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 . . . Read More

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 2017 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

‘Discreet and systematic persecution of Christians’ in Sudan

Sudanese government started demolishing  this Sudan Church of Christ (SCOC) building in the Suba region, 20 km south of the capital, Khartoum, early May 2017. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
A new report on Sudan, published earlier this week by the Enough Project, says the US must consider Sudan’s persecution of Christians and other minority groups before it lifts the remaining sanctions against the country. The report, ‘Radical Intolerance: Sudan’s Religious Oppression and Embrace of Extremist Groups’, says Sudan is . . . Read More

Freedom of thought ‘regressing on a global scale’

There are many Pakistani Christian women like Aasiya Noreen who live in fear of the Blasphemy law in their country and the (potential of) abuse. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The 2017 Freedom of Thought Report, presented yesterday (5 December), should be alarming “to all who care about freedom of thought and expression”, as it shows “a pattern of regression on a global scale”, says its editor, Bob Churchill. The report, published by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) . . . 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

Iraq and Philippines Christians join Red Wednesday religious freedom solidarity display

Iraq and Philippines Christians join Red Wednesday religious freedom solidarity display
Landmarks in the UK, Ireland, Iraq and the Philippines are due to be floodlit in red today (22 November) to highlight the persecution of faith groups for their “peacefully held beliefs”. The “Red Wednesday” initiative is in its second year and has been pioneered by Aid to the Church 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

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 . . . Read More

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 . . . 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