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Sunday, February 7, 2010
Egyptian Christians call for right to build churches
CAIRO (AP) - Egyptian activists have protested in front of parliament and called for legislation giving Christians equal rights as Muslims to build houses of worship.
The demonstrators, both Muslim and Christian, were also protesting Wednesday against sectarian strains in the country, particularly in light of a Christmas Eve slaying of six Coptic Christians and a Muslim guard outside a church in southern Egypt.
The government maintains that sectarian harmony prevails in Egypt and says the January 6 attack had no religious dimension.
The ten percent of Egyptians who are Coptic complain of being denied equal citizenship rights.
Egypt's Muslims need a municipal permit to build mosques, but to build a church, Coptic Christians must get their papers signed by the president.