Sudanese Authorities Demolish 28-year-old Church in Southern Khartoum
On Sunday, May 7th, joint security forces demolished the Sudanese Church of Christ, 22 km south of Khartoum. The destruction resulted in numerous severe damages in the building itself and its properties, rendering the church in need of reconstruction.
Demas Morgan, the legal advisor to the Sudanese Church of Christ, located in the Soba sub-district, confirmed that around 1:30 PM on Sunday, the joint security forces commenced destroying the church without any prior warning, starting with the outermost wall of the building. In addition, two offices were partially destructed as well as the prayer altar.
Morgan tells Al Tareeq, “Although we legally own the land on which the church is built, and despite our constitutional rights guaranteed since the Sudanese Interim Constitution of 2005, in addition to other administrative procedures taken with the Supreme Council for Advocacy and Guidance, authorities have illegally demolished the church, and violated Article 6 of the constitution, and did not take any legal proceedings prior to their action.”
He adds, “Church members are experiencing grieve like never before due to this act of obvious religious discrimination. Are we not also Sudanese, with constitutional and legal rights?” He continues, “As the legal advisor, I went to the Azhari prosecutor’s office, who told me that demolishing orders were not issues yet, but he did, however, hear that it would be taking place.”
Morgan suggests that this order must have stemmed from the city’s Land Ownership Department, but he counters, that in such cases, legal warnings and wall markings should be issued and placed – which did not occur.
He contacted authorities in the Supreme Council of Advocacy and Guidance to get more of an insight on the incident, and was told the destruction was not legal – he was asked to write a letter outlining the entire act that took place, and the amount of losses. The letter is currently being drafted by the Church Committee and will be submitted as soon as possible.
Interestingly enough, a mosque less than 100 m west of the church – which erected in its current location in 1989 – was built in November, and it is not being subjected to any similar acts of destruction. Out of 13 churches, the Sudanese Church of Christ remains the only one in the district of Soba – after a demolishment spree followed the secession of South Sudan in July of 2011.
This church in particular acts as a valuable sanctuary to the hundreds of Christians living in Soba; while they belong to other dominions of Christianity, they still attend due to the scarcity of churches in their area.
Most members of the church perform their Sunday prayers at the beginning of each month in the main church in Khartoumm, particularly in the Mayo district. Since they were not present, authorities proceeded to destruct the church in that time. The two members who were present at the time were detained for two hours.
Despite the arbitrary actions of discrimination, members have been performing their prayers since Sunday evening in the churchyard, Morgan states.
Morgan informs Al Tareeq that a committee has been formed and is in the process of submitting a detailed report of the events to the Supreme Council for Advocacy and Guidance. A few days prior to the incident, a letter was already submitted in regard to administriative procedures, which was requested by the urban planning department of the Khartoum state. Finally, he asserts, “In terms of the law, we have legal procedures to be taken after we have appealed, due to the court’s dismissal of the administrative appeal on the grounds that the court was not specialized in such executive matters.”https://www.altareeq.info/en/sudanese-authorities-demolish-28-year-old-church-in-southern-khartoum/https://www.altareeq.info/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/church-300x179.jpghttps://www.altareeq.info/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/church-95x95.jpgNewsFreedom of Religion(Al-Tareeq) On Sunday, May 7th, joint security forces demolished the Sudanese Church of Christ, 22 km south of Khartoum. The destruction resulted in numerous severe damages in the building itself and its properties, rendering the church in need of reconstruction. Demas Morgan, the legal advisor to the Sudanese Church of Christ,...AltareeqAltareeq firstname.lastname@example.orgEditorAltareeq Newspaper