Egypt May Reopen Closed Churches

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The new Egyptian government may reopen former churches that were shut down by ex-president Hosni Mubarak.

Leaders are evaluating 48 closed churches on a case by case basis. The new cabinet is also talking about granting equality to Christians who want to build churches.

One Christian activist in Egypt called the news "a happy surprise."

The news comes as Muslim extremists in Egypt have been increasingly hostile toward Coptic Christians.

A recent violent clash between radical Muslims and Christians left 13 people dead and a church burned. So far, the country's new military rulers have done little to stop attacks like this.

But Coptic Christians are still hoping a future Egyptian government will bring them new freedoms.

"That's the greatest hope of the believers in Egypt that there will be an ultimate government that will protect the religious minorities of the country," Paul Estabrook, with Open Doors USA, said.

"That would be their greatest dream," he continued. "That's what we can pray for and that's what we can work for politically and spiritually in asking God to bring this about for our brothers and sisters in this country."

Estabrooks said Egypt's Christians know the true meaning of perseverance after centuries of abuse. But he called on viewers to pray that God will relieve their fears and bring them peace.

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