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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Sudanese church leaders back in court

While church properties were returned to the SCOC, other church bodies like SPEC are also in conflict with the government over the ownership of their properties in Bahri (Khartoum North) and Omdurman. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

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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Ceasefire holds but food shortage threatens Sudan’s Nuba people

A young girl grinds some grain in the shade of her home in the Nuba Mountains. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

The war planes may have gone and the bombings stopped, thanks to a ceasefire, but the people of Sudan’s Nuba Mountains are now battling another enemy: hunger. Six years of civil war between Sudan’s government troops and the SPLM-N rebels, fighting for self-determination, has destroyed communities and infrastructure in the […]

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Sudan: two church leaders fined, trial of five others postponed

The Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC) in Bahri, North Khartoum marked for demolition by order of the government in June 2014. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

Two Sudanese church leaders have been found guilty of criminal misappropriation and trespass, following a long-running dispute over church land and property. Rafat Samir, chairman of the Lands and Buildings Committee of the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SPEC), and Daniel William, the deputy chairman, were each fined 5,000 Sudanese pounds (approximately […]

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Sudan Church of Christ leaders charged with sound pollution for ‘noisy’ services

A 2015 church service in Sudan's Nuba Mountains (World Watch Monitor)

Five Sudanese Christians arrested, but later released, last Sunday (22 October) have now been charged with causing sound pollution through overly loud church services. The five church leaders – Ayouba Telyan, Abdelbagi Tutu, Ali El Hakim, Ambarator Hamad and Haibil Ibrahim – were summoned to court yesterday morning (26 October), but […]

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Government again pressures Sudanese Church of Christ leaders

Government again pressures Sudanese Church of Christ leaders

Leaders of the Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC) have been detained for some hours in the capital, Khartoum, during which they were ordered to hand over ownership of their church to government officials, by transferring authority from an elected committee to a state-sanctioned rival committee. The five men, who, according to […]

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