Islamic law allows Copts to build churches in Islamic countries, Egyptian Grand Mufti Ali Gomma said in a statement on Wednesday.
Gomma said in the statement that Dar al-Ifta, which issues religious edicts, earlier said that Christians and Jews are allowed to build their own places of worship.
He added that former Grand Mufti Nasr Fareed Wassel issued a religious edict in 1999 that permitted church building in Islamic countries, saying Islam allowed "people of the book" – Christians and Jews – to freely practice their religious rituals as long as they aren’t hostile to Islam.
The statement also said Islamic laws order Muslims to provide Christians and Jews with places for worship, which implies protecting and restoring them from damage.
For decades, Egyptian Copts have been calling for a law to unify the standards and conditions of construction for both Muslim and non-Muslim places of worship.
Translated from the Arabic Edition