Project information

Standing up for Religious Minorities - Egypt

The project aims to protect and promote the rights of religious minorities and contribute to greater pluralism, diversity, inter-community respect and gender-equity, resulting in decreased marginalisation and exclusion in Egypt.

2 years

Charity information: Minority Rights Group International (MRG)

Minority Rights Group International (MRG) logo
  • Need


    Although freedom of religion is guaranteed in the Egyptian constitution, the Egyptian government has consistently failed to address the needs and rights of its religious minority population with discriminatory and restrictive government policies. The Baha'i and Coptic communities have been victims to decades-long discriminatory attitudes in the Egyptian society, resulting in killings, sexual exploitation of minority women, and under-representation in decision-making processes.


    This initiative will seek to strengthen religious minority activists' knowledge of national/regional/international mechanisms guaranteeing their rights. It will enhance their engagement with relevant local and national government authorities to create a broader awareness of their concerns and advocate for their increased participation in political processes directly impacting their communities. Finally, the project will challenge discriminatory attitudes held by broader Egyptian society.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Strengthen the capacities of CSOs and activists representing religious minorities in Egypt


    » Organizing national level networking/coalition building and human rights training, covering media work, fundraising, advocacy, and monitoring.
    » Training 30 religious minority and human rights activists on international/regional/domestic measures guaranteeing their human rights
    » Conducting a three-month online training course.

    Success will be when, through strengthened capacities and networking, minority CSOs & activists are more empowered to effectively advocate for implementation of their human rights.

    Aim 2

    Exert pressure on the Egyptian government to address the issues faced by religious minorities.


    » Advocacy efforts with MRG and partners targeting influential local/national decision-makers to join the national launch of a film and a report.
    » A roundtable between government officials and religious minority activists to highlight specific issues found in the report.

    Success will be when the Egyptian government becomes more sensitive to the issues faced by minorities & implements more measures protecting religious minorities’ human rights.

    Aim 3

    Raise awareness of the situation of religious minorities


    » Media and public awareness campaigns aimed at at least 15 positive newstories and inclusion of religious minority representation on TV and radio.
    » The publication and dissemination of a report on the situation of religious minorities in Egypt.
    » Producing a film, based on the report’s findings, which will highlight religious discrimination in Egypt.

    Success will be when the initiative raises the profile of the discrimination religious minority communities in Egypt face.

  • Impact


    A main indicator of success will be strengthened capacities of and networking between minority CSOs and activists, including religious minorities, so they can more effectively advocate for tolerance, intercultural understanding and are more empowered to effectively advocate for implementation of their human rights. The action aims to encourage the effective incorporation of minority rights into the new constitution and contribute to a more equitable and cohesive Egyptian society.


    Risks include fieldwork and community based activities jeopardised by civil/political unrest, outbreak of disease, or major environment disaster. However, MRG has a contingency plan that would be put into place and would encompass this project.


    Reporting to donors will take place on an annual basis, in conjunction with our main donor’s reporting guidelines.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £294,879

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £119,769 Staffing costs UK and local staff
      £31,322 capacity building capacity building training, venue hire, participants' travel and accommodation
      £25,365 Publication on HR violations research, data analysis, printing, distribution, translation
      £23,330 Film on Discrimination film production, translation, distribution, launch
      £57,195 Advocacy local and national advocacy, public awareness campaign, roundtable in government agency
      £37,898 Monitoring and evaluation MRG monitoring, external evaluation

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    European Commission £250,000 Guaranteed
  • Background




    Direct beneficiaries include: 8.5 million Coptic Christians and 2500 Bahais, Egyptian religious minority activists, general human rights activists and NGOs and CSOs, government officials, international decision-makers, relevant media outlets/actors as well as the broader public within Egypt and the European Union. Religious minority population throughout the Middle East will also benefit from this initiative as positive developments are likely to have far-reaching effects across the region.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    There is no other NGO with MRG’s broad mandate on minority issues, nor its high reputation among minority communities, governments and UN human rights bodies. MRG has consultative status with the UN Economic & Social Council and observer status with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. This action is part of MRG strategy in the Middle East and Africa and will therefore build on MRG expertise and contacts in the region. MRG has been active in the region for over 10 years.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Al-Ahram Centre For Political And Strategic Studies

    The partner will bring to this initiative its expertise of the situation of religious minorities in Egypt and the marginalization they experience.

    The Coptic Evangelical Organisation For Social Services (CEOSS)

    The partner will bring to this initiative its expertise of the situation of religious minorities in Egypt and the marginalization they experience.