Outrage over church demolitions in the Sudan: The Church of England Newspaper, July 1, 2012 p 5. July 3, 2012Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Episcopal Church of the Sudan, Persecution.
Tags: Ezekiel Kondo, Khartoum, persecution, Saint Johns Haj Yousif
The Sudanese government has demolished an Anglican Church in Khartoum, claiming that as all South Sudanese have been ordered to leave the country, there is no need for any Christian churches in Khartoum.
On 18 June 2012 Khartoum police ordered all South Sudanese to leave the Khartoum suburb of Haj Yousif within 72 hours and demolished St John’s Episcopal Church. Dedicated on 24 May 2009, the Diocese of Khartoum reported the church had been built by the members of the community to serve the town’s Christian population.
However, Bishop Kondo told Radio Tamazuj the police claim the church was now no longer being used. “They argue that all Christian Sudanese have moved to South Sudan. But the authorities are fabricating lies. There are still many South Sudanese living in Sudan. Moreover, the church acts as a place of worship to all, not just the South Sudanese” the bishop said.
On 25 June the heads of the World Council of Churches [WCC] and the All Africa Conference of Churches [AACC] issued a formal protest over the “renewed destruction of church property in Khartoum.”
The WCC and AACC “strongly condemn the demolition of the Episcopal Parish Church of Saint John” by “government authorities.”
The attack on Saint John’s was part of a pattern of discrimination against Christians and follow government sanctioned attacks on churches and schools. “We are further reminded that, the government of Khartoum had, for the first time in the country’s history, denied its citizens the Christmas holiday in December 2011.”
“We express our fears that all these events may not be isolated but rather calculated attacks on Sudanese civilians who are not of the Muslim faith and their property in Khartoum, and in particular Christians,” the church leaders said, adding that “it is now public knowledge that Christians of Muslim background have also been targeted and have been dispossessed of their properties and their spouses.”
“We once again regret that despite repeated rhetoric about freedom of religion and the protection of the minorities in the Republic of Sudan, the government policy seems to be bent on threatening and discriminating against Christians in Khartoum. By protecting religious fundamentalists who wreck mayhem and havoc on innocent civilians with impunity, the Republic of Sudan undermines the tenets on which a multi-religious society is based.”
The church leaders said they “cannot remain silent while such a horrific violation of human rights and threat to lives continues unabated” and called upon the Islamist National Front government to “fully investigate the motive of these repeated incidents and apprehend those responsible for these criminal acts, and to provide adequate and true security to Christians in Sudan.”
First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.