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US Embassy official visits site of demolished church in Khartoum

May 10 - 2017 KHARTOUM
US Chargé d'Affaires ad interim Ervin Massinga speaks at the site of the demolished church (Picture: US Embassy Khartoum)
US Chargé d'Affaires ad interim Ervin Massinga speaks at the site of the demolished church (Picture: US Embassy Khartoum)

The US Chargé d'Affaires ad interim Ervin Massinga has termed the demolition of Soba El Aradi Church in Khartoum on May 7 “a very sad and regrettable situation,” expresses hope that this was “an isolated incident”, and called for “a speedy inquiry”.

Massinga visited the site of the church, which was bulldozed to rubble on Sunday, leaving the community with no place to pray. He also spoke to members of the bereft community.

In a video released on the Facebook site of the US Embassy in Khartoum today, Massinga says: “I’ve seen myself today the extent of the damage to this structure and structures around here. I’ve also had the opportunity to speak to the people involved and hear directly from them of their courage in the face of this situation.

“We very much hope that this was an isolated incident and we very much look forward, as the people here do as well, to a speedy, thorough investigation into what happened, so that we understand exactly what happened and how this can be prevented in the future.”

The Chargé d'Affaires stresses that “religious freedom and Rule of Law go hand-in-hand. Rule of Law is important, but without religious freedom, it is hollow. Those things can come together and work together seamlessly.”

Demolition

On Sunday, police and Land Protection forces, backed by members of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), arrived at the premises of the Sudanese Church of Christ in the Soba El Aradi district,” lawyer Dimas James Marajan told Radio Dabanga in a previous report.

“The action is entirely illegal and unconstitutional. It was carried out without prior notification or a removal order by the Ministry of Physical Planning in Khartoum State, which is the body responsible for such decisions,” he said.


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