November 9, 2017 (KHARTOUM) – A Sudanese rights group in exile accused the Ministry of Religious Affairs of interfering in the management of Christian worship affairs and of taxing unelected leaders.
The Human Rights and Development Organization (HUDO) issued a statement condemning the recent arrest of a religious leader from the Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC), in the Al-Thawra 29 neighborhood of the state from Khartoum, Sunday October 22.
Was a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Wednesday, HUDO said this case should not be separated from a number of cases proving the prosecution of Christians in Sudan and the violation of religious freedom by the Sudanese authorities.
âThis is a deliberate process in which the current regime created a church management department led by Muslims in the ministry of religions, intervening in the basic rights of worship of Christians while leaving to the Council of the Church Sudanese a secondary role, âsaid Bushra Gamar, executive director of the HUDO Center. .
The group working on the human rights situation in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile regions explained that the elected group met that Sunday to pray at the appointed time in accordance with an agreement reached by the two groups last May. But they were blocked by the police who prevented them from entering the church.
As a result, the leaders of this group were summoned to the police station and arrested for entering the church when the government-backed group arrived and performed their prayers separately.
On October 31, the day of the trial, the judge offered the five defendants to discharge the case against them if they signed a written pledge not to keep their prayers separate.
“The offer was entirely rejected by the defendants.” As a result, the judge postponed the hearing to November 15, 2017.
On October 28, Sudanese police said they briefly closed the church and temporarily arrested a group of five religious leaders after their team members clashed over benevolent ministry in the church and at the behest of its leaders.
âThere has been a dispute over the benevolent ministry of the Sudanese Church of Christ in the Al-Thawra 29 neighborhood between the Northern Sudan Circle group and the church’s New Circles group. The Directorate of Ecclesiastical Affairs of the Ministry of Orientation and Religious Endowments received a complaint and set a deadline for each group in a decision issued on May 27, 2017, âpolice said.
However, the church leadership reversed its previous decision in August 2017 and only tasked the North Sudan group with the ministry of care. Both parties were notified of the decision in the presence of the police.