Representatives from Sudan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs have convened leaders of refugee churches in Khartoum to tell them to stop their services until they have registered, sources have told World Watch Monitor.

The churches affected are those started for refugees from Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan and the Philippines, among others.

If they have not registered by 15 February, they may be closed.

One refugee pastor said: “We don’t know what to do. Leaders from the refugee churches are discussing what the next move should be …We have asked the Sudanese churches who share their compounds with us for church services to [advise us].

“We know that currently the Sudanese churches leaders are [under a lot of pressure] after the arrest of some of their senior leaders.”

Some of the pastors fear that once they apply for registration, the government will have a lot of information about the churches but at the same time fail to grant permission to continue, as happened in neighbouring Eritrea.

The sources explained that this may be another indication that the government of Sudan is busy with a wider crackdown against Christians in the country.