Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria has inaugurated the church of the Virgin Mary and St Moses the Black in the Alexandria district of Manshiya, according to a statement issued by the Coptic Orthodox Church on Sunday.
The statement said that Pope Tawadros II delivered a speech thanking the authorities for their efforts to complete the building of the new church. Several priests and church workers participated in the inauguration, the statement added.
In 2016, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi ratified the Church Building Law, which placed new regulatory laws on the construction of churches. Passed by parliament in August, the law came with the Coptic Church’s approval following weeks of public debate in the Christian community, with many remaining concerned that the law did not remove restrictions imposed on churches.
Many churches were closed for a period following attacks in the aftermath of sectarian violence on several that left them destroyed or damaged. Dozens of churches, church-affiliated buildings, and facilities serving Egypt’s Christian communities were set on fire and sabotaged by extremist Islamists following the ousting of former president Mohamed Morsi.
In some cases, sectarian violence occurred in villages where residents refused the right of Christians to build a church. The claim of any new house of worship for Christians being built or not, whether true or not, has been used to trigger assaults on the community.