Government officials have destroyed the Sudanese Church of Christ in North Khartoum.

With only a 24-hour notice 70 government officials turned up on July 1 to demolish the church, which hosted a congregation of more than 600 people. They said it was because the government wants to use the land to put up low cost housing. The church administration appealed for the demolition to be postponed until the end of the rainy season, but the officials refused to grant their request.

“The authorities are demolishing the church. We tried our best to meet with the ministers and people in charge but to no avail,” reported local Christians.

“In April 2013, the Sudanese minister of religious affairs announced that no licenses would be granted to allow for the building of new churches – less than two years after the predominantly Christian South Sudan seceded to form an independent country,” reported CNN.

Sources: CNN; Open Doors