Christians in Sudan request prayer for the Evangelical Church in Bahri (also known as Khartoum North). On 7th July the police detained 14 church members, many of them leaders. Even though the prosecutor ordered their release in the evening, as of the afternoon of 8th July they were still being held.
In March 2013 the church discovered that members of a committee responsible for church property had acted fraudulently, and consequently the church fired them. Some of the committee members complained to the government. Seeing an opportunity to divide the church, the government ‘re-instated’ the committee members (even though the government has no authority to appoint committees in the church). The church does not recognise this ‘committee’ and took the government to court. In August 2015 the Administrative Court ruled in the church’s favour and declared the ‘committee’ illegal.
Since 2013 this government-appointed ‘committee’ has been selling parts of the Evangelical Church compound to businessmen connected with the government. There have been numerous incidents where these businessmen have come to the church compound with police protection and destroyed parts of the compound. At different times church members who objected were arrested. This continued even after the court declared the ‘committee’ illegal.
Recently the illegal ‘committee’ sold a school that is part of the church to businessmen. On 7th July the businessmen came to the compound to take over the building. When church leaders objected that the sale was illegal the police came and arrested 11 church members, including several leaders. After intervention by the church’s lawyer they were released.
When they returned to the church compound they discovered they had been locked out of the school building. After some church members broke the lock to gain entry to the school the police came a second time and detained 17 people (including six church members who had been detained earlier that day). This included the three members of the illegal committee. They were released shortly after, leaving 14 church members still in detention.
In the evening the prosecutor ordered the release of all 14 detainees. However, so far the police have refused to release them.
MAY BE CIRCULATED TO GENERAL MAILING LISTS, OUTSIDE ORGANISATIONS, AND QUOTED FROM FREELY IN REPORTS CITING “MIDDLE EAST CONCERN” AS THE SOURCE OF THE INFORMATION.
Christians in Sudan request prayer that:
a. those detained will know the peace and presence of Jesus
b. they will be treated with dignity, and will be released soon
c. church leaders will have wisdom in their dealings with the authorities, and that the court ruling in favour of the church will be implemented
d. all officials involved will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him