Sudanese authorities demolish church building in Omdurman

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - Despite a promise to authorize the church after its building was burned down, on May 27 officials in Sudan demolished a building belonging to the Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC) in the city of Omdurman, Christian Solidarity Worldwide reports.

Eight people are currently on trial at the Dar-Alsalam Criminal Court for originally burning down the church in August 2020, CSW said. Despite the ultimate demolition of the building, the trial constitutes the first time Sudanese authorities have charged people with damaging a church. However, despite a promise from the Ministry for Guidance and Endowments to grant the church a permit, this did not happen.

The church congregation itself decided to commence rebuilding, and had begun the work of reconstruction when a local prosecutor ordered them to stop, CSW said. The church refused on the grounds that the building was on public land and there had been no complaints about it.

Rebuilding continued for a while but local residents became hostile to the project and even sought to intimidate the church into ceasing the work, CSW said. On the morning of May 27, the building was demolished.

In a statement, CSW Founder President Mervyn Thomas said: “The destruction of this church building is emblematic of the ongoing hindrances to the full enjoyment of freedom of religion or belief for all of Sudan’s citizens. We urge the Sudanese authorities to investigate the circumstances surrounding this demolition, and to authorize the church without delay so that they can start to rebuild their place of worship.”