• 19:43
  • Tuesday ,06 August 2019
العربية

Egypt s churches not for sale

by Hamdi rezk -Al masry al youm

Opinion

00:08

Tuesday ,06 August 2019

Egypt s churches not for sale

 Judge Mohamed Abdel Wahab Khafagy, deputy president of the state council, issued a unique and unprecedented rule in 2016 that granted churches the same immunity mosques have against being bought and sold.

 
This is probably the first ruling of its kind anywhere in the world which prohibits the sale or demolishing of churches, and makes church restoration a must, in order to preserve religious sanctity and freedom of belief.
 
This ruling grants churches the same immunity as mosques based on the fact that houses of worship where prayer is established is transferred from the ownership of people to that of god, and so it can t just be traded between people, and religious purposes can t be altered.
 
This ruling also brought forth an example of Egyptian greatness as it comes in support of the Egyptian government s decision to reject the demolition of a church in Beheira, after a man brought it from a Greek citizen who came from the Greek Orthodox community.
 
The Egyptian government took the case to the court to appeal the selling of the church. Pope Tawadros II, the Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of St. Mark, intervened in the case as a religious symbol of Christianity aiming to preserve the Church, no matter what the sect.
 
The Egyptian legislator has entrusted the ruling by issuing a law consistent with it, supporting the rule established by the judge and the sale or purchasing of buying churches.
 
Egypt s churches have now become religiously preserved by an Egyptian judge and legislator.
 
Khafagy s ruling came from the “jurisprudence of citizenship” preserved in the hearts of all Egyptians, providing protection and immunity to our brother s churches.
 
It establishes a stable position for Egypt s churches from whatever sect, and wherever on the land of Egypt  required to be protected from  sale and purchase and demolition, and even providing restoration if damaged.
 
The government is committed to building churches and keeping up their maintenance and rehabilitation for worship.
 
This enlightened judge s ruling is not far from the state of citizenship in its manifestation, where the church is adjacent to the mosque. This is also comes in line with the church building law, which succeeded in reconciling the situations of more than 1,000 churches in its first year and proceeding towards another 1,000, in hopes to conclude an issue not approached by a government before the June 30 revolution, and which deserves to be described as a revolution of Egypt s people against sectarian superiority.
 
While it s widely known that judges should not be hailed or vilified, here is an exception that deserves praise and appreciation for his work, and tribute and respect for his enlightenment.
 
We are proud of the fact that here is a great judge who believes in true citizenship.
 
The ruling was issued three years ago (March 28, 2016). It is a reference to those who review the history of citizenship, in a country where citizenship has been horribly targeted for decades.
 
This ruling came as a breakthrough.