Egypt Country Update

This report assesses Egypt’s recent initiatives to improve religious freedom conditions and highlights ways in which the Egyptian government can improve its treatment of religious minorities. The country update acknowledges Egypt’s continued, if slow, implementation of the 2016 Church Building Law; the first National Human Rights Strategy announced in September 2021; and efforts to restore sites of religious significance to Christians, Jews, and Shi’a Muslims. Additionally, the report notes several key areas in which Egypt still restricts religious freedom. Although in October 2021 President Fattah El-Sisi lifted the state of emergency long used to justify limitations on human rights and religious freedom, the Egyptian government continues to enforce blasphemy laws and has kept in place the prolonged pre-trial detention and indictment of religious minority leaders such as Coptic activists Ramy Kamel and Patrick George Zaki and prominent Qur’anist Reda Abdel Rahman.

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