s microphone to rally Muslim villagers against the Christians….
Unfortunately, the situation in Kom al-Raheb is commonplace throughout Egypt. Police frequently cave to the demands of hardline Islamists instead of protecting the right of Christians to freely practice their faith. When churches are closed, Christians are left to worship and hold rites (such as funerals) in the street.