Sharia (Islamic law) is the foundation of Sudan’s legal system, and leaving Islam is punishable by death; Christians who talk about their faith can be accused of an “act that encourages apostasy”. Christianity is seen as Western, making it a political target. Several Christians have been imprisoned in recent years, charged with “spying”. Sudan’s President, Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes including “genocide”, is believed to want to “rid” Sudan of Christianity. In 2016 the government announced plans to destroy 27 churches, claiming they were in violation of the designated purposes of the land they were built on.

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Sudan: ‘Put brakes on’ normalising relations, rights groups tell US

A Sudan People's Liberation Movement rebel soldier in South Kordofan state where thousands of people fled the Nuba Mountains in 2012 to escape fighting between the rebel group and the government's armed forces. (Photo: ADRIANE OHANESIAN/AFP/GettyImages)

Rights groups have urged the United States to refrain from removing Sudan from its list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. “New circumstances have emerged in Sudan that make US efforts at full normalisation dramatically ill-timed,” said the Washington DC-based Enough Project in a recent report. The NGO, which focuses on […]

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Sudan government demolishes church despite pending appeal

Sudan government demolishes church despite pending appeal

A church belonging to the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SPEC) denomination in the Khartoum suburb of Haj Yousif was demolished yesterday (11 February). The police arrived with three lorries shortly after the Sunday morning service and confiscated furniture, Bibles and musical instruments, before knocking down the 29-year-old building. The demolition […]

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Sudanese church leaders back in court

Sudanese church leaders back in court

There have been new developments in two ongoing court cases against Sudan’s two main church denominations. On 5 February, a court fined seven leaders from the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SPEC) for their “objection to the authorities”. Yohanna Tia, a church elder, was fined 5,000 Sudanese Pounds ($275). Rev. Dawoud […]

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Sudan extends ceasefire with rebels

Sudan extends ceasefire with rebels

An extension to Sudan’s ceasefire with rebel fighters in the Kordofan region has given an opportunity for communities there to plant for this year’s harvest and avoid severe food shortages. Sudan’s president has extended the unilateral ceasefire until the end of March, reports Reuters. The latest break in Sudan’s long-running […]

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South Sudan’s Christians return to Sudan, despite pressures

Village church in Goli, South Sudan. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

Many of the Christians who fled Sudan after the South’s independence in 2011 have returned, even though the authorities continue to close churches and harass Christians there, a Catholic priest told The Economist. Prayer centres that were closed have been reopened, Father Juma Charles of St Matthew’s Catholic Cathedral in […]

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US tells Sudan to ‘immediately suspend’ church demolitions

US tells Sudan to ‘immediately suspend’ church demolitions

The US Deputy Secretary of State has called on Sudan to “immediately suspend” its demolition of churches and to hold a roundtable discussion with Christian leaders to resolve disputes. John J. Sullivan, speaking at the Al-Neelain Mosque in Omdurman on Friday (17 November), said “the treatment of members of religious […]

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