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01/10/2020 Sudan (International Christian Concern) – On December 23, Sudanese Christians rejoiced as they celebrated a holiday tradition that had been suspended and threatened for years under former President Omar al-Bashir.

Al-Bashir’s government was widely criticized of persecuting Christians and other religious minorities. This year, the first Christmas season since al-Bashir’s overthrow in April, Sudanese Christians rejoiced to worship Jesus’ birth.

The March for Jesus holiday tradition was hosted by Bahri Evangelical Church. Together, the church marched praising God with hymns and chants. One of the church elders to AP, its return is “an expression of religious freedom. We can live our lives with ease”. This march joined other notes of improvement including Christmas declared a public holiday, and a Christian woman was appointed to the interim Sovereign Council. The U.S. also has issued an ambassador for the first time in 23 years.

The transitional government still has much work to do. Many churches are still lacking permits or support to rebuild after demolition and damage under al-Bashir’s government. However, the steps toward progress have already prompted the U.S. to drop Sudan from the Countries of Particular Concern list. They were transferred to the Special Watch List for their significant steps made according to the administration.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected]