Don't Talk About Christian Persecution, Sudan Warns Pastors
Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) have ordered senior Church leaders not to speak publicly about the persecution of Christians and the demolition of church buildings, according to Radio Tamazuj.
Rev Mubarak Hamad, Chairman of the Sudan Council of Churches, was ordered to report to the headquarters of the NISS every day with another church leader after they held a press conference calling on the government to cease its programme of church demolition.
While that requirement has been lifted, they were ordered not to speak publicly about the issues without NISS authorisation.
Referring to two Sudanese church leaders still imprisoned after a Czech mission worker, Petr Jašek, was freed after representations from his government, Hamad told Radio Tamazuj: 'They told me not to talk about the demolition of churches or the two church leaders who are in jail.'
Jašek spent 14 months in jail under Sudan's oppressive Islamist regime accused of inciting hatred and spying. He had been in the country investigating reports of the persecution of Christians and was originally sentenced to 24 years in prison. He described being beaten and tortured while imprisoned and urged Christians to pray for those still held.
Hamad said church leaders had become targets in a government crackdown.
At least 25 churches are scheduled for demolition on the grounds that they were built illegally. However, church officials say they legally obtained the lands and have title deeds.