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02/19/2021 Sudan (International Christian Concern) – The Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC) in Al Jazirah state was burned down last month, making it the ninth church since 2019 to be incinerated by Islamic extremists.

Pastor Shamal of SCOC told Morning Star News that the congregation departed the church just minutes before the attack. “They targeted the church because they do not want to see any sign of the cross in the area,” said Shamal, adding that the building was the only place of worship for Christians in the Tambul area.

According to the Morning Star report, hate messages targeting Christians were trending on social media in the weeks leading up to the attack: “In every city or village where Muslims live, they should not allow anything that belongs to infidels such as church buildings to be there,” posted one user in early January.

Sudan is a 90% Muslim nation that until recently has been known for its strict adherence to Sharia law, as well as extreme persecution of Christians. Since the removal of Islamist dictator Omar al-Bashir in 2019, Sudanese Christians have experienced greater religious freedoms and are hoping for an increased ability to form churches and express their beliefs. Sudan was listed as the 13th most difficult country to be a Christian according to Open Doors’ 2021 World Watch List and needs our continued prayers and support. Please join us in praying for the perseverance and growth of the Sudan church, as well as for government leaders to keep taking steps towards religious freedom and protection of all citizens.

For interviews please contact Alison Garcia at [email protected].