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Egypt: Religious Freedom

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL3819, tabled on 4 December 2017

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to encourage the promotion and upholding of freedom of religion or belief for all in Egypt, with particular reference to recent changes to laws concerning church buildings in that country.

Answered on

18 December 2017

We condemn all discrimination against religious minorities and constraints on their freedom to practise their faith. The Egyptian constitution contains protections for Freedom of Religious Belief and it is important that these rights are respected.

We regularly raise our concerns around the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, which are essential to improving the protection of Freedom of Religious Belief in Egypt.

In particular, we welcome President Sisi’s consistent calls for peaceful coexistence between Christians and Muslims in Egypt. The UK supports continued dialogue between the Church and State, including on the topic of the Church Building Law. We urge the Egyptian authorities to implement the law in a way that enables Christians to exercise their freedom to worship.

Attacks by Daesh against the Coptic Christian community in Egypt are deplorable. The UK is committed to supporting the Egyptian Government’s fight against terrorist groups, including those who seek to target minority groups such as Coptic Christians. All victims of terrorism in Egypt deserve the recourse to justice afforded to them by the Egyptian constitution.