Sudanese government steps up its drive to demolish churches in the country.
As a latest episode of the demolition drive, an evangelical church has recently been torn down by the government. Reports have that; the police bulldozed the Lutheran Evangelical church building in Omdurman. Local Christians are living in fear of possible anti-Christian drives from the authorities.
Congregants of the Baraka Parish church in the outer reaches of Khartoum, Sudan’s capital are fearful. It has been quite some time now that, the churches in the country are being repeatedly targeted.
Despite the fact that there was a mosque nearby the bulldozed church, the mosque was spared while the church was reduced to rubble. Since building new churches is not permissible in the country, there are no factual hopes that a new church building could be built in place of the older one.
A pastor from the demolished church stated, “The government has lied to us, because they told us that this church will not be demolished.” The governmental authorities justify this bulldozing saying that the church was built in a business area. However, the local Christians are of the opinion that this could not be the reason as a mosque which was also in the same area, was left standing.
On the other hand, Christian Solidarity Worldwide stated, “The destruction of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Omdurman is an alarming development that comes amid reports that other Evangelical Lutheran Churches have been destroyed in Sudan in the last fortnight.
These incidents are part of the government’s systematic restrictions on the rights and freedoms of Sudan’s religious minorities, that principally target the Christian faith. Of particular note is the fact the church in Hai Thura Block 29 was situated metres from a mosque that was allowed to remain standing, highlighting discrimination in the selection process of redevelopment projects.
The congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church has not only lost its meeting place but also faces permanent displacement, since the government no longer permits the construction of new churches. CSW calls on the Sudanese government to respect the constitutionally guaranteed right of freedom of religion or belief, both in law and in practice, and to cease the illegal destruction of Christian places of worship.”