An evangelical Christian school in Sudan with more than 1,000 pupils has been closed after it was raided by authorities.
According to sources cited by Sight magazine, armed police aided by civilians bused in from the surrounding area were involved in the raid on the Evangelical Basic School in Madani, Al Jazirah state last week.
Sight said it was the third raid on the school in two months and follows the jailing of Christian staff members who tried to prevent the seizure of the institution.
The school belongs to the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church and was established in 1901. It was first raided on September 5 by police who presented documents ordering its handover to the government’s National Ministry of Guidance and Endowments.
“They just want to form a government body to run the school,” an area Christian told Morning Star News. “Muslims were on board the bus that came from Khartoum.”
The school’s administrators and teachers are ethnic Nuba, a group targeted by Sudan’s controlling Arabist faction, and the move appears to be an attempt to exert further pressure on Nuba Christians.
It was unclear whether the school would re-open today.
Among those arrested on October 6 were the school’s headmaster, Rev Samuel Suleiman, and Rev Ismail Zakaria, pastor of the church to which it belongs. Seven other teachers were also detained before being released on bail, accused of resisting the authorities. were seven other teachers who objected to the takeover of the school.
Suleiman was also arrested during the September raid with 12 other teachers and accused of supporting the Sudan People’s Liberation Army North, a rebel group fighting government forces. He has denied the charge.