ICC Note: In the latest crackdown on Christians in Sudan, government authorities have arrested three pastors in the past week. Officials have released no reason for their arrest. According to Morning Star News, both men have objected to government destruction of churches. Both men are of Nuba background, ethnically, and both come from the Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC) denomination. Sudan carries a deplorable record upholding religious freedom. While the constitution explicithly protects freedom of worship, President Omar al-Bashir is notorious for using his security service to bulldoze churches, intimidate Christians, arbitrarily detain pastors, and unjustly try Christians for crimes that carry the death penalty. In the past two years, the cases of Meriam Ibrahim and Pastors Yat Michael and Peter Yein have highlighted both Sudan’s persecution of Christians legally, but also their responsiveness to international pressure. In both cases, these Christians were facing execution and were finally released because of international pressure applied to Sudanese authorities.
12/21/15 Khartoum, Sudan (Morning Star News) – Security officials arrested two Sudanese pastors in the Khartoum area of Sudan on Friday (Dec. 18), sources said.
Authorities from the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) arrested both leaders of the Sudan Church of Christ (SCOC) separately at their respective homes at 7 a.m., they said. The Rev. Kowa Shamaal, head of missions at the SCOC, was arrested at his house in Hai Thiba Al Hamyida, in Khartoum Bahry (North Khartoum), while the Rev. Hassan Abdelrahim, SCOC vice moderator, was arrested at his home in Ombada block 43 in Omdurman.
Family members and church officials have been given no reason for the arrest of the pastors, who have objected to government demolition of SCOC worship buildings. Their whereabouts were also unknown.
“We have not gotten any information on why our pastors were detained, and their families have not been informed also,” an SCOC official told Morning Star News.