January 10, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese Muslim converts accused the government of failing to protect their basic rights saying that they suffer from intimidation and harassment when they switch religions.
- Coptic priests (in black) welcome Muslim guests at an iftar, or the breaking of the fast, dinner organized by Sudanese Copts at the Coptic Club during Ramadan in Khartoum August 23, 2010 (REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)
The Muslim convert, Imad Qidees Sinada, stressed at a press conference on Thursday that Coptic Christians who convert to Islam face huge social pressures, saying that they lose their families and children and could perhaps be killed.
He disclosed that Muslim converts also suffer from economic hardships imposed on them by their families and criticized the government for not protecting and supporting them, saying that the number of Muslim converts exceeds 800 out of the 3,000 Sudanese Coptic Christians.
The director of the Center for Call and Comparative Studies (CCCS), Amar Salih, for his part, accused the Zakat (Alms) chamber of failing to provide the necessary support for the newly Muslim converts.
The press conference witnessed conversion of a 19 years old Coptic Christian girl to Islam. The girl fled Sudan when she was 8 years old with her mother and lived in France after the latter abandoned her husband who converted to Islam.
Under article 129 of the Sudanese Penal Code of 1991, a Muslim who converts to Christianity or any other religion is punished by death. However it allows non-Muslims to convert to Islam without penalties.