by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - In a gesture of reconciliation following years of persecution, the new religious affairs minister of Sudan, Nasr al-Din Mufreh, attended Christmas celebrations in Khartoum to personally apologize for former dictator Omar al-Bashir's harassment of Christians.
The gesture is made more poignant by the fact that the Khartoum Bahri Evangelical church attended by Mufreh was formerly the target of harassment by the religious affairs office he now runs, the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SPEC) of which it is a part once having been almost co-opted by the same bureau.
“I tender my apology for the oppression and the harm inflicted on you physically, by [the prior government’s] destruction of your temples, the theft of your property and the unjust arrest and prosecution your servants and confiscation of church buildings,” Mufreh said at the ceremony.
Since a transition government stepped into the power vacuum left by Islamist dictator Omar al-Bashir in September, Sudan has been downgraded by the U.S. State Department from a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) to its Watch List.