By Wasul Chemosi
Washington, D.C. September 24 (International Christian Concern) – Six months after being attacked, a Bible school in Sudan remains vacant and may be turned over to a local mosque that has claimed ownership of the Christians’ land.
On March 21, 150 men from a local mosque raided a Bible school belonging to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Gerif West, 10 km from the Khartoum airport in Sudan, local church elders told ICC. The men reportedly shouted “Allah Akbar” (“God is great”) before ransacking the school and lighting it on fire.
“Everything was vandalized… computers, photocopy machines, Bibles, windows, doors…,” Francis Dawid Badwy, a church elder who witnessed the attack, told ICC. “People were shouting that they did not want the church or Christianity in Sudan.”
The Bible school sits on eleven acres of land and is clearly visible by two nearby mosques. “The Muslims have wanted the land for quite some time now,” said Rev. Kodi. “They have wanted to use the land for a playground and other development projects.”
The school has also provided a safe haven to Christian converts from Islam which, some believe, may be the reason local Muslims have demanded rights to the land. “I left everything, but thank God, I found a home here in the Bible school,” said Hassan Fadallah Mohammed, who was forced to flee his home in 1995 after his conversion to Christianity. Dozens of Christians like Mohammed had found refuge in the school, which has raised tensions between the Muslim and Christian communities in the area, a local pastor said.
The school’s future, however, remains uncertain and church leadership are waiting on a court decision to see whether or not they will maintain ownership of the grounds. “The case is still in court and to date everything has been silent,” explained Rev. Kodi. “We are expecting a lot of challenges to take place in our churches in the coming months. We appeal to our friends and well-wishers to give a hand in the rebuilding our Bible school to allow the students to resume their studies.”