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Sudanese officials visit churches on Christmas day

December 26 - 2020 WAD MADANI / EL FASHER
The governor of El Gezira (C) attends the Christmas mass in an Episcopal Church (SUNA)
The governor of El Gezira (C) attends the Christmas mass in an Episcopal Church (SUNA)

The governor of El Gezira visited a Catholic Church, an Episcopal Church, and an Evangelical Church in Wad Madani yesterday.

During his address to worshipers in the Episcopal Church in the state capital, Governor Abdallah Idris lauded “the spirit of brotherhood” between Muslims and Christians in the country.

“Christians have inherent and historical rights in the country,” he said, and thanked them for “their role in combating tyranny and corruption, repairing the social fabric, laying foundations for peaceful coexistence, and preserving peace, far from ethnicity, tribalism and racism”.

Safya Abdelrahman, Director of the El Gezira Ministry of Social Affairs, also pointed to “the deep-rooted relationship between Muslims and Christians in El Gezira”.

“Christian and Muslims have equal rights in all aspects of life,” she emphasised. “The oppression Christian denominations suffered during the previous era will not be repeated following a revolution that set justice and equality as priorities.”

In El Fasher, capital of North Darfur, the spokesperson for the state government, Ibrahim El Khalil, attended the mass at the town’s Catholic Church on Christmas.

During the reign of Islamic dictator Omar Al Bashir (1989-2019), non-Muslims were regularly oppressed. Christian worshipers were prevented to visit churches on Sundays, and a number of church buildings, many of them belonging to the poor Church of Sudan, were demolished. Since 2017, Christian schools were forced to follow the Muslim week calendar from Sunday to Thursday.

One of the first decisions made by the then Transitional Military Council after the ousting of Al Bashir on April 11 last years, concerned the permission to enjoy Sunday as the official weekend recess day for Christian schools throughout Sudan.

(Sources: Sudan News Agency, Dabanga Sudan)

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