Christian school that was destroyed lat April reopens amidst growing persecution in Sudan. Since the secession of South Sudan from Sudan, Christians in Sudan have become more presecuted.
10/30/2012 Sudan (MorningStarNews) – Amid threats of further losses, classes resumed this month at a Khartoum Bible school and church compound that Muslim extremists set ablaze in April, an area Christian source said.
Students and administrators at Gerif West Bible School in Sudan have yet to fully recover their losses from the April 21 attack, but the source said classes resumed on Oct. 15 even as area Muslims vie to take school land and anti-Christian messages emanate from a nearby mosque loudspeaker on most Fridays.
Muslim leaders have been asserting through the mosque loudspeaker that Christian institutions should not be permitted in Sudan, as the country should be a “purely Islamic state” since the secession of South Sudan on July 9, 2011, he said.
“We are expecting the level of persecution to rise in Sudan in the coming days,” a pastor who works at the Bible school told Morning Star News by phone, adding that hostilities against churches and Christians were intensifying.
Islamist assailants shouting threats against Christians and “Allahu Akbar [God is greater]” on April 21 broke down the Christian compound wall with a bulldozer and set fire to the school and a Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SPEC) building. Also damaged were a clinic, a home for the elderly and living quarters.
The hard-line Muslim sheikh who led the attack, Muhammad Abdelkrim, on Sept. 21 urged Muslims to tolerate no Christian presence and to have no dealings with them because they were “infidels,” the source said.
“We will never forgive Christians” for not being Muslims, the imam declared during a mosque service on Sept. 21 through amplified loudspeakers, besides asserting that Christian institutions have no place in Sudan.
The attack ruined four halls used by three churches and burned the belongings of students at a dormitory. School library books, including 50 cartons of Bibles, were also destroyed. The assailants destroyed school furniture and broke into a safe and stole college funds.
Police stood by watching the destruction, according to a statement from SPEC.
The attacks followed an effort by area Muslims to take control of at least part of the land, and another attempt has since emerged.
The first attempt to seize the land came after the attacking Islamists obtained an approval from the Commissioner of Khartoum to take part of the property in April; with the intent of taking all of the property, according to SPEC, the mob showed up with a bulldozer on April 9 and threatened to demolish the Bible school.
“The church was not informed [of the commissioner’s decision],” said a SPEC statement at the time. “It is not the mandate of the Commissioner of Khartoum to allocate a private property to others.”
SPEC leaders held the documents showing proof of the church’s ownership of the land, and police were able to persuade the mob to withdraw. But with the support of “Public Committees,” Islamist bodies supported by the government that monitor Christian activities in Sudan, the Islamic extremists continue to lay claim to the land as a justification for their threats to take it by force
The Commissioner of Khartoum based his approval of the takeover on the mistaken assumption that the land belongs to South Sudanese Christians, and that it must therefore be confiscated since they were no longer citizens of Sudan following secession, according to SPEC.