2 month sentence for promoting candidates in mosques: Endowment Min
Endowments Minister Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa - YOUM7/Sami Waheeb

CAIRO: Any person who uses mosque pulpits to promote a candidate in the parliamentary elections may face two months in prison and a fine, the Ministry of Endowment Saturday.

The head of religious sector in the Ministry of Endowment Mohamed Abdel Razeq added that the violator would be also punished by the Supreme Election Committee.

He added that the ministry will work per the decisions of the committee regarding the candidacy of its leaders and imams.

Abdel Razaq also noted that the ministry is to install surveillance cameras in the big mosques for security.

According to the Egyptian State Information Service, there are approximately 157,000 mosques in Egypt; around 105,000 mosques are supervised by the state while the rest are owned and managed by either individuals or associations such as the Salafist Call and Al-Gamaa Al-Shariya.

On the other hand, the number of preachers authorized by Al-Azhar and the religious endowment ministry remain unknown.

In an attempt to keep mosques away from political and partisan conflicts, the ministry has decided to unify the topic of Friday sermons across the country, Religious Endowment Minister Mokhtar Gomaa said in a press conference in February.

He added that the decision is not meant to“impose further restrictions on religious freedom.”

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