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Sudan: Authorities continue campaign of church demolitions

23 May 2017

Two churches in Sudan have been demolished in the space of ten days, as the authorities continue their programme of church demolitions. On 17 May, the Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC) building in Algadisia, Khartoum was demolished. The destruction of the church comes ten days after the demolition of another SCOC church in Soba Al Aradi.

The Algadisia church was built in 1983. Recently another party claimed ownership of the land, but refused to provide any proof. Even so, the authorities demanded that the church should vacate the land. The church showed ownership documents, but the authorities refused to hear their case or change their decision.

27 churches marked for destruction

The two churches are part of a list of some 27 churches which the Sudanese authorities have earmarked for demolition. The authorities claim that the churches are in violation of the officially designated purposes for these plots of land. However, the authorities also refuse to designate any plots to be used for church buildings, claiming there is no need for new church buildings.

As well as scheduling demolition of churches, the authorities are also continuing with the gradual confiscation of properties belonging to the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church in Bahri (Khartoum North) and Omdurman.

No new churches

The authorities themselves deny that they are especially targeting Christians. The Commissioner of Jebel Awliya, Jalaleldin El Sheikh El Tayeb was reported as saying the removal order included 12 mosques and Koran schools, three churches, and two schools in the Soba Aradi district.

However local sources state that they are unaware of any of these demolitions being carried out. Also, the government has made it clear that no new churches will be allowed to put up new buildings, whereas it has not put any restrictions on new schools or mosques. The Sudanese Minister of Guidance and Endowments announced in April 2013 that no new licenses would be granted to build new churches in the country, pointing to the return of many mainly Christian South Sudanese refugees to their own country.

Please pray:

  • That the government efforts to demolish or confiscate church properties will cease
  • For wisdom, patience and peace for church leaders and members facing ongoing harassment
  • For an end to the continuous pressure against Christians in Sudan, and that Christians will know the peace of the Lord.

MEC: Sudan - second church demolition this month New Window

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