35. Cabinet okays draft on unified construction of houses of worship, minister says

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Minister of Justice Muhammad 'Abd al-'Azīz al-Jindī said the cabinet approved in principle the enacting of the draft law on unified construction of houses of worship, adding it is still subject to deliberations for the public opinion.

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"The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has prepared a draft last June and was approved by the cabinet following discussions with a number of legal experts," the minister said.

Jindī warned that the recent Maspero incidents could spark a crisis between Muslims and Christians in a way that might give rise to sectarian strife on one hand and cause fallout between the army and the Egyptian people on the other.

According to the draft law, the powers to sanction the construction of houses of worship will be granted to governors provided that the space between a mosque and a church would not be less than 1000 meters.

It also provides that any violations of the law will be punishable by imprisonment and a fine of LE300,000 (roughly $50,000).

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