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Sudan Tribune

Plural news and views on Sudan

Sudanese authorities demolish Church outside Khartoum

Sudanese worshippers outside Soba Al Aradi church after its demolishment on Sunday 7 May 2017 (ST Photo)
Sudanese worshippers outside Soba Al Aradi church after its demolishment on Sunday 7 May 2017 (ST Photo)

May 8, 2017 (KHARTOUM) – Khartoum State authorities on Sunday demolished a church in Soba Al-Aradi suburb, 19 km from Khartoum, despite pledges by Sudanese government officials to stop Churches’ demolition.

“This morning Sunday, May 7, 2017, while Sudanese Church of Christ Congregation gathering for Sunday services, Khartoum authorities bulldozed their church “Soba Al Aradi church”,” said a statement extended to Sudan Tribune by a Sudanese group of faith activists called “International Solidarity Campaign with Sudanese Christians (ISCSC)”.

The group further said the “Sudanese authorities arrested two of the destroyed church’s pastors Paul Salah and Naji Abdallah”.

The statement called for an international campaign to guarantee freedom of worship for the Sudanese Christians and to protect their churches stressing that “Sudanese Christians are suffering from freedom of worship, arrestment of pastors, and confiscation of church properties”.

Sudanese authorities earlier this year delayed a plan to demolish some 27 churches including Soba Al Aradi church, pointing they are not officially recognised as churches.

However, church leaders say the authorities refuse to give them building permits when they submit an application for the construction of a church. They stress this situation force them to resort to these houses of prayer in the far suburbs of Khartoum.

On the other side, Sudanese authorities say they guarantee the freedom of religion pointing to the many churches in the capital.

The Situation of Sudanese and south Sudanese Christians in the country has been aggravated since the separation of South Sudan in July 2011.

At the time, President Omer al-Bashir said he wants to adopt a ”100 percent Islamic constitution” after the secession.

(ST)