JUBA, South Sudan (Morning Star News) – The Sudanese government today helped Muslim investors take over the remaining property of Khartoum Bahri Evangelical Church in Khartoum North, church leaders said.
Riot police on two trucks arrived at the church property at noon and assisted in the seizure of the land by force.
“Over the past year they have aided another Muslim businessman to seize a piece of the land, and today they are taking the only piece of land left for the church,” a church leader who requested anonymity told Morning Star News.
The take-over comes less than a month after the government seized another Christian facility in Khartoum.
The church is appealing to Christians worldwide to pray for them.
“We are asking all of you to pray for our situation in Sudan,” another church leader said. “Oh God, have mercy upon us.”
On Oct. 5, 2013, Sudan’s police and security forces broke through the church fence and beat and arrested Christians in the compound, asserting parts of the property belonged to a Muslim investor accompanying them. As Muslims nearby shouted, “Allahu Akbar [God is greater],” plainclothes police ….
Church leaders hold ownership papers to the property and believe any contract surrendering it comes from a government ruse.
Harassment, arrests and persecution of Christians have intensified since the secession of South Sudan in 2011, when President Omar al-Bashir vowed to adopt a stricter version of sharia (Islamic law) and recognize only Islamic culture and the Arabic language.
The Sudanese Minister of Guidance and Endowments announced in April 2013 that no new licenses would be granted for building new churches in Sudan, citing a decrease in the South Sudanese population.
Sudan since 2012 has expelled foreign Christians and bulldozed church buildings on the pretext that they belonged to South Sudanese. Besides raiding Christian bookstores and arresting Christians, authorities threatened to kill South Sudanese Christians who do not leave or cooperate with them in their effort to find other Christians.
From the Religious Freedom Coalition –