Government Minister Condemns Anti-Christian Propaganda In Sudan

Devotees from the southern part of Sudan attend a Christmas mass at Catholic Church in Khartoum, December 25, 2010. A government minister has condemned hatred against Sudanese Christians shown during the Christmas period.Reuters

Anti-Christian propaganda posted in churches over the Christmas period has been condemned by a senior Sudanese government minister.

Several churches were plastered with the propaganda, including flyers inciting Muslims to boycott Christian celebrations and other Christian events, the Sudan Tribune reports. The Sudanese government's minister of (religious) orientation and endowment, Dr Amar Mirghani Hussein, reported and condemned the news in a statement released on Wednesday.

Hussein said that he had received complaints from Christian leaders and ministers about the flyers during the season of Christmas celebration for the Sudanese Catholic and Coptic Churches.

The flyers allegedly included calls for Muslims to neither visit nor congratulate their Christian neighbours on the festive season.

"Islam does not forbid congratulating non-Muslims, especially Christians, on their religious occasions," Hussein said in his statement. He highlighted Islamic teaching which promotes co-existence, pointing to "the multiple fatwas (Islamic rulings) on this respect that stress the need to communicate with all religions, sects and groups".

Hussein said negative propaganda should not be allowed to drive a wedge between Sudanese Christians and their fellow citizens, and made a call for peaceful coexistence between all groups in Sudan.

The rift comes at an increasingly tense time in Sudan. Southern Sudan is on the brink of civil war, while many Christians face intense persecution for their faith in the form of church demolitions, arrests, and the death penalty.