Sudan 'bulldozes Christian church and arrests two pastors'

Sudan 'bulldozes Christian church and arrests two pastors'
2 min read
10 May, 2017
The church is the first on a list of 27 that authorities have earmarked for demolition, despite government claims they will not persecute the country's Christians.
The Sudanese Church of Christ church was targeted in Khartoum's Soba al-Aradi suburb [Facebook]
Churchgoers in Sudan were forced to stand and watch as bulldozers tore apart their parish church on Sunday, despite a government promise to stop targeting Christians.

Paul Salah and Naji Abdullah, two pastors at the Sudanese Church of Christ, were arrested as state officials demolished the church in Khartoum's Soba al-Aradi suburb.

"We heard about the news of the demolition at 2pm," Reverend Elias Abdelrahim told Dabanga News.

"Members of the church and I arrived at the site in the afternoon and found the church levelled."

Sudanese authorities announced plans in February to demolish 27 Christian churches across Sudan, but these plans were shelved after a court appeal was made.

According to Abdelrahim, there was no warning given at Soba al-Aradi, while officials cited a lack of construction permission as the reason for the demolition.

"The only warning was an unofficial verbal warning from a police sergeant without specifying the date of the removal."

Sudanese Christian leaders have complained in the past that it is impossible to receive planning permission to build a church and so they are forced to build without permission away from the centre of the city.

The New Arab attempted to contact Khalid al-Mubarak, the press attache at the Sudanese embassy, for comment - but did not receive a response.