Thursday, September 22, 2016

Christian pastors face death penalty if convicted in Sudan

Last December, two evangelical pastors from the Church of Christ in Sudan were taken from their churches and thrown into jail.  Last month, the Rev. Abdulraheem Kodi and the Rev. Kuwa Shamal Abu Zumam were charged with numerous offenses, including waging war against the state, espionage and undermining Sudan’s constitutional system.

Their trial has begun.  They could get the death penalty if they're found guilty.

Kodi and Zumam hail from the Nuba Mountains, a region that continues to be bombed and brazenly targeted by Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, in what human rights and Christian groups say is an effort to rid the country of the Nuba people — indigenous groups who do not fit the regime’s vision of an Islamic nation and are accused of supporting anti-government rebels.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has imposed strict Islamic rule on his people.  Al-Bashir, the first sitting head of state to be indicted by the International Criminal Court — there is an outstanding warrant for his arrest in connection to war crimes in Darfur — took power in a 1989 coup and has long taken a stance of “one language (Arabic), one religion (Islam).”

The Anglican Bishop of Kadugli Diocese, the Rt. Reverend Andudu Adam Elnail is now based in South Carolina, having fled Sudan in 2011 after government forces allegedly burned down his property when he refused to use his extensive church leadership outreach to endorse the President.

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