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ICC Note:

After a 24-hour notice expired, Sudanese officials demolished a church in North Khartoum on July 7, leaving 600 congregants without a place of worship. Over the weekend, the reasoning behind that otherwise baseless demolition was provided: Sudanese authorities believe that “the remaining churches were enough for those Christians who stayed in Sudan.” This, of course, following the Sudanese regime’s announcement that it has placed a moratorium on the construction of new churches. Following South Sudan’s succession in 2011, President Omar Hassan al-Bashir promised to make Sudan a “purely Islamic” society. Recent events, including the demolition, moratorium, and involuntary holding of a Christian mother and her family stand as evidence that Bashir meant what he said. 

07/14/2014 Sudan (BBC) – The Sudan Council of Churches has criticised the authorities for banning the construction of new churches.

Over the weekend, a Sudanese government minister said there were already enough churches to provide for Christians.

The council’s secretary-general told the BBC the announcement came after a church was demolished near the capital, Khartoum, this month by town planners.

Sudan is majority Muslim, but officially guarantees freedom of religion.

Following the secession of South Sudan in July 2011, many of Sudan’s Christian inhabitants moved to the South.

Shalil Abdullah, a minister of Guidance and Endowments, was quoted as saying on Saturday that the remaining churches were enough for those Christians who stayed in Sudan.

But Rev Kori El Ramli, the secretary-general of the Sudan Council of Churches, said he was surprised by the move as church leaders had always had a good relationship with the authorities.

“We are growing, we need more churches,” he told the BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme.

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