Sudan: No New Licenses for Church Construction

Monday, May 6, 2013

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

KHARTOUM, SUDAN (Worthy News)-- In yet another official slap to Sudan's Christian minority, a government minister recently announced that no new licenses would be granted for church construction.

Al-Fatih El-sir, Sudan's Minister of Guidance and Endowments, said that no new churches were needed because the existing structures should suffice; El-sir attributed this to a decrease in the number of Sudanese congregations coupled with an increase in abandoned churches.

But in reality, there hasn't been a new church built in Sudan since South Sudan seceded in 2011. The fact that new buildings can't legally be built suggests that the Sudanese government is systematically eradicating Christianity from the land through a series of anti-Christian actions by President Omar al-Bashir’s Islamist government.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide recently reported that Sudan deported a senior church leader and two expatriate missionaries, one from France and one from Egypt, for no apparent reason.

In February, the Evangelical Literature Center at the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church in Khartoum was raided: three South Sudanese were arrested and Christian books and films were confiscated. In January, the government demolished seven churches in the Khartoum in just two days for paperwork "irregularities". All these actions were bolstered by a media campaign combating the "Christianizing" of Sudan, which is in keeping with President Bashir's promise that the country's next constitution would be entirely Islamic.

In response, BarnabasAid's Exodus project continues to relocate Christians of South Sudanese origin stranded in Sudan safely into South Sudan; to date, Exodus has rescued 4,415 Christians. 4,415 Christians.