Samaritan’s Purse, ERLC Urge President Trump to Tackle Severe Persecution of Sudanese Christians

A South Sudanese girl living in the North reacts during Christmas day celebrations at a Catholic church in the Umbada locality of Omdurman December 25, 2013. (PHOTO: REUTERS/MOHAMED NURELDIN ABDALLAH)

Several leading evangelical organizations in America have urged U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to stand up to the destruction of churches and severe forms of persecution Christians and others face in Sudan.

“Sudan’s discriminatory laws restrict the freedoms of minority groups and deprives them of their constitutional rights,” states the letter, signed by the Rev. Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse relief organization, and the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, of which Russell Moore is president, among others.

Minority groups that “do not follow the state-endorsed school of Islam” include “Shia Muslims, Qu’rans Muslims, various denominations of Christians, and followers of traditional religions in the Nuba Mountain districts of Kordofan and the southernmost parts of the Blue Nile.”

The letter, sent on Thursday, explains in detail the restrictions in freedom of worship that Christians face in Sudan, including the inability to rebuild churches destroyed by government officials.

“There is no possibility of the demolished churches being replaced since in July 2014, Sudan’s Minister for Religious Guidance and Endowments announced that the government would no longer issue permits for the building of new churches, stating that existing churches were sufficient for the Christian population living in Sudan following the secession of South Sudan in 2011,” the groups explain.

“Since it is also illegal to assemble in public without permission from the government, the restrictions have the effect of preventing Sudanese Christians from congregating to worship.”

The evangelical groups also slammed the country’s apostasy law, in which any Muslim who declares publicly that she or he adopts any religion other than Islam is found guilty and could be punished by death. Meriam Ibrahim is perhaps the most well-known example. She was charged with apostasy in 2014 and sentenced to death by hanging for refusing to renounce her Christian faith. She had to give birth in prison while chained. She was released only after extensive international pressure.

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SOURCE: The Christian Post
Stoyan Zaimov