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.[1] 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.[2] The law formerly required that each permit must be issued by the President of Egypt.[3] In 1998, under the administration of Hosni Mubarak, the law was changed to also allow Egyptian Governors to grant permits.[4]

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.[2]

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.

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