Image：All Saints’ Cathedral in Kartoum
Sudanese government officials arrested and briefly jailed six Christians for refusing to obey orders to hand over church property.
According to sources, three pastors and three church members of an evangelical church were arrested after refusing an order to hand over the school run by the church. The arrests took place on 6 October in the town of Wad Medani, about 125 miles southeast of the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.
“While in custody, they were questioned by police over the reasons for disobeying the orders. They were released on bail later the same day. It is not clear if further legal action is planned,” reported the source.
Meanwhile, five churches have received notice that their buildings will be demolished. The exact dates these notifications were issued or when the demolitions are planned are not known, but Open Doors has been told that three of the churches notified belong to the Sudan Church of Christ (SCOC), one to the Presbyterian Church and the other to the Episcopal Church. They are situated in the Bahri, Soba and Jebel Aulia regions of Khartoum. Officials apparently told the churches their land had been assigned for investment. Church leaders have requested a removal of the orders.
Demolishing churches, confiscating property
Sudan is number eight on the Open Doors World Watch List. Arbitrary confiscation of property is increasing in the country, where the government has increasingly interfered in the internal running of religious institutions. As well as using the blasphemy laws to target Christians for arrest and imprisonment, the government also keeps demolishing churches, often at very short notice. Security forces can stop any Christian worship/prayer meetings, and even confiscate Bibles, documents, and computers.
- For wisdom and protection for all involved in the action against the Evangelical church in Wad Medani
- For the Lord’s intervention for the Khartoum churches and that the demolitions will be prevented
- That the government measures will fail to intimidate the church in Sudan but that Christians will have the grace to boldly continue to live out their faith to the glory of the Lord.