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Sudan: Authorities Threaten to Raze Three Churches in Bid to Rid Country of Christianity

KHARTOUM, Sudan, October 12 (CDN) — “Local authorities have threatened to demolish three church buildings in Omdurman as part of a long-standing bid to rid Sudan of Christianity, Christian sources told Compass.

Officials from the Ministry of Physical Planning and Public Utilities-Khartoum State appeared at the three church sites in Omdurman, on the Nile River opposite Khartoum, the afternoon of Sept. 11, threatening to demolish the structures if the churches continued to conduct worship services, church leaders said.

Church leaders from the three churches in the Madinat al Fath area of Omdurman – the Sudanese Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church of Sudan and the Roman Catholic Church – said they were surprised to see government officials come to their church premises and accuse them of operating churches on government land without permission. The church leaders told Compass the buildings were not located on government land and required no permission.

They said that, starting at 2 p.m. the officials asked leaders of the Sudanese Church of Christ who had given them permission to build on government land, and then proceeded to the other two churches. The officials marked the three church buildings for demolition with red crosses, saying, ‘We are going to demolish these churches,’ the church leaders said.

Jaafer al Sudani, manager of Church Affairs in the Ministry of Guidance and Religious Endowment, told Compass that officials there had no knowledge of church buildings to be demolished. The state planning officials insist that the churches are operating on government land.

Citing a growing tide of hostility toward Christians, members of the threatened churches said they were concerned about their future.

‘These are clearly evil plans directed against churches and Christians in this country,’ said Kornules Yousif, an area Christian leader.

‘This is serious,’ said another church member who asked to remain unnamed. ‘We do not want them to demolish our churches.’

Local Muslims complain of the Christian presence in the area, Yousif said.

“Muslims say churches are not supposed to be given permission to operate because the number of Muslims is greater than that of Christians,” he said.” Read more.

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