Yesterday morning, Sudanese authorities demolished the Church of Christ in Bahri (North Khartoum) in ignorance of an appeal by that church’s pastor to delay the demolition until after the rainy season. The church, which boasted 600 congregants, was destroyed for it’s “shanty” construction; however, a similarly constructed mosque that shares the same land plot as the church remains unharmed. Other churches, Christian schools and training centers have been forcibly closed and demolished by the reigning regime, which came to power in a 1989 military coup. President al-Bashir’s pledge to make what remains of Sudan following the south’s succession in 2011 “purely Islamic” continues to be enforced by members of his secret service in the north and his proxy militia, the janjaweed, in the south.
07/01/2014 Sudan (CNN) – A Sudanese government force destroyed a church Monday, ignoring the wails of nearby residents, witnesses told journalists working for CNN.
The attack came a day after authorities sent a letter saying they would demolish the church, priest Kuoa Shimal said.
Government sources did not immediately return calls from CNN.
Complaints about the predominantly Muslim country’s lack of religious freedom came under the international spotlight recently after Mariam Yehya Ibrahim, a Christian mother of two, refused to renounce her faith and was sentenced to death. After an international outcry, she was freed and reunited with her American husband.
The 70-strong force Monday arrived at the Alizba slums near the capital, Khartoum, around 10 a.m., witnesses said. Some were dressed in plain clothes.