Sudan: update on Christian leader summoned to court

Christians in Sudan request prayer for Rafat, chair of the Evangelical Community Council – a committee of the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SPEC) responsible for managing SPEC properties.

Rafat attended the Criminal Court in Omdurman with his lawyer Mr Adam Mosa Abu Anja as scheduled on 17th July, but the judge postponed the defence hearing and witness examinations until 31st July and 15th September. The reason for the postponement was that the judge was busy with other things.

In 2012 the SPEC dismissed the previous chair of the committee, Hamad Muhammad Salah, for committing fraud, and appointed Rafat to replace him. However, Mr Salah complained to the government, which “reinstated” him even though the government has no legal authority to appoint someone to a church committee.

Since his “reinstatement” Mr Salah has been “selling” property belonging to the SPEC to businessmen aligned with the government, against the wishes of the SPEC. On several occasions SPEC members have been detained or physically assaulted when they were peacefully protesting against these “sales”.

In 2016 an administrative court ruled that Rafat is the legal chair of the Community Council, not Mr Salah. However, Mr Salah has accused Rafat and his assistant Daniel Williams of trespass, criminal possession (pretending to be a church representative) and illegally impersonating the chair of the Community Council. The Criminal Court has begun a case against them, based on these charges.

Source: Middle East Concern