‘Window of opportunity’ to end Christian persecution in Sudan

Demonstrators gather in Sudan’s capital of Khartoum, Friday, April 12, 2019. The Sudanese protest movement has rejected the military’s declaration that it has no ambitions to hold the reins of power for long after ousting the president of 30 years, Omar al-Bashir. (AP Photo)

By Eno Adeogun

A religious freedom charity has said that political upheaval in Sudan has presented a window of opportunity for Christians in the country.

Omar al Bashir was removed by the military after almost 30 years in power.

Release International told Premier the new leadership will have the opportunity to enshrine freedom to worship in the law.

Speaking during Premier’s New Hour, Andrew Boyd from the charity explained: “There have been decades now of extreme persecution and Release International’s hope is that this could now be a turning point. It is a window of opportunity for things to change.

“And we call on the international community, leaders of the free world, to help Sudan make the transition it needs to become a democracy, and to expect and require and encourage that country to give that most basic freedom that everybody needs.

“And that’s the freedom of faith.”

Protesters celebrate in Khartoum, Sudan, Thursday, April 11, 2019. Tens of thousands of Sudanese were making their way to the center of the countryÕs capital on Thursday, cheering and clapping in celebration as two senior officials said the military had forced longtime autocratic President Omar al-Bashir to step down after 30 years in power. (AP Photo)

Boyd said Christians in the predominantly Muslim country have faced the heaviest oppression in the Nuba Mountains, where the government has been driving out minority groups in a programme of ethnic cleansing.

Churches have also been demolished and church leaders have been arrested, with church property often seized.

The charity said there have been “encouraging signs” for the two million Christians in Sudan since the coup.

A Sudanese soldier protects protesters at a demonstration near the military headquarters, Tuesday, April 9, 2019, in the capital Khartoum, Sudan. Activists behind anti-government protests in Sudan say security forces have killed at least seven people, including a military officer, in another attempt to break up the sit-in outside the military headquarters in Khartoum. A spokeswoman for the Sudanese Professionals Association, said clashes erupted again early Tuesday between security forces and protesters who have been camping out in front of the complex in Khartoum since Saturday. (AP Photo)

The Chief of the Military Council, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, has released hundreds of political prisoners and described the recent protests as a “peaceful revolution”.

Sudan has been listed by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom among the world’s ten worst violators of religious freedom.

Boyd said while there has been limited media coverage on the persecution of Christians in the African nation, it is important that prayers are said for the people there.

Listen to Premier’s Eno Adeogun speaking with Andrew Boyd:

Source: Premier