The Sudanese government has not officially announced it. However, a pastor who was once wrongfully imprisoned in the country has revealed that Khartoum has virtually "declared war against Christians."
This is the reason why pastors are being locked up in jail and churches demolished in the Muslim-majority East African nation, according to the persecution watchdog group International Christian Concern (ICC).
On behalf of The Christian Post, the ICC's East Africa team interviewed Pastor Michael Yat, one of the pastors who have suffered imprisonment in Sudan for their faith.
Yat told the ICC team that when he travelled to Khartoum to take up a new assignment with the South Sudan Evangelical Presbyterian Church in 2014, "little did I know that Sudan had declared war against Christians."
Thus, on the second day he preached at a church in Khartoum, Yat was arrested and thrown in jail, where he was held for nine months.
Yat explained the reason why the Sudanese government hated Christians, especially those who can speak Arabic. He said it's because the regime of President Omar al-Bashir is fearful that Christians "can easily reach out to the Muslims and win them to Christ."
A number of pastors are still languishing in Sudanese prisons reportedly on trumped-up national security charges. One of them, the Rev. Hassan Abduraheem, is the subject of a global release petition made by The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ). Abduraheem has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for his faith.
Last month, Sudanese authorities arrested four more Christians on charges of destroying a sign indicating Muslim ownership of a school called the Evangelical School of Sudan, according to The Christian Post.
The al-Bashir government has ordered the demolition of numerous churches, with at least 25 church buildings demolished last month alone.
Sudanese authorities also continue to harass Christian church congregants and threaten foreign Christians with expulsion, ICC said.
Open Doors USA ranks Sudan as the fifth worst Christian persecuting country in the world on its 2017 World Watch List.
Sudan has been on Open Doors' World Watch List since 1993 and has almost always been ranked in the top 20 over the years.
The Christian persecution watchdog states that the persecution of Christians in Sudan "is systematic and reminiscent of ethnic cleansing."