Citing stagnant church attendance and an increasing number of abandoned buildings, the Sudanese government announced that it will no longer issue licenses to Christian churches, the ICC reports. Many of the Christians who attended the now abandoned buildings fled Sudan because of intense persecution. Following the secession of South Sudan in 2011, churches in Khartoum and northern cities have seen attendance drop, as many have migrated south -- not all by choice. As a result, Sudan’s minister of guidance and endowments, Al-Fatih Taj El-sir, says "there will be no need for new churches as the existing ones can accommodate worshipers." Fifty-five licenses were denied in 2012 alone.