A Sudanese court has charged five Christians over their attempt to stop an illegal acquisition of church property, according to a Christian advocacy group.

On 10 July, 14 members of the Evangelical Church in Bahri were charged before the Bahri Criminal Court. All were fined between 300 and 500 Sudanese Pounds (US$50-82) for obstructing the police, said Middle East Concern.

While all were released after paying the fines, five await trial. They will be charged for a breach of a signed commitment. No date has been set for their trial, Middle East Concern added.

Police had detained the church members on 7 July in what another Christian rights group suggested was part of a campaign to drive Christians out.

Sudan has been holding several Christian activists, including Pastors Hassan Taour and Kuwa Shamal since December and May respectively, pending charges.

Since the independence of Christian-majority South Sudan from Khartoum in 2011, several churches have been demolished in the Muslim north. In October 2015, an Evangelical church was demolished in Omdurman, west of Khartoum, and another, a Lutheran church, burned down in Gadaref, in the eastern part of the country.

In May 2016, Khartoum bombed St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic School in Kauda, in the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan near its own border with the South.

A report by Open Doors, a group highlighting Christians under pressure for their faith, said that Christians – especially in the country’s South Kordofan and Blue Nile states – continue to face “ethnic cleansing”.