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World News

Sudanese government investigate attacks on church

by Marcus Jones

The Sudanese Minister of Religious Affairs and Endowments has opened an investigation into a series of attacks on a church in Khartoum.

Sudan Church of Christ (SCOC) Jabarona was targeted numerous time in December 2019 and January 2020.

During each incident, the assailants attempted to burn down parts of the place of worship. In addition to the attacks, church leaders received serious threats from Muslim extremists living in the area, who warned that they would not allow churches to be built there even if official permission was granted.

Religious freedom charity Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has been calling for action from authorities for a number of months.

Whilst the initial investigation, which began earlier this month, was set to last seven days, due to the outbreak of coronavirus it is expected to take much longer.

While the investigation has only been set up to look into this spate of attacks, there are calls for a much wider brief.

CSW's Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said "CSW welcomes the appointment of commissioners to investigate the attack on the Sudanese Church of Christ in Jabarona and make an assessment of land issues that churches in Khartoum are experiencing. 

"However, we remain concerned that attacks on religious minorities outside of Khartoum are not being addressed. The trend speaks to a wider concern of the government centralising its action in the capital city and side-lining the plight of historically marginalised communities. 

"We urge the government to take swift action to address these imbalances and to comprehensively investigate violations occurring in Blue Nile state."

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