Reports have reached us that Muslims destroyed the St. John's Parish of the Episcopal Church of Sudan in Khartoum. A separate report from Bishop Ezekiel Kondo reported that the Episcopal Church in Haj Yousif, in Khartoum North, was destroyed by government forces. The demolition of the church building began Monday evening 16 April, after sunset at about 9pm.
According to Radio Tanazuj, the entire church building has been destroyed. It was reported as the third such attack on a church in Khartoum this year.
Bishop Ezekiel Kondo reported that the Sudan government authorities claimed that the church was no longer in use, as all Christian Sudanese had moved to South Sudan. "But the authorities are fabricating lies. There are still many South Sudanese living in Sudan. Moreover the church acts as a place of worship to all, not just the South Sudanese."
Ordered to Leave
The Bishop added that the chief of police of Haj Yousif had ordered all South Sudanese to leave the area of Khartoum North within 72 hours.
Mob Attacks Bible College
A few days later, a mob broke into the Presbyterian Bible School in El Gereif, in Khartoum, destroying Bibles and setting the building on fire. The attack on the Presbyterian Bible School in Khartoum took place on Saturday, 21 April. This comes amidst reports of bombings of villages in South Sudan, and in the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan by the Sudan Air Force.
The All Africa Conference of Churches issued the following statement: "We express grave concern over the increasing incidents of attacks on Christians and destruction of church property in Sudan. We condemn the destruction on 21 April of the Sudan Evangelical Presbyterian Church Bible School and burning of its books, including Bibles. It is worrying to note that the incident, which took place in Gerief West in Khartoum, happened while policemen stood by, but did nothing. We have also learned, with disbelief, that on Monday, 23 April, security forces took over the premises of the Sudan Council of Churches (SCC) and Sudan Aid in Nyala, Darfur. We call for the immediate withdrawal of security forces from the SCC office and for the release of the vehicles and bikes that the security forces confiscated.
"We regret to note that, despite the rhetoric, about freedom of religion and protection of minorities by the government of Sudan, threats and discrimination against Christians in Khartoum and its environs are increasing with time. Mobs like the one that burned down the Bible School are marauding in parts of Khartoum and causing mayhem with impunity. They seem to have been encouraged by the inflammatory speeches of government leaders in Khartoum."
Al Jazeera television has broadcast footage of government of Sudan officials declaring Jihad against the Christians of the Nuba Mountains and South Sudan. Over 350,000 refugees have already fled Sudan into the newly independent South Sudan.
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa