Urgent prayer is being requested as the second church this month is demolished in Sudan.
Christians in Sudan have asked for prayer as the authorities’ continue to demolish in Khartoum. On May 17th, the Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC) building in Algadisia, Khartoum was demolished. This comes after the demolition of the SCOC church in Soba Al Aradi ten days previously.
The demolition follows a dispute over the ownership of the land the church was built on. The SCOC built the church in Algadisia in 1983. Although someone else claimed to own the land, according to the office of The Middle East Concern, there was no accompanying evidence.
The authorities insisted that the church should vacate the land, even after showing documentary evidence of ownership.
The Middle East Concern say that the government’s campaign aims to weaken the church in Sudan by demolishing a total of 27 churches, including the two mentioned above, claiming they violate designated purposes for these plots of land. However, the authorities refuse to designate any plots to be used for church buildings, claiming there is no need for new church buildings.
In addition, the authorities are confiscating properties belonging to the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church in Bahri (Khartoum North) and Omdurman.
With this in mind, the MEC has requested prayer:
a. that the government efforts to demolish or confiscate church properties will cease
b. for wisdom, patience and peace for church leaders and members facing ongoing harassment
c. for an end to the continuous pressure against Christians in Sudan, and that Christians will know the peace of the Lord
d. that those responsible for these acts of hostility and destruction will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him
However, the Commissioner of Jebel Awliya locality has denied that the demolition of church buildings is part of a discrimination campaign against Christians.
Commissioner Jalaleldin El Sheikh El Tayeb said in a press statement that the recent actions of the authorities to demolish all illegal buildings in the Soba El Aradi district did not affect the Sudanese Church of Christ alone. Instead, he referred to 12 mosques and Koran schools, three churches, and two schools. He said that the decision to remove all illegal buildings in Soba Aradi was made in 2012 by the Khartoum state Land Department and said that they were making room to provide accommodation for more than 7,000 people.
Reports of persecution of Christians in Sudan increased after President Omar Al Bashir came into power in 2011 with a pledge to enforce Sharia (Islamic law).
Source: Premier, Middle East Concern