January 20, 2012
Sudan's Ministry of Guidance and Religious Endowments has threatened to arrest church leaders if they carry out evangelistic activities and do not comply with an order for churches to provide their names and contact information, Compass Direct News reports. The warning in a Jan. 3 letter to leaders of the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SPEC) arrived just days after Sudan's president, Omar al-Bashir, announced that the country's constitution would be more deeply entrenched in sharia (Islamic law). "We will take legal procedures against pastors who are involved in preaching or evangelistic activities," wrote Hamid Yousif Adam of the Ministry of Guidance to the church leaders. "We have all legal rights to take them to court." Sources said the order was aimed at oppressing Christians amid growing hostility toward Christianity. "This is a critical situation faced by our church in Sudan," said the Rev. Yousif Matar, secretary general of SPEC.