May 14, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The chairman of the Islamic Centre for Preaching and Comparative Studies, Ammar Saleh, said that cases of apostasy and atheism are on the rise in the country and accused authorities of negligence in addressing this issue.
- South Sudanese worshippers attend Sunday prayers in Baraka parish church in Haj Yusif, on the outskirts of Khartoum, 10 February 2013. (Nureldin Abdallah)
At a press conference on Tuesday, Saleh claimed that the number of converts from Islam in Khartoum has reached 109 apostates, stressing that these figures are growing in a “continuous” and “scary” fashion, especially with the presence of atheists and homosexuals.
The Islamic figure slammed the government for not taking decisive action against missionaries operating “boldly” in the country.
He said that anyone who denies the existence of proselytising or the increase in people converting to the Shiite faith are either “living on Mars” or are in denial.
Saleh appealed to the official bodies and the community to take a stand against Christianisation and find a long-term solution to the problem, arguing that government’s efforts in this regard are timid compared to missionaries’ efforts.
He also accused the Orthodox Church of building a church in Ombadda without a permit in a “de facto” manner.
The former head of Ombadda People’s Committee, who is also a member of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP), Adam Mudawi, claimed that they have information indicating that there is an underground storage facility in the three-story church that contains a large cache of weapons.
Mudawi also said there is a satellite dish inside the church and its function remains unexplained.
He accused the church of exploiting poor citizens by providing financial support and assistance to aid its proselytising activities.