In one of the most recent cases, Christian Post reported that 13 Christians were arrested and tortured in October for interacting with Muslims.
The nation has seen an uptick in persecution since the split between Sudan and South Sudan. However, Illia Djadi, the Africa Bureau Chief at World Watch Monitor, says there are significant changes taking place in the nation.
Changes in Sudan
“I would say the government… has changed [a little] its policy not using the same drastic persecution measures used we have seen the government using before,” Djadi says.
For now, Djadi says the key question is how long will this lull in drastic persecution remain?
Since 13 Christians were arrested and tortured in October, it is evident that the country is still primarily in a sensitive state.
Ultimately, Djadi says Sudan is an Islamic Regime.
“I think it’s not going to change,” he says. “But the way they are dealing or treating religious minority, particularly Christian[s] may change because it’s about the politics.”
Djadi says if advocacy groups or Western countries and governments put pressure on the Sudanese government, there will be development and improvement in the way the nation’s government treats and reacts to religious minorities.
“It all depends on Western countries, Western government and particularly the U.S. because we know how sensitive it is or the Sudan authorities are cautious and they’re willing one thing to develop for better relations with the U.S.”
Djadi says it’s important for countries like the U.S. to monitor the progress of religious equality or the uprise in persecution in the field so they know how to react and can also be in contact with their partners on the ground.
“We as an organization where the media advocacy group, our aim is to see improvement, is to see churches growing or acting freely without persecution or pressure from the state or from locals or people.”
Religious Persecution Affecting the Majority
While religious persecution has affected Christians and other minorities, it has reversely affected Muslim majority groups as well.
Djadi says the Christian Church is involved in running schools, help facilities, and developmental projects.
“They are here for the good. They want to see improvement, a better life for everybody regardless of their religious background.”
Yet, he says that when a Church sets up a school that is open to anyone, most of the children attending are from a Muslim background. The Sudanese government has shut down schools like this, affecting the children and drawing complaints from Muslim families. After all, there’s nowhere else for their children to attend school.
Djadi says the government, “close churches. They close also schools and they don’t care about the impact of that measure… So, from a political perspective, they did it, but they don’t care about the social impact without taking any compensation or any measure to provide other facilities than the Christian schools.”
Again, pressure from Western cultures will help in the stabilization of the community and equality in Sudan.
Help support the Sudanese Church by praying for their strength and encouragement in the midst of persecution.
“God is using in His sovereignty. Sometimes we see how persecution has become a tool for growth for the Church, whether in Algeria, whether in Syria, whether in different countries, so, even in Sudan.”
Header photo by Wellington Rodrigues on Unsplash.