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Sudanese church 'burnt down by soldier'

by Alex Collett
Sudan Church - Banner image
CSW

A church in East Sudan has been destroyed according persecution charity Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW)

CSW has learnt that a church belonging to Sudan Church of Christ (SCOC) denomination in Doka Town in the Gedaref State was destroyed on 16th December.

The denomination has faced religious opposition previously.

A soldier, Yasin Ahmed Haroun, has been accused of starting the fire, after an eyewitness saw him fleeing the church after the fire had started.

Church leaders and locals fled to the military camp to tell them what they saw and report the attack, they also asked that Mr Haroun surrender himself to the police.

Military officials instead ordered them all to exit the site straight away.

After this instruction, church leaders then filed a criminal case, naming Mr Haroun, this was then taken on by a local prosecutor, that stated Mr Haroun should surrender in compliance with their investigation.

Military officials however responded by saying they do not have any soldiers with Mr Haroun's name.

CSW’s founder and president Mervyn Thomas said: "We are seriously concerned by reports that a church in Gedaref State has been razed to the ground by a military officer, whom the military appear to be shielding from law enforcement.

"We stand with the Sudan Church of Christ community in Doka Town who have lost their place of worship just a week before Christmas.

"The destruction of a place of worship is a gross violation of Sudan’s obligations under its constitution and international law to respect and protect the right to freedom of religion or belief. We call on the miliary authorities to cooperate with state authorities and to facilitate a thorough investigation into this attack by bringing the perpetrator to justice."

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