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Pastor confirms attack by Islamic fundamentalists on Sudan church

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April 22, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – A pastor in the Sudanese capital Khartoum confirmed that a group of Islamic fundamentalists attacked his church over the weekend and set it on fire.

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FILE - A man prays during Easter Sunday service at Episcopal Church of the Sudan Diocese of Khartoum All Saints Cathedral in Khartoum April 24, 2011 (Reuters)

"They burned Bibles and torched the school for training clergy on the farm, as well as the residence of the students," Pastor Yusuf Matar Kodi told Agence France Presse (AFP).

Supporters of the group led by hard-line figure Muhammad Abdel-Kareem gathered at 60th Street, a main road of Khartoum, and marched towards the Evangelical Church located in the Sawafi area.

They were met by Sudanese security forces which surrounded the church and prevented the group from entering it by imposing a cordon.

However, some individuals from the group managed to sneak through the barrier and set the church on fire.

The church contains a home for the elderly, clinic, educational classrooms and houses students as well as monks.

Three worship halls that served as public churches were also destroyed, Kodi said, blaming the attack on Islamic extremists.

"They are the only people who do such things," Kodi said. "Bulldozers came inside the farm and removed some trees that have been there for 100 years" he added.

Kodi said he thinks the assault was linked to the government’s announcement on Friday that its forces had defeated South Sudanese troops who had occupied the Heglig oilfield for 10 days.

The pastor claimed said the church has owned the land for a century, but local authorities announced one month ago that they wanted it for a garden and playing field.

"Then last Friday the imam of the nearest mosque, in his speech, called the people to go early Saturday and take this land from the church," Kodi said.

A lawyer for the church, Abdel-Moneim Adam, said he has asked for a police investigation into the church attack.

In London a senior official with Darfur’s rebels the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) said that president Omer Hassan al-Bashir is personally responsible for the incident.

“Bashir has worked to create a reign of terror based on religion and race. He has made many remarks inciting an atmosphere of racial and religious intolerance," said JEM external relations adviser Ahmed Hussein Adam.

“Anyone who thinks that the incident is isolated is wrong. These [extremist] groups are controlled by the National Congress Party (NCP). They unleash them to show the international community what could happen if the regime is ousted. It is their tactic when they feel weakened" Adam said.

The JEM official said his movement condemns “in the strongest possible terms” the church attack adding that it is a clear violation of the universal principle of religious freedom.

(ST)

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  • 23 April 2012 14:29, by Akolde Nhiak Jinub

    Now, Sudan is clearly under Isamic fundamentalists control. Just hold on, you will see terrorists planting suicide bombs against anyone they perceipt to be an enemy as South Sudanese n Israelis. Watch out South Sudanese in Khartoum. One example of this terror act was implemented at South Sudan Vice President Dr. Riek Machar’s house in Khartoum by Security agents, who are entrusted with protection.

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    • 23 April 2012 14:39, by Abugua

      They cannot fight God. That church have been there for 100years established during British colonial rule .God now should fight this war

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    • 23 April 2012 19:19, by Deng Ateny Lueth

      Guys, i’m really, deeply bitter, and tormented inside when i see this old man lulling like this. i wish only God could comfort him for the lose of sacred Church. Guys from Durfar, Nuba MT, people Engesina Hills(Blue Nile, and South Sudanese brothers. i could smell and sense that we are at the brink of Racial war in SUDAN and may be this will breed African-Arabs wars. this is our own Armageddon wa

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    • 24 April 2012 04:06, by zulu

      Even their prophet did that. But did Jesus do that? Of course he did, but to who? Those who abused the house of God. Jesus got mad at those who used God’s place of worship as a Cassino, and beat them, chasing them away. What did Mohamed do?
      Do not blame these idiots for doing what they believe is right. It is the National Criminal Party surviving through this means

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  • 23 April 2012 15:20, by Dut Monybor

    That is very bad for you Fundamentalist Islamic to attack incense christian .War is not against religious shame on you.

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    • 23 April 2012 15:52, by sober

      The church built during British colonial rule after Islamic rule of Aleman Mohammed Ahammed Elmahadi Khalifa defeated in Karari . now Sudan is Islamic country again . Every church built during British colonial rule will turned to be Islamic school. Comboni schools Is the next.

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      • 23 April 2012 16:34, by Lango2010

        senseless and barbaric islamist that says the beleive in allah, even in Isreali Moques are there.
        u think you are doing good thing by burning the Holy Temple of God,
        we are senseful and God loving people we have mosques in SS but because we respect God the remain untouch
        shame shame on you and your religion

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      • 23 April 2012 21:32, by Observer

        Sober (or not?) how extremely childish of you to say this. How we would we feel if mosques were set on fire in South Sudan- we would be outraged and would retaliate in the worst way. Your views are not reflective of most moderate Sudanese- thankfully

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    • 24 April 2012 10:42, by Dengthalga

      Juba’responding to Khartuom’s aggressiveness and rudeness have driven Omer Bashir nut and It brings opprobrium from extreme Islamic responses with burning the Church down and holy bible as well. What Opprobrium!
      People misunderstood when they ran nut and burned the Church down. War is not on base Religion coward, however; your fugitive president has led you straight to hell.

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  • 23 April 2012 16:28, by Emmanuel Ajang Solomon

    Ho God help your peple they are now in fire, but tomorrow we shall be in peace.

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    • 23 April 2012 19:05, by Northern Sudanese

      Although i dont believe in christianity, i dont think burning a church is something good.........

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  • 23 April 2012 20:33, by E. Defense Forces
  • 23 April 2012 21:18, by AfroArabian

    A pastor who lies.....? show us ONE photo of islamic fundamentalists burning the church...? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEu5Q6Ov-WA ....but im not surprised....ur whole religion is a lie...a 3 God system...and how u follow this lie is even more shameful...where does it say drink mareesa? or inherit ur father’s wife? keep deceiving urselves..thats what u are good at.

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    • 24 April 2012 07:26, by Saalam

      Afroarabian, what is wrong with you. As a northerner and a Muslim I am ashamed to call you a fellow Sudanese. Are you being paid to be be this disrespectful? What happened at the church is a gross violation of our Islamic teachings and our Sudanese culture.
      Please refrain from using such profanity it shows a lack of education and in this case a lack of humanity

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      • 24 April 2012 07:47, by AfroArabian

        we all know that burning ANY place is wrong....but can u tell me that it was the doing of islamic radicalists..or was it the people of geraif?....why does their pastor lie? I am against the idea of using our honourable sheikhs names to beg for christian aid by these lairs...show me ONE..just ONE islamic fundamentalist in that footage and i will be silent....be ashamed of urself.

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  • 23 April 2012 23:05, by wadelsudan

    As a sudanese and a muslim i condemen with strong terms this horrific act that happen to our christian sudanese brothers, this is not a charcter of sudanese people and is not acharchter of islam wich promotes religous tolerance even during war, our heart and support goes to the affected people.

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  • 23 April 2012 23:26, by acuil deng

    Muslims are obsessed with burnig churches, and desecrating the graves. Graves were desecrated in Libya, and churches burned in Nigeria, Egypt and now in Sudan, perhaps the American soldiers were right when they burned the Koran in Afganistan.

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  • 23 April 2012 23:30, by wadelsudan

    American were very wrong when they burned the quran and few sudanese were very wrong yesterday when they burned the church in khartoum, let us say the truth.

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  • 24 April 2012 04:11, by Elijah B. Elkan

    Muslim religion is a cult. Mohammad was a child molester, rapes, and a murderer. Muslim religion is corrupted by inbreed. Bashir is the world’s most wanted criminal --- he killed 2.5 million southerns in 21 years of the war. He also killed almost 1 million Darfurians. Bashir will hang soon or later.

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  • 24 April 2012 08:39, by Tata

    The islamic terroristic sect (NCP) of sudan is a total enemy of sudanese people.you can establish enemity with God who created you and the universe. read Torah. Yes, they are sending us a message that "Why don’t South Sudanes burn mosques in South". No Human Right group condomn this act as violation of basic human right. So, those christians whose church has been burnt DESERVE No HUMAN RIGHT.

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  • 24 April 2012 08:48, by Tata

    So, whenever, we burn mosques in South let no crab or crocodile opens his/her mouth that south Sudanese violate universal human right declaration. There are some people who cannot restrain themselves for long seeing chrisitains being morally tortured in Kht without reacting in the same direction and magnitude of force. Today they burn church. Tomorow they will slaughter christians. This is serious

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    • 24 April 2012 09:56, by Dengthalga

      Sudanese president’s face is so repugnant to mighty SPLA forces.Therefore; he wrongly says "to liberate" south Sudanese when we have been liberated from his indespicable regime by invincible SPLA forces. Now SPLA is internationally known as unbeatable army.Omer,you should salute Spla forces MR.dancer (ragasha). As a result; you watch out unbeatable forces are coming back to dwell permanently!

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  • 24 April 2012 13:47, by Good Citizen

    to my fellow south sudanese,
    our christian values do not allow revenge, nor disrespecting oother people’s way of worship/religion.we are principled and ethical people and must not allow ourselves to follow the behaviours of islamists who think that by killing their fellow christians, Budhist, Confucians,Animist,atheists...etc,that their god/ Allah will be pleased and go to heaven without question.

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  • 24 April 2012 13:53, by Good Citizen

    the hard reality is that the TRUE GOD cannot accept the killing of any human being because he worship differently.whether those fundamentalists like it or not.may God change the heart of those islamists and protect our christians facing threats of islamism.

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  • 25 April 2012 06:57, by Saalam

    Please do not allow yourselfs to be used as pawns in a chess game. It is clear whoever burned the church intents to fan the flames of war. You see they wish for southerns to do the same, find a Mosque in the south and burn it, angering Muslims who in turn will destroy christian property in the north. Thus anger and pride will overtake all and fire and destruction surely to follow. Do not be used

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  • 26 April 2012 23:25, by Anyardit

    The Islamic fundamentlist or the Gov’t of Bashire has turn the Islam as a weapon of choice to encourage their pupulatation that, their religion or Islam had been attack by zoinist or infedal, seting the church on fire will solves your problem, that church had been there for many years, Sudan is very diversite state but the leaders who are ruling the country are abusing Islam, for their own good.

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