A systematic, two-pronged approach to harassing followers of Jesus in Sudan continues to take its toll.
The long history of Christians being persecuted in Sudan has been documented by the annual "World Watch List" released by Open Doors USA. Sudan – currently #4 on that list – suffers under one of the most dictatorial political regimes in Africa, says Open Doors.
The latest news reveals that the government went into a church right after recent Sunday services, confiscating all Bibles and other church property, and then had the building demolished with a bulldozer. The church, located outside the capital city of Khartoum, belonged to the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Churches. The pastor said the destruction happened despite a pending court case where the church was contending against an attempted repossession of the church property to a private Muslim developer.
Nathan Johnson, regional manager of Africa with International Christian Concern, says there are two major ways that the Sudanese government harasses Christians. Destroying church buildings is one of the ways.
"They have a list of 25 churches that they said that they're going to demolish, which is really the 25 remaining churches in Khartoum and Omdurman," the ICC manager explains. "The other way is by arresting, harassing, and fining pastors and church leaders so they can no longer actually fulfill the duties that they're required to."
Johnson tells OneNewsNow that his organization would like to see the U.S. government holding Sudan accountable for violations of human and religious freedom rights.
"If it doesn't happen soon, we will see this continue to happen until there are zero churches left in the capital of Sudan, as well as just the continued persecution of Christians," he laments. "We really do hope to see the end of this tyrannical reign in Sudan because it's been going on for so long."
Sudan is among the U.S. State Department's ten "Countries of Particular Concern" identified at the beginning of the year for their severe violations of religious freedom. Such designation, says the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, "is a key step in ensuring continued U.S. engagement in support of international religious freedom."