The ninth church building within the past two years was set ablaze in Sudan on January 3rd, 2021. In the weeks leading up to the recent arson attack, hate messages against the Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC) in the rural Tambul area of Al Jazirah state were circulating on social media, calling for action against Christians. Pastor Jubrial Tutu describes the incident as direct persecution. According to Rev. Kuwa Shamal, head of the SCOC, the attackers "targeted the church because they do not want to see any sign of the cross in the area."
Osama Saeed Kodi, chairman of the Christian Youth Union for Al Jazirah state, is one of the Christian leaders who has spoken out against the violence. On February 19th, Osama was seized by masked men believed to be national security personnel. After he was handcuffed and blindfolded, the perpetrators beat him and announced, "We will kill you if you continue with Christian activities in Tambul." Osama was released after a few hours, and presently is recovering from the injuries he sustained during captivity.
After military leaders deposed President Omar al-Bashir in 2019, the transitional government promised greater freedoms. Apostasy laws were abolished in 2020 and Christians, while cautious, had some optimism that significant changes could lead to expanded religious freedoms. However, Sudan remains a predominantly Islamic country, and militant Muslim leaders continue to have a significant voice in political decisions. For further information on the persecution of Christians in Sudan, go to our country report.
Remember Osama in your prayers as he recovers from his injuries, asking God to provide him protection from any further attack, and the wisdom and courage required to persevere in his call to share the Gospel. Pray that all ministry outreaches in the Tambul area will continue unabated, and that Christians will have the strength to stand firm in their faith despite opposition. May those opposing them realize the error of their ways, repent before God, and ultimately accept His provision of salvation by placing their faith in His Son Jesus Christ.