Sudan Refuses Pastor’s Appeal, Demolishes Church of Christ in North Khartoum

A 600-Congregant Church in North Khartoum has been Demolished and Several Members Injured by Sudanese Authorities

06/30/2014 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that the Church of Christ in Bahri (north Khartoum) was demolished this morning by Sudanese authorities. Authorities ignored an appeal by the church’s pastor, which plead for the demolition to be stayed until after the rainy season. Meanwhile, a neighboring mosque remains untouched.

According to ICC sources, the Church of Christ in Bahri, Sudan’s third-largest city, was highly attended and “one of [the] big local churches in the area.” The reason provided for the church’s demolition is that “it was built on [a] square that belongs to [the] government for public services.” For 20 years, the church had peacefully shared space on that square with its counterpart, the Bahri Mosque, which, after the Church’s state-sanctioned demolition this morning, remains unharmed.

In an email to ICC this morning, a Church of Christ pastor in Khartoum wrote, “The people who used to attend service are about 600 people and they will not have place at moment to worship, even though the pastor in charge appealed to Authorities to give him time until after rain season but they refused.”

According to a former Sudanese pastor now living and working in the United States, members of the congregation were injured as result of the demolition.

Previous church demolitions by Sudanese authorities have been recorded. In February of this year, Morning Star News reported that “bulldozers accompanied by local police and personnel from the National Intelligence and Security Services destroyed the Sudanese Church of Christ building in the Ombada area of Omdurman.”

In October of 2013, Sudanese “police and security forces broke through the fence of Bahri Evangelical Church…beat and arrested Christians in the compound and asserted parts of the property belonged to the Muslim investor accompanying them,” according to Christian Today. And in June of 2012, “authorities in Khartoum demolished two church buildings…days after confiscating three Catholic schools,” reported Christian Post.

ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa, Cameron Thomas, said, “We remain deeply concerned for Christians in Bahri, Khartoum, and Omdurman, who continue to be increasingly repressed at the hands of a regime that has promised to install a ‘purely Islamic’ society throughout post-succession Sudan. The motivation for this morning’s demolition is clear: a church has been destroyed and its congregants injured while its Islamic counterpart remains unharmed. The al-Bashir regime has resumed a campaign to drive Christians from the heart of Sudan in pursuit of its grossly inhumane ‘Islamization’ and ‘Arabization’ policies. As Sudan continues to bar a family from leaving Sudan for its Christian faith, it’s actively driving out others for theirs.”

For interviews, contact Cameron Thomas, Regional Manager for Africa:
RM-Africa@persecution.org

In disseminating this release, we request that you reference International Christian Concern and www.persecution.org. ICC is a human rights and faith-based organization, headquartered in Washington, D.C., that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. We provide assistance to those in need, lend a voice to the voiceless, and write the stories of the worldwide persecuted Church. For additional information, please contact us by phone at 800-422-5441, or by email at icc@persecution.org.

ICC is on a mission to help persecuted Christians. Will you join us?