Persecution or reform: what’s going on in Sudan?

Source:                www.MNNonline.org

Date:                     February 25, 20221

 

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Sudan (MNN) — Longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir’s ouster in 2019 ushered in a new era of hope for Sudanese Christians. More on that here. Today, believers question whether recent religious freedom changes will hold or not.

At least nine church buildings have been torched in the two years since a transitional government took the helm. Last month, arsonists set the Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC) aflame. “They targeted the church because they do not want to see any sign of the cross in the area,” the church’s pastor told Morning Star News.

“What we see here is not the government doing this, but radical Muslims fomenting these attacks,” Todd Nettleton with The Voice of the Martyrs USA says.

“The good news is it’s not the government attacking churches. At the same time, it shows there is a long way to go in Sudan for Christians to feel safe and to feel free to practice their faith.”

Maybe authorities didn’t spearhead the latest attacks, but believers question the government’s innocence in other instances.

A Christian youth leader who spoke out against the SCOC arson was detained on Friday. Masked men, believed to be working with national security, beat this leader and threatened to kill him if he kept speaking out.

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(Graphic courtesy of The Voice of the Martyrs USA)

Keep an eye on Sudan

Church leaders worry that persecution continues under the transitional government, even though it promoted religious freedom on the world stage. More on that here. Prior to Bashir’s ouster, Sudan held a firm position on the United States’ Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) list for two decades.

“Two or three years ago, we were reporting stories of the government reclaiming church properties and bulldozing church buildings,” Nettleton notes.

Support Sudanese Christians here through VOM USA. Use the prompts listed alongside this article to guide your intercession, and keep an eye on the headlines. “Watch the transitional government,” Nettleton says.

“As we get closer and closer to when those free and fair elections have been promised [to take place], will they allow a civilian-elected government to take control?”

Furthermore, “some of the people in key positions are holdovers from the regime of Omar al Bashir,” he adds. “When push comes to shove, will they actually step aside?”

Pray the transitional government will honor “the principle that a Sudanese citizen can be a Christian, and a Christian citizen deserves just as much protection [and] support from their government as a Muslim citizen does,” Nettleton requests.

Header image courtesy of The Voice of the Martyrs USA via Facebook

 

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