Sudanese authorities have closed the meeting places of churches for refugee communities in the capital, Khartoum. These closures follow a Ministry of Internal Affairs order, issued at the beginning of February, which forced the congregations to register by 15 February.
“On Friday, refugee churches that used to meet at the Presbyterian Church compounds in Jerief and Suq Arabi areas learned that their meeting places have been closed-off and sealed with new locks,” a source – who remains anonymous for security reasons – told us. “The Presbyterian Church in Gerief was also closed for services to Sudanese Christians. At least six churches were unable to conduct their main services on either Friday or Sunday.”
For the refugee churches in Khartoum that have submitted their applications, they now have to provide additional information that includes:
Pastors have expressed concern over this move, saying that they fear the government will gain information about their operations, and yet still deny them registration – a method used by the government in neighbouring Eritrea, where persecution against Christians is extremely high.
Churches affected by this move include those ministering to refugees from Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan and the Philippines, among others.
The Sudanese government has been exerting increasing pressure against Christians in Sudan. Currently, two Christian pastors who were arrested in December 2015 are being held incommunicado, with no formal charges or access to legal support. There is mounting concern for the wellbeing of the two.
Please join us in praying for this very worrying development.
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.