Sudan Arrests Pastor During Sermon, Threatens Him

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

KHARTOUM, SUDAN (Worthy News)-- Two Sundays ago, Sudanese authorities arrested a pastor in Omdurman while he was still preaching, according to Morning Star News.

Agents from Sudan's Criminal Investigation Department entered the Omdurman Evangelical Church compound and arrested the Rev. Yahya Abdelrahim Nalu. Authorities held him at the Central Khartoum Police Station without charge until Feb. 24.

Last June, plain-clothes police raided the offices of Nalu's denomination, the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church in Omdurman in what church leaders described as a bid to take control of its property. But though the government's latest attempt to seize church property is a civil matter, officials treated Nalu as a criminal.

"They arrested me in a very shameful way and threw me in the car," Nalu told Morning Star News.

Authorities told Nalu that if he did not relinquish his position to a government-appointed committee, he would "face justice" in court.

Following the secession of South Sudan in July 2011, Sudan has bulldozed church buildings on the pretext that they belonged to South Sudanese. On Feb. 17, bulldozers accompanied by local police destroyed the Sudanese Church of Christ in the Ombada area of Omdurman without warning.

Harassment and persecution of Sudan's Christians have increased since President Omar al-Bashir vowed to adopt a stricter version of Islamic law.