Egypt: Christian civil servants to enjoy paid leave for pilgrimage to Holy Land

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The Egyptian Supreme Constitutional Court ruled just recently that the Coptic Christians employed in government sector will be allowed paid-leave for pilgrimage to the Holy Land similar to the facilities provided to the Muslim employees. Egypt’s Muslim civil servants enjoy the right to take a month long paid vacation to perform Hajj.

Holy Land pilgrimage

On February 4, Saturday the Supreme Constitutional Court ruled that Christian government employees should be allowed to enjoy equivalent month-long holiday to visit Jerusalem. In this connection, Lawyer Naguib Gabriel argued that the law provides cushion to the Muslim employees of government to enjoy paid leave for the Hajj which was unconstitutional.

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It was maintained before the court that the law which provides facility to the Muslim employees did not facilitated the Coptic Christian community, which makes about 10 percent of the total population of the country.

However, the case follows the refusal of the government to allow Christian civil servants to take paid leave to visit Jerusalem as pilgrimage. “The ruling is a major step towards full citizenship rights for Egyptian Christians,” Lawyer Naguib Gabriel.