US State Department adds Pakistan to religious-freedom watch list

Burial of victims of a suicide attack on the Methodist Bethel Church in Quetta, Pakistan, on Sunday 17 December in which at least 9 people were killed. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The US State Department has placed Pakistan on a “Special Watch List” for severe violators of religious freedom, it announced yesterday (4 January) with the publication of its annual list of ‘Countries of Particular Concern’. The announcement comes as the US government cuts security aid to Pakistan, saying the country . . . Read More

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 . . . Read More

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 . . . Read More

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 . . . Read More

Will end of sanctions against Sudan ease Bible shortage for 1 million Christians?

Will end of sanctions against Sudan ease Bible shortage for 1 million Christians?
Measures by the Sudanese government to prevent Bibles from entering the country are leaving the churches there with a serious shortage of Scripture and teaching materials. One senior church leader, who has overseen the import of hundreds of thousands of Bibles and other pieces of Christian literature to Sudan, told . . . Read More

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 . . . Read More

Sudan church leader re-arrested, with at least 6 more, over government pressure for property

Sudan's government continues with the gradual confiscation of properties belonging to, among others, the SCOC and SEPC in Bahri (Khartoum North) and Omdurman. In June, Sudanese church leaders risked going public with their concerns by sending an open letter to the government.
A Sudan church leader who already spent Christmas 2015 in prison on charges of “spying” – he was freed due to lack of evidence after 19 days – has been re-arrested for a day, along with five other fellow church leaders. Those arrested belong to the Sudan Church of Christ . . . Read More

Sudan demolishes another church, but MPs block school on Sundays

The Baptist Church in Omdurman that was demolished this week. (Photo: Open Doors International)
The Sudanese government demolished another church on Wednesday (2 August), the day after Members of the Khartoum state parliament rejected an order by the Minister of Education for all Christian schools in the capital to open on a Sunday. The Baptist Church in Omdurman, across the Nile, just west from . . . Read More

Sudan church council leader summoned before Criminal Court

Sudan church council leader summoned before Criminal Court
In the latest development in a long-running legal dispute, the chair of Sudan’s Evangelical Community Council has been summoned before the Criminal Court in Bahri (Khartoum North) on Monday (17 July). Rafat Samir, who was appointed chair of the Council in 2012, is accused by his predecessor of trespassing, criminal . . . Read More