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Sudan’s church schools to revert to Christian week

April 25 - 2019 KHARTOUM
St. Matthew's Cathedral in Khartoum (File photo)
St. Matthew's Cathedral in Khartoum (File photo)

Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC) on Wednesday issued a decision, making Sunday the official weekend recess day for Christian schools throughout Sudan.

While Christian schools in Sudan have traditionally followed the Christian week, an order by Sudan’s Ministry of Education under the Al Bashir regime in July 2017 directed church schools to observe the weekend on Friday and Saturday, and operate schools on Sunday, following the Muslim week.

In January this year, bishops of churches complained that the Sudanese Ministry of Education does not appoint teachers for Christian education and that Christian holidays are not included in the official calendar of religious observances.

The head of the Anglican Church, Archbishop of Canterbury Nick Pines, said at a Religious Freedoms Workshop organised by the Committee on Freedom of Religion, that there are major problems facing Christians. He pointed to the Khartoum state legislation, no leave on Sundays, the demolition of churches, land seizures, and the registration of children in other religious communities.

In Wednesday’s statement via the official Sudan News Agency (SUNA), the TMC directed the competent authorities to take the necessary measures to enforce the decision.

Sudan remains among 10 countries on a US blacklist for having engaged in or tolerated “systematic, ongoing, [and] egregious violations of religious freedom,” according to a statement issued by the US Department of State in January.

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