Sudan is one of the most difficult places to be a Christian in as the government is ruthlessly persecuting Christians and destroying their churches.

Over the weekend, Sudanese officials destroyed another church and arrested Christians just as services were about to begin:

Khartoum state authorities in Sudan demolished a church building yesterday (May 7) as Christians were preparing to worship, sources said.

In the Khartoum suburb of Soba al Aradi, which began as a refugee camp for south Sudanese, a bulldozer sent by Jebel Aulia locality and the Ministry of Planning and Urban Development arrived at block 7 at about 2:30 p.m. and destroyed the Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC) building, they said.

Authorities had notified church leaders of the impending demolition just a week prior. The church building was one of at least 25 the Sudanese government designated for destruction last year. The government reportedly claimed the churches were built on land zoned for residential or other uses, or were on government land, but church leaders said it is part of wider crack-down on Christianity.

Established in 1989, the building in Soba al Aradi was used by three congregations as it was the only one left in the area following the demolition of 12 area church buildings beginning in 2011. It included two offices for women’s and youth ministries, as well as a room for Sunday school classes.

Christians in Sudan complain that the Islamist government of Omar al-Bashir is targeting their buildings while favoring Muslims and their mosques.

“There is a nearby mosque in the area where the church building was destroyed, but it was not demolished,” said a source who requested anonymity.

Christian lawyer Demas James described the move as a serious violation of constitutional and international conventions of human rights. Writing on Facebook, he said the fact that the building was destroyed on a Sunday shows the government’s lack of respect for Christian holy places.

“You can see there is no place for worship left now for the believers to worship,” he wrote. (source)

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