Puneet Varma

Hamayouni Decree

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The Hamayoni Decree (also "Hamayonic", "Hamayouni") (Arabic: الخط الهمايونى‎‎) or "Hamayony Khat" is a clause in the Egyptian law that dates back to the Hatt-ı Hümayun of February 1856 issued during Ottoman rule, which regulates Christian church construction and maintenance. It is currently a cause of much controversy due to the conditions that need to be fulfilled in order for the permit to be granted. These same restrictions do not apply to mosques. The law formerly required that each permit must be issued by the President of Egypt. In 1998, under the administration of Hosni Mubarak, the law was changed to also allow Egyptian Governors to grant permits.

The requirements are complex and frequently arbitrary for building and repairing churches or church-owned buildings. The state president must personally approve all building applications, and the provincial governors must approve all applications for repairs, even for something as small as repairing a toilet or a broken window.

While ostensibly part of the Tanzimat reforms of the Ottoman Empire, the special restrictions on churches trace back to the Covenant of Omar I in 637.

The Hamayouni Decree was later elaborated by the Ten Conditions of Al-Ezabi.

References

Hamayouni Decree Wikipedia


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