KHARTOUM, Sudan, January 20 (CDN) — Police this week beat and arrested a church leader in Khartoum, sources told Compass.
Evangelist James Kat of the Evangelical Church of Sudan was arrested on Tuesday morning (Jan. 17), with officers beating him as they took him to a North Division police station, the sources said. He was released on bail the same day.
Police detained Kat, who lives at the church site, apparently because he was using the place as his home.
“They forced him to go with them to the police station,” an eyewitness said.
The arrest came amid increasing harassment of Christians by Sudanese authorities following the secession of South Sudan on July 9, 2011. In a Jan. 3 letter to Sudanese Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SPEC) leaders, Sudan’s Ministry of Guidance and Religious Endowments threatened to arrest pastors if they carry out evangelistic activities and do not comply with an order for churches to provide the leaders’ names and contact information.
Hamid Yousif Adam, undersecretary of the Ministry of Guidance and Religious Endowment, warned “We have all legal rights to take them to court” in the letter. SPEC leaders said the government is increasingly trying to limit church activities.