ICC Note: Local police in Omdurman, Sudan demolished a Sudanese Christian church on October 21st according to Morning Star News. When church members pushed for an explanation, local officials informed the congregation the location of the church was in an area designated for business construction. The explanation was not fully taken at its word as a mosque stands near the location of the church. Appeals to stop the destruction fell on deaf ears as the destruction of Christian church buildings is a recurring occurrence in Sudan. President Al-Bashir of Sudan has vowed to enact strict Sharia law in his nation while expelling foreign Christians and arresting national born believers. Sudan has been a Country of Particular Concern (CPS) in the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) annual report since 1999.
10/23/2015 Juba, South Sudan (Morning Star News) – Police in Omdurman, Sudan demolished a church building on Wednesday (Oct. 21), sources said.
A bulldozer rammed down the Sudanese Lutheran Church building in the Karari area of Omdurman, twin city of Khartoum across the Nile River, church leaders said. The building was reportedly also used by an Evangelical Lutheran Church congregation.
Local authorities said they tore down the building because it was located in an area designated for business. Area Christians said they did not accept this rationale as a mosque stands nearby. Karari officials had told church leaders that they would not demolish the building but later gave them 72 hours’ notice to prepare for its destruction, church leaders said.
“The government has lied to us, because they told us that this church will not be demolished,” one leader said on condition of anonymity.
Appeals from the church to let the building remain were dismissed. The congregation will find it difficult to find a place to worship this Sunday.
“This is something that was well planned,” another church leader said.
Sudan since 2012 has and expelled foreign Christians and bulldozed church buildings, usually on the pretext that they belonged to South Sudanese. They have also raided Christian bookstores and arrested Christians.
Sudanese authorities on Feb. 17, 2014 demolished a church building in Omdurman without prior notice, area sources said. Bulldozers accompanied by local police and personnel from of Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) destroyed the Sudanese Church of Christ building in the Ombada area of Omdurman, they said.