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Government urges unity of Christians to participate in Sudan’s affairs


Pastors help South Sudanese worshippers after attending Sunday prayers in Baraka Parish church at Hajj Yusuf, on the outskirts of Khartoum, February 10, 2013. 'Photo Reuters)

December 24, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Minister of Religious Affairs, Nasr al-Din Mufreh, has called on the Christian groups in Sudan to reunite themselves under one representative body to play an active role in the country after 30 years of marginalisation by the former regime.

After decades, the transitional government last week declared Wednesday 25 December as a national holiday on the occasion of Christmas in Sudan for the first time in years.

The government said intending to re-establish the old value of religious coexistence in the country that the Islamist regime sought to repeal in the country.

Mufreh who was one of the active protesters who successfully contributed to the collapse of the Islamist regime delivered a Merry Christmas message to congratulate the Sudanese Christian on Tuesday.

He started his message by apologizing to the Sudanese Christians for the "unjust" policies by the former regime against them.

"I also apologize to you for the oppression and harm that afflicted your bodies, destroyed your temples, plundered your properties, and unjustly arrested and tried your servants (religious leader)," he said.

Also, he used his message to urge Christian denominations in Sudan including the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Anglican Church, and Protestant churches to found an ecclesiastical body represent them with it comes to deal with the government over their issues and to defend their interests and rights as Sudanese citizens.

This ecumenical body will ensure the active participation of all the Christian groups in the government efforts to lay down policies relative to managing ecclesiastical work, rejecting hatred and extremism, and spreading a culture of tolerance in Sudan, he said.

This religious institution is crucial to fold the pages of the past sectarian strife and opens the door for tolerance between members of the various confessions, he further stressed.

On 20 December, the U.S. State Department removed Sudan from the list of Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) on Religious Freedom, 20 years after its designation.

The removal from the religious freedom blacklist intervenes as the new transitional government in Khartoum struggles to normalize bilateral relations with Washington and remove the country from the terror list.

"Sudan was moved to the SWL (Special Watch List) due to significant steps taken by the civilian-led transitional government to address the previous regime’s “systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom,” said the State Department.


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