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ICC Note: As Christmas approaches, Sudanese authorities continue to crack down on Christians and churches. Already this month, Sudan has authorities have arrested multiple pastors and have held them without charge. President Omar al-Bashir’s government maintains a deplorable history persecuting Christians, especially since South Sudan seceded in 2011. This expose tells of church demolitions and burnings, arbitrary arrests, and land grabs the state has perpetrated against Christians in a country that both protects religious freedom in its constitution under law, but imposes Islamic sharia law and subjugates religious minorities in practice.

12/24/15 Sudan (AllAfrica) – Few Christians in Sudan will enjoy Christmas this year as government authorities continue to crackdown on churches and parishioners alike.

Just a week before Christmas, security forces arrested Reverend Kowa Shamaal and Reverend Hassan Abdelraheem from the Sudan Church of Christ denomination at their homes in Khartoum North and Omdurman, respectively. No reason for the arrest has been given for the two church leaders who come from the Nuba Mountain region in South Kordofan State, according to news reports.

Church demolitions

On October 17th, government officials warned the administration of the Lutheran church in Al-Thawra, Omdurman, that it will be demolished because they want to restructure the area. Without media attention except for a few Facebook posts and pleads from churchgoers, Sudanese authorities bulldozed the 33-year-old church building just three days later. “They gave us a notice that the church will be demolished after 72 hours,” said Pastor Gabriel Koko of the Omdurman Lutheran Church. Pastor Koko added that they were in the process of attempting to register the church when the demolition happened.

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