A pastor in Sudan who was attacked during worship this month was sentenced to a month in jail along with another church leader.under a law against disturbing the peace, sources said.
Judge Awad Ibrahim Kury, a Muslim, found Pastor Stephanou Adil Kujo and elder Ibrahim Kodi guilty of disturbing the peace under Article 69 of Sudan’s 1991 penal code and sentenced them to one month in jail beginning , said the Christians’ attorney, Shanabo Awad.
During worship at the Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC) in Al Hag Abdalla, about 85 miles southeast of Khartoum in Madani, Al Jazirah state, three Muslim extremists disrupted worship and attacked three Christians. The assailants were led by one known as Banaga who punched Pastor Kujo, tore his shirt and assaulted two women of the congregation, Awad said. The other two assailants tore Bibles and broke chairs.
The court apparently has yet to deliver a verdict for Banaga.The jailed Christian leaders’ church has long been harassed by Muslim extremists. Leaders of the church were detained and questioned in February after Muslim extremists upset about the presence of their worship building locked it shut on Feb. 21. Dalman Hassan, an SCOC evangelist arrested and released along with the church pastor later that day, said the Muslims accused church members of hostility toward Islam by holding gatherings on Fridays, the Muslim day of mosque prayer.
Following two years of advances in religious freedom in Sudan after the end of the Islamist dictatorship under former President Omar al-Bashir in 2019, the specter of state-sponsored persecution returned with a military coup.
Christians in Sudan fear the return of the most repressive and harsh aspects of Islamic law. Abdalla Hamdok, who had led a transitional government as prime minister starting in September 2019, was detained under house arrest for nearly a month before he was released and reinstated in a tenuous power-sharing agreement in November.
Hamdock had been faced with rooting out longstanding corruption and an Islamist “deep state” from Bashir’s regime – the same deep state that is suspected of rooting out the transitional government in the
Persecution of Christians by non-state actors continued before and after the coup. In Open Doors’ 2022 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian, Sudan remained at No. 13, where it ranked the previous year, as attacks by non-state actors continued and religious freedom reforms at the national level were not enacted locally.
Sudan had dropped out of the top 10 for the first time in six years when it first ranked No. 13 in the 2021 World Watch List. The U.S. State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report states that conditions have improved somewhat with the decriminalization of apostasy and a halt to demolition of churches, but that conservative Islam still dominates society; Christians face discrimination, including problems in obtaining licenses for constructing church buildings.