|Sudan Closes Schools, Confiscates Property & Expels Foreign Christians|
Expatriates working in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, have been harassed, threatened and interrogated. Independent schools have been targeted for Islamisation. Schools that have failed to strictly segregate boys and girls, and provide Islamic Studies, to the satisfaction of the State, have been closed down.
"You have no rights!"
The National Intelligence Security Sudan (NISS) have been calling in expatriates, and anyone connected with them, for interrogation. NISS agents have burst into homes of foreigners in Khartoum and confiscated their laptop computers, i-pads, cell phones, cameras, diaries and many books and personal items. When individuals have asked to phone their Embassy, they have been roughly prevented from doing so, their phones being snatched out of their hands and told: "NO! You may not phone your Embassy!" When people have protested about their rights, they have been told by the NISS: "You have no rights in Sudan!"
Forced Islamisation and Segregation
Independent schools have been told: "You may not employ any teacher who goes to church!" and "All schools must have Islamic studies!" Independent schools have been informed that boys and girls must be completely separated, with separate classrooms and separate teachers. This alone, doubling the number of teachers required, has made many Independent schools uneconomical and have forced them to close down.
"We Run the Country!"
When one teacher presented a letter from President Al-Bashir commending their educational work in the country, the NISS agent dismissed it contemptuously: "This counts for nothing with us! We run the country!"
Thousands of Expatriates Forced to Leave Sudan
Many teachers have been called in to NISS for interrogation. One teacher who had been caring for special needs children for over 20 years, was summarily informed that she did not have a licence to do this work and was forced to leave the country. Numerous teachers have had their cell phones, laptops, i-pads, diaries and other personal possessions confiscated by NISS, without compensation and without explanation. One person reported that they knew of over a thousand foreigners who had been forced to leave the country since September 2012. Others have estimated that at least 4,000 expatriates had been forced to leave Khartoum in the last 9 months.
Christian Bookshop Closed Down
The one Christian bookshop in Khartoum was closed down and all of its stock and vehicles confiscated by NISS. Bible Colleges have been closed down and on some occasions, bulldozed.
"You Are Destabilising our Country!"
Christian teachers from America, Germany, Switzerland, South Africa and Britain have been told that they are "destabilising the country", that they are "a threat!" One Swiss missionary was imprisoned for having shared the Gospel with Muslims in Khartoum. Through international pressure, he was finally released and deported from the country. This brother used his time of imprisonment to recite the Book of James in Arabic to fellow prisoners.
"Islam Has Nothing to Offer Us But Fear!"
Hundreds of families, whose children have now being deprived of a high standard of education, have expressed their dismay that these Christian teachers are being expelled from the country. One parent declared: "We will miss the aroma of Jesus!" Another commented: "Islam has nothing to offer us but fear!"
"The Growth of Christianity in Sudan is a Massive Problem"
The Chairman of the Islamic Centre for Preaching and Comparative Studies, Ammar Saleh, has demanded that the government of Sudan take more decisive action against Christian missionaries, who he claims are "operating boldly" in Sudan. The government of Sudan has declared its intention to become more Islamic. Saleh has described the dramatic growth of Christianity in Sudan as "a massive problem!" Saleh believes that the National Islamic Front governments' repression is not harsh enough. Saleh claims to know of 109 Muslims who have converted to Christianity in Khartoum.
Nuba Christians Under Fire Again
The Nuba Mountains Christians are suffering a systematic targeting for arrest, abuse, imprisonment, torture and the confiscation of their private property. Many Nuba villages have been bombed by the Sudan Air Force. Sheik Muhammad Abdelkrim declared at a mosque through amplified loudspeakers: "WE WILL NEVER FORGIVE CHRISTIANS FOR NOT BEING MUSLIM!" He then led the Muslims who had attended the service in his mosque to attack a Bible School and Church compound, destroying 4 halls, the school library, including 50 cartons of Bibles and the personal belongings of the students in the dormitory. This happened, 21 September, while police stood by watching, but not intervening to protect property.
On 25 December, President Omar Al-Bashir issued a decree establishing a Committee to Regulate Foreign NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisations) in Sudan. The committee includes National Intelligence Security Service (NISS), the Defence Ministry and Interior Ministry.
The Sudanese Study Centre was closed along with the Al Khatim Adlan Centre for Enlightenment and Human Development, the Cultural Forum Literary Criticism and numerous other independent schools.
Confiscations and Deportations
Sudan has stepped up targeting of Christians for deportation. In each case, they have confiscated all electronic equipment and literature in the possession of the individuals. NISS agents had openly said that they want to find out all the contacts of everybody that is a Christian, so that they can root out those who are "undermining" the country. Not being a Muslim is considered an act of treason in Sudan.
In addition to the thousands of expatriates being deported, or forced to leave Sudan, hundreds-of-thousands of Black Sudanese living in the North have been stripped of their citizenship and ordered to migrate South, across the border into the newly Independent South Sudan. Numerous individuals in Northern Sudan have expressed the fear that the ruthless crackdown on dissent and deportation of foreigners from Sudan could be to remove all witnesses to a planned massacre of Christians in Sudan.
Thriving Indigenous Church Under Persecution
Meanwhile expelled missionaries, teachers and other expatriates from Sudan report on a growing and dynamic indigenous Church in Sudan. One church had their 5 pastors and elders expelled from the country over night. Yet the church continues to function under indigenous leadership. Christians in Sudan are facing extraordinary pressures and intensifying threats.
First Hand Report
Recently expelled Missionaries who gave a Report Back at Frontline Fellowship Mission Headquarters yesterday, expressed their conviction that the indigenous church in Sudan is strong, vibrant and growing. They reported that many are enthusiastic and positive, declaring that Islam is failing and this is an act of desperation by a failed religion which has nothing to offer its adherence, but fear and intimidation.
Speak Up for the Persecuted
Inform your friends, family and congregation of the desperate need for prayer and action on behalf of our persecuted brethren in Sudan. Communicate by telephone, letter, email, fax and social media to the government of Sudan embassies, complaining about this blatant violation of human rights and confiscation of private property.
"Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the Word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you, in that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one." 2 Thessalonians 3:1-3
Dr. Peter Hammond