by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - Sudan’s transitional government agreed last week to establish an independent national commission for religious freedom, The Christian Post reported. Together with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) group which fought against ousted dictator Omar al-Bashir, the Transitional Sovereign Council is forming the commission in order to “address all issues relating to religious freedom in order to affirm the principle of peaceful coexistence in the country.”
Christians have been persecuted under various regimes in Muslim Sudan and, according to Christianity Solidarity Worldwide, this persecution intensified after the south seceded in 2011. Sudan’s dictator al Bashir stated in 2012: “As for non-Muslims: “Nothing will preserve your rights except for Islamic sharia.”
The decision to address religious freedom comes as part of the Sudanese Peace Process that aims to resolve the War in Darfur, the Sudanese conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile (the Two Areas), and armed conflicts in central, northern and eastern Sudan. The SPLM-N armed group is based in the mainly Christian South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, which fought against al-Bashir, The Christian Post reports.
According to the Sudan Tribune, SPLM-N deputy leader and chief negotiator Yasir Arman confirmed Thursday: “Today we have agreed to establish the religious freedom commission because the Two Areas have a considerable number of Sudanese Christians, so this is an important issue that has been resolved.”
Sudan has been listed on the Open Doors USA’s World Watch List as the seventh-worst country for persecution against Christians.