On 8th July Middle East Concern requested prayer for 14 Christians detained in Sudan the previous day. They had objected to the illegal takeover of the school building on the compound of the Evangelical Church in Bahri in Khartoum. The property had been sold by a “committee” that was appointed by the government but which the church does not recognise and which has been ruled illegal by the Administrative Court.
Police first arrested 11 people who were released after intervention from the church’s lawyer. When they returned to the church compound and continued to object to the takeover of the building the police returned and detained 17 people, three of whom were released shortly afterwards (members of the government appointed “committee”). Even after the prosecutor had ordered the release (pending trial) of the remaining 14 detainees, the police refused to release them.
On 10th July all 14 were charged before the Bahri Criminal Court. The court sentenced 13 of them to a fine of 300 Sudanese Pounds (US$50) for obstructing the police, and the other one to a fine of 500 Sudanese Pounds (US$82) for obstructing the police and disturbing the peace. They were all released after paying the fines.
Five of them were released pending trial, as they will be charged for a breach of a signed commitment. They were detained in the first round of arrests on 7th July and then released after signing a statement saying they would not “disturb the peace” again. They were then re-arrested in the second round of arrests and accused of violating the conditions of their earlier release. No date has been set for their trial.
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 charged will be treated justly
b. church leaders will have wisdom in their dealings with the authorities, and that the court ruling in favour of the church will be implemented
c. all officials involved will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him