After the arrest of thirteen Christians in the western part of Darfur, a state-appointed committee has demanded that a church in Omdurman turn over its properties.
According to Christian News, Sudanese security arrested thirteen Christians on Saturday from a house they had gathered at. Three people have been released so far, but it’s unclear what the charges are for the others.
Church leader Tajaldin Idriss Yousif was arrested along with church members: Alfadil Ismail Alnil, Ahmed Mohammed Hassan, Neseraldin Osman, Shemen Ahmed Shemen and Abubaker Biri.
Law allows the National Intelligence and Security Services to hold people in detention for up to four and a half months before they can be released or charged.
“We are worried because their whereabouts are still unknown,” said one source. “The Christians gathered as one body of Christ from different denominations.”
Meanwhile, another church in Sudan is being forced to hand over its land.
“The Omdurman police summoned the church’s leader on Monday [8 October] and ordered him to hand over leadership of the congregation to a rival committee,” a local source told World Watch Monitor.
"They want the congregation to vacate their compound.”
Other churches are also battling with the government over ownership of its properties. Many have faced fines and even closure.
After the secession of South Sudan in 2011, Sudan president Omar al-Bashir promised he would tighten sharia laws and recognize only Islamic culture and the Arabic language.
Since 2012, the government has expelled foreign Christians and demolished church buildings. Sudan is ranked as the fourth most persecuted country for Christians.
Photo courtesy: Kyle-Glenn/Unsplash