Home | News    Tuesday 24 October 2017

Sudanese authorities close church, detain religious leaders

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Sudanese worshippers outside Soba Al Aradi church after its demolishment on Sunday 7 May 2017 (ST Photo)
October 23, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese activists criticized the forceful closure of a church in Omdurman by the police accusing the government of continued detention and persecution of the Christians in the country.

Sudanese group of faith activists called "International Solidarity Campaign with Sudanese Christians (ISCSC)" said in a statement released on Monday that a police force stormed the Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC), in Al-Thawra 29 neighbourhood in Khartoum state on Sunday 23 October and prevented worship service before ordering the closure of the church.

According to the statement, the Sudanese authorities arrested the SCOC leaders the Rev. Ayoub Tiliyan, SCOC moderator; the Rev. Ali Haakim Al Aam, pastor-in-charge of the Al-Thawra 29 congregation; and pastor Ambrator Hammad.

Also, two evangelists, Habill Ibrahim and elder Abdul Bagi Tutu, a member of the SCOC presbytery, were also arrested.

The group called on the lawyers, political forces and civil society groups to support the release of priests, and pledged to inform the international community and international religious organizations about the government’s violations of the rights of Christians in Sudan.

Before Washington decision to repeal economic sanctions on Sudan in October 2017, Khartoum pledged to respect religious freedom in the country following reports about the prosecution of Christians in Sudan.

The National Umma Party (NUP) led by Sadiq al-Madhi on Monday slammed the closure of the church and the detention of religious leaders. The opposition party further expressed readiness to provide the needed legal support to ensure the release of the detainees.

The continuing violation of religious, press and political freedoms proves that the lifting of the sanctions "was only a means to give these violations an umbrella for the regime to continue the repression in all its forms."

Sudan Tribune has learnt that the religious leaders have been released on Saturday night after an interrogation by the police and charged with disturbing the public.

Commenting on the accusation of prosecution of Christians in the country, the head of the on the National Assembly Legislative, Justice and Human Rights Committee Adam Hassan Nimer said that human rights in Sudan are reserved in accordance with the laws and the Constitution, stressing that the Sudanese coexist peacefully and there is no religious persecution among them.

In statements to the semi-official Sudanese Media Center, Nimer didn’t mention what occurred in Al-Thawra 29 on Sunday but said "what happened in the past about the removal of a number of churches came as a result of the violation of land laws which led to the removal of all existing institutions, whether mosques or schools".

The government says the destruction of churches is not directed against Christians but the called churches are houses transformed into churches without legal authorisations.

While the religious groups say that the authorities refuse to deliver the required authorization for the construction of churches.

(ST)

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  • 24 October 2017 17:27, by Theone

    Christians have been persecuted in all muslims majority countries and the western media is silent. Can you imagine if those were mosques? The western media will be all over there asking every Pastor and Bishops if they agree with destruction of the mosques

    repondre message

  • 25 October 2017 05:29, by Moses Deng Bol

    The Sudanese Government does not issue title deeds to churches so Christians have no option but to find a private place for their prayer meetings. The early church did the same. It is very clear in the Book of Acts that Christians were praying in their houses when under prosecution.

    repondre message

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