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Man praying in prison

Four Christian men in Sudan have been arrested on charges of apostasy, even though the law was rescinded in 2020. Sources report that police have a list of five other Christian converts from Islam whom they intend to pursue with similar charges. Those five young men have since gone into hiding.

The four men who were arrested – Badar Haroun Abdul-Jabbar, Mohamed Haroun Abdul-Jabbar, Tariq Aref Abdallah and Mortada Ismael Yousef – are all members of the Sudanese Baptist Church in Zalingei, which is located in the western region of Darfur. They were detained on June 24th and then released on bail after what has been described as "inhumane and degrading treatment." Four days later, the believers were apprehended again and held until they were brought before the prosecutor on July 3rd. The Christian converts were ordered to renounce their faith and agree to stop participating in Christian activities, otherwise they would face the death penalty. The men refused and were then charged with apostasy.

Article 126, the ordinance under which these charges were laid, was rescinded two years ago, along with several other criminal code reforms which softened the previous hard-line Islamic policies imposed under the former dictatorship of Omar al-Bashir. (For more information, click here.) Since that time, however, there has been major upheaval in the governance of the country, including various coup attempts. When similar charges were threatened against church leaders following the October 25th military coup, officials claimed that the coup had changed the legal situation, leading human rights experts to fear that any progress towards religious freedom for minorities in Sudan has been halted – if not reversed.

Pray that justice will be upheld for these accused believers, asking the Lord to touch the hearts and minds of their opposers so that the case against them will be amicably resolved. Furthermore, pray for stability in Sudan amidst the nation's very turbulent political situation. As new governing leaders become established, may they enforce laws that will ensure the protection and freedom of all Sudanese citizens – including those of the Christian faith.

Country Information

Population
46,751,152 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Sudanese Arab (70), Fur, Beja, Nuba and Fallata (30)

Religion
Sunni Muslim, small Christian minority

Leader
President (vacant)
Military transitional council under General Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman al-Burhan

Government type
Presidential republic

Legal system
Mixed legal system of Islamic law and English common law

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Sudan

Pray that Christians throughout Sudan will continue to entrust themselves to Christ and preach the Gospel boldly, knowing Jesus is the ruler over the kings of the earth (2 Timothy 1:7-12, Revelation 1:5).

Pray also that peace, justice and religious freedom may be firmly established.

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