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ICC Note: The possible death penalty case of 2 South Sudanese pastors in Sudan has grabbed international attention as religious freedom advocates fear the real possibility that the Sudanese government will truly execute the two men. With the trial set to begin May 31, Peter Yein Reith and Yat Michael Ruot stand charged with crimes against the state, including spying. The men were arrested in January when visiting Khartoum to preach. The Sudanese government carries a notoriously terrible record persecuting Christians.

5/26/15 Khartoum, Sudan (FOX News) – Two Christian pastors from South Sudan who traveled north to Sudan and were arrested on charges of spying could face the death penalty when their trial begins next week, according to their attorneys.

Yat Michael Ruot and Peter Yein Reith, both Presbyterian pastors from the breakaway Christian nation of South Sudan, are being held by Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services on charges of undermining the constitution and espionage. Their supporters say their arrest and pending trial is just the latest effort by the militant Islamist government in Khartoum to stamp out Christianity“ I’m fearful that they will execute these pastors for practicing their faith.”

“I’m fearful that they will execute these pastors for practicing their faith,” said David Curry, CEO of Open Doors USA, a group dedicated to advocating for the victims of Christian persecution.

The pair also was charged with “inciting organized groups” and “offending Islamic beliefs,” which call for imprisonment.

The trial was set to begin Tuesday, but was postponed to May 31.

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