Compass Direct News reports that authorities in Khartoum demolished two church buildings last week, days after confiscating three Catholic schools, sources told Compass. Officials from the Ministry of Planning and Housing of the local government authority on June 18 sent bulldozers that destroyed a church building belonging to the St. John Episcopal Church of Sudan, in the Haj Yousif area, an area source reported by email. A Catholic church building in the area was also demolished the same day. Clergymen said persecution was intensifying following the secession of South Sudan in July 2011, with officials targeting churches they claim to be associated with now unwelcome, largely Christian southern Sudanese in the Islamic-ruled country. Christian support organization Open Doors reported that the churches were targeted on the pretext that southern Sudanese had attended services, and that since they had presumably left, the buildings were no longer necessary.