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ICC Note: After the secession of South Sudan from Sudan-proper, those Christians left within the Khartoum-controlled North have become targeted by a religious cleansing campaign designed to intimidate them into fleeing to the South. This latest example further illuminates a problem which the international community seemingly continues to do its best to ignore.
10/30/2013 Sudan (Christian Today) – After months of bulldozing or taking over church buildings on the pretext that they belong to South Sudanese who are no longer citizens of the country, authorities are aiding a Muslim businessman’s effort to take over church property in Khartoum North, sources said.
Sudan’s police and security forces broke through the fence of Khartoum Bahri Evangelical Church this month, beat and arrested Christians in the compound and asserted parts of the property belonged to the Muslim investor accompanying them, sources said.
As Muslims nearby shouted, “Allahu Akbar [God is greater],” plainclothes police and personnel from the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) on Oct. 5 broke onto the property aboard a truck and two Land Cruisers. After beating several Christians who were in the compound, they arrested some of them as well as Pastor Dawood Fadul of the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SPEC); they were all released later that day.
Authorities asserted that Muslim businessman Hisham Hamada El-Neel had signed a contract giving him a right to invest in land that is part of the church property. Church members were not told who gave him the contract, and they suspect the government is behind the move, sources said.
The church property is used for conferences, Christmas celebrations and other worship activities.
“This is a serious issue, and we are trying to stop it,” a source told Morning Star News by phone.
With help from authorities, El-Neel has seized part of a building attached to the worship hall and part of the hall itself, said the sources on condition of anonymity.
“Six more parts of the church property will be taken soon by the same Muslim tycoon,” a source said.
Church members in Khartoum North appealed to Christians worldwide to pray for them, saying they have continued to suffer under the Islamic government since South Sudan seceded from Sudan on July 9, 2011.
Besides raiding Christian bookstores and arresting Christians, authorities threatened to kill South Sudanese Christians who do not leave or cooperate with them in their effort to find other Christians.