‘Christians harassed in Sudan’: Council of Churches
Christian Nuba of El Izba district in Khartoum North have requested the Khartoum State authorities to allot a piece of land for the construction of a church. The Sudan Council of Churches (SCC) is planning a general meeting to discuss the problems of Christians in Sudan.
On 30 June, the church of El Izba, populated by many people from the Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan, was demolished by the authorities. The Christian Nuba now requested the allotment of a new plot to reconstruct the church, where they will be able to “practice their worship, similar to their Muslim brethren in El Izba”.
Rev. Kodi El Ramli, SCC’s Secretary-General, told Radio Dabanga that the authorities justified the demolition of the El Izba church in June on the basis that the church could not prove the building’s ownership.
“The authorities informed us that they would not allow the building of a new church in El Izba, saying that there are enough other churches available in Khartoum.”
The Nuba priest denounced this standpoint, and referred to the Sudanese Interim Constitution of 2005. “As Sudanese citizens, we have a constitutional right to visit a church in the area we live in, in particular because many people cannot afford, or are not able to travel to churches in other districts. There are many mosques in the neighbourhood, but no one has ordered their removal.”
Rev. El Ramli noted that the Council of Churches has received many complaints about harassments and discrimination of Christians. “They are systematically obstructed to visit their churches.”
“The Pentecostal Church in Khartoum in particular is targeted these days. Its main building, 20 years old, was closed, and any activity was prohibited. Recently, they received a warning from the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), that the church building would be confiscated, for the benefit of the Sudanese government.”
He announced that the SCC’s Board of Trustees is planning to convene “a large meeting with the heads of all churches, to discuss these problems extensively”.
File photo: Demolition of a church building of the Sudanese Church of Christ in Omdurman, 17 February 2014 (Morning Star)
Sudan demolishes church in Khartoum (1 July 2014)
Sudan prohibits construction of new churches (13 June 2014)
Sudanese Church of Christ building bulldozed (20 February 2014)
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