Khartoum Court Dismisses Case Against Sudan Church of Christ
08/10/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that a criminal court based in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, has determined a case in favor of the Sudan Church of Christ (SCOC) due to lack of merit. Government representatives filed the lawsuit in 2016 after the Sudan Church of Christ declined to hand over its leadership and ownership to a state-sanctioned committee.
The leader of the SCOC, Reverend Ayoub Talian Tutu, confirmed the news to ICC and stated, “The case was to be heard on July 30, but we thank God that today on August 8, we got a fair hearing before the presiding judge who found inadequate evidence and unconvincing information as to why we should hand over the running of our church to a state body. He declared that the leaders of our denomination were legally elected.”
The regime led by Omar al Bashir has pushed for complete political, social, and religious Islamization. However, this would entirely transform Sudan into an Islamic state and diminish the remaining 20 percent of Christians who already are a minority group.
SCOC legal counsel Demas James shared with ICC, “The case was dismissed for lack of merit on the prosecutor’s side. The SCOC leadership was put in place through a rigorous process as per the church’s constitution, without contravening any law that could have amount(ed) to a criminal case. It was purely an administrative issue raised in a criminal court but we thank God that our legal submissions were sufficient to convince the court.”
One of the church leaders, Rev. Kuwa Shamal, expressed his gratitude for the case dismissal, “We are very happy because the burden of being taken to court is over. The Lord has done great things. The judge has granted us the freedom to continue with our church activities without external influence and directed us to report immediately if any one of the government agents comes closer to our offices and churches.”
Regardless of the many cases pending in different courts and the impending demolition of churches, persecuted Christians in Sudan have not given up hope.
“Our church is grateful to ICC for always praying for us and calling to check on us every week. Their concern about the welfare of the Church in Sudan incredibly overwhelms our heart. Although we do not trust the government about the court ruling, because of their tendency of reviving Christian cases, we hope that God will continue giving us victory even in case of an appeal.” Rev Shamal added.
The persecution of Christians in Sudan has risen with the government restricting evangelism and other outreach activities, prohibiting street preaching and crusades in Khartoum, and limiting pastors and evangelists to go on missions in the country. The few underground missionaries in Sudan are always at risk of being attacked or killed if anyone learns that they are Christian ministers.
ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa, Nathan Johnson, stated, “We praise God for the outcome of this case in favor of our brothers and sisters who are part of the SCOC. We pray for the families that were directly affected and have experienced hostility in their country. We hope and pray for the protection of Christians in Sudan who continue to be targeted in numerous ways.”
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