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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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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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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US to lift Sudan sanctions despite human rights concerns

Teenage girls carry water in a refugee camp for people from the Nuba Mountains in Sudan. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

The US has announced it will lift economic sanctions on Sudan “in recognition of [its] positive actions” in fighting terrorism, expanding humanitarian access and reinforcing a cease-fire in conflict areas, but rights groups say the decision is premature as there has been little progress on human rights. The decision, which […]

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