South Sudanese Church Leaders Jailed in Sudan Charged, Could Face Death Penalty

ICC Note: Two South Sudanese pastors are being charged with spying and crimes against the constitution in Sudan and could face the death penalty or life in prison. Hardline Islamist Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has long been known to oppress Christians in his crusade to completely Islamize and Arabize Sudan, attempting to purge the country of all racial and religious minorities. In the midst of affliction, the pastors are trusting God and thank all concerned Christians for their prayers.

5/7/15 Juba, South Sudan (Morning Star News) – Sudanese authorities have charged two South Sudanese pastors under laws that call for the death penalty, their attorney said.

National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) officials have charged the Rev. Yat Michael and the Rev. Peter Yein Reith (also transliterated as Peter Yen Reith) with undermining the constitutional system (Article 50 of the Sudan Penal Code) and spying (Article 53) – offenses punishable by death or life imprisonment – and waging war against the state (Article 51), which calls for the death sentence, said the pastors’ attorney.

They are also charged with inciting organized forces to complain and assaulting religious beliefs, which call for prison sentences, the attorney said.

“The charges are serious,” the attorney, a Muslim, told Morning Star News. “However, we are doing everything possible to ensure their release. We hope to hear good news about their release in coming days.”

NISS is manned by hard-line Islamists who are given broad powers to arrest Christians, black Africans, South Sudanese and other people lowly regarded in the country that President Omar al-Bashir has pledged will be fully Arabic and Islamic. The charges appear to be based solely on the two pastors’ nationality, race and faith, sources said.

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