Christians in Sudan request further prayer for three Christians on trial, and for the Bahri Evangelical Church in Khartoum North.
At a hearing for the three Christians on Monday, the court heard two defence witnesses give testimony confirming that defendant Abdulmonem Abdulmawla had acted compassionately in seeking help for a Darfuri student attacked in 2013. The charges against all three defendants partly derive from their assistance to this Darfuri student. The defence lawyer and the prosecutor will present their arguments in writing on 16th January. A verdict is expected on 23rd January.
Separately, on 10th January a local government official came to the compound of the Bahri Evangelical Church and began demolishing a house there without presenting any legal documents or justification. Some of the buildings on the compound have been demolished or damaged since 2013 after a committee (imposed on the church by the government but not recognised by the church) sold part of the land to investors. In September 2015 a court ruled that this committee was illegal.
Unlike previous incidents where demolition was based on orders obtained by these investors, this week government officials were responsible for the demolition, for which there was no legal basis.
In recent years the church’s pastor, lawyer and members objecting to the forcible sale of parts of the compound have been arrested on several occasions. Some were released after being convicted of obstructing the police and disturbing the peace, and had to pay fines.
Since 2014 the authorities have demolished at least five churches in the main cities in Sudan and confiscated, closed or otherwise interrupted the running of several other Christian institutions. Christian leaders regard these actions as part of a campaign against the church by the government which began in late 2012.
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 request prayer:
a. that the three defendants will know the Lord’s strength and comfort during their ordeal
b. for wisdom for the lawyers defending them
c. for a fair judicial process, and that the three men will be acquitted soon
d. for an end to the increasing pressure against churches in Sudan, and that Christians will know the peace of the Lord
e. that all officials involved will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him