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World News

Sudanese church leader and members attacked during service

by Alex Collett

A Sudanese Church of Christ leader and several members have been attacked, by an individual during a church service.

Last Sunday, an individual locally referred to as "Banaga" interrupted a meeting, striking the pastor, who was escorted from the building, and attacking other members of the church.

Two other individuals joined the attacker in tearing bibles and breaking chairs.

The church leader and some of the victims attempted to submit a criminal complaint with the police, but were informed that this would worsen the situation. 

Both the attacker and the pastor have since been charged with "disturbing the peace", and are due to appear in court on 17 April, Easter Sunday.

Dr Khataza Gondwe Christian Solidarity Worldwide's Africa and Middle East team leader told Premier why attacks against Christians are on the rise in Sudan. 

"With the revolution, as it's called, things appeared to be going better, until this coup in October 2021 which is now trying to reverse whatever gains were made under the civil administration, the civil, hybrid administration, civil and military," Dr Gondwe said. 

She continued: "We're seeing a resurrection of cases against Christian leaders. We're seeing greater interference, once again, in the affairs of religious establishments. 

"We've heard of at least one couple being charged with adultery after one of them converted to Christianity, and then the other one followed suit.

"There's also been wider violations in terms of violence against the people who are still protesting against this coup."

Dr Gondwe said she believes the Pastor has been unfairly detained: "It's just bizarre, because he's the one who was attacked and when they went to press charges, they were told no, that's not possible, it will make things worse. 

"Then the next thing we hear is that the pastor, as well as the initial attacker are being, you know, taken to court on Easter Sunday of all times, and being charged with disturbing the peace, which is really unjust." 

She concluded by urging Christians to pray for the pastor and the situation in Sudan. 

"It's almost as if something is being whipped up unnecessarily.

"You know, hostility has been whipped up by certain sectors of that society, pray for change of heart there and then as a wider prep pray for this crew that has happened to actually fail cause it's, it's kind of taking Sudan back to the bad old days."

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