Some good news. Sudan’s government has scrapped the death penalty for anyone who chooses to leave Islam. This is a massive answer to prayer for Christians, but some extremists are likely to resist the new law.
Sudan has been ruled by an Islamist government for more than 30 years, but in the last few weeks the country has outlined big reforms, which include banning flogging as a punishment, and scrapping of the apostasy law, under which anyone renouncing Islam would be sentenced to death.
“Open Doors is deeply grateful for the news that Sudan has made these crucial changes,” said an Open Doors expert on sub-Saharan Africa. “It is an answer to years of fervent prayer by Christians around the world, and we applaud the government for showing firm intent in ensuring respect for the human rights of all Sudan’s citizens no matter faith, gender or ethnicity.”
Sudan is number 7 on the Open Doors World Watch List and has a long history of persecuting Christians, imprisoning church leaders and closing down churches.
The reforms come after long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir was ousted last year following massive street protests. But the new government faces opposition from hardline clerics, who have already taken to social media to voice their opposition.
Our Open Doors source has urged supporters to keep praying, as “radical Islamic elements will surely work to annul these important changes.”
Although this is a positive development, there is still a long way to go.
“While these amendments mean more freedom for Sudan’s Christians legally, they will continue to experience pressure from society to give up their faith,” said our source.
“The church has told us over and over that while these developments are really great, the laws don’t change the society’s general stance towards Christians.
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