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Sudan

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Numerous church buildings in Sudan have been demolished by the authorities

“They told me I must co-operate with them in giving them the names of Muslims who have changed their religion, and they asked me about the whereabouts of my friend, a guy who was a Muslim and became a Christian.” A Christian man who fled Sudan in 2013 described how the authorities there are trying to track down Christian converts from Islam. Officials threatened to kill him for refusing to divulge names.

The persecution of apostates, who are legally punishable by death in Sudan, is only one part of a targeted and ruthless campaign being waged by the Islamist government against the country’s Christian minority. Sudanese Christians have been arrested, interrogated and detained without charge; churches are being demolished and Christian institutions closed; and Christian literature has been seized. A media drive against alleged “Christianisation” led to the deportation of numerous foreign Christian workers. The government has said that it will not grant any more licences for new church buildings.

President Omar al-Bashir has made clear his intention to make Sudan a fully Islamic state, and since the secession of the mainly Christian South Sudan in 2011, the process of Islamisation has accelerated. Although a strict version of sharia is already in force, the new constitution is expected further to limit religious freedom.

Hundreds of thousands of Christians from South Sudan, many of whom were driven from their homes by decades of civil war (1983-2005), are effectively being forced out of the country by government intimidation and harassment. But many lack the money or resources to move their families and possessions to South Sudan. Hostility towards any remaining Christian presence in Sudan is growing, and some observers believe that the government’s goal may be to eradicate Christianity from the country altogether.

Government forces have also been targeting the Nuba Mountains near the border with South Sudan, which has one of the largest Christian populations in the country. The purpose of their brutal air and ground campaign appears to be to “cleanse” the region of its non-Arabs and non-Muslims. Thousands have fled their homes to escape the violence and are now stuck in crowded refugee camps in the South.

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    • About 1,500 Christians staged a protest in Lahore, Pakistan in June 2014 over the grabbing of church-owned property by the government of Punjab. Over ten large properties, including a church, schools, hospitals and graveyards, have been taken. Christian leaders met with the Lahore District Coordination Officer on 15 June to demand the return of the latest school to be seized, but when they failed to get a positive response, Christian protestors took to the streets. Pray that the provincial government will respect the property rights of the churches. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 1 hour ago

    • Praise God that Pakistan’s Supreme Court has instructed the government to take specific steps to protect religious minorities from violence and intolerance. The ruling was issued partly in response to the deadly attack on All Saints Church in Peshawar in September 2013, which claimed over 100 lives. The court ordered the formation of a National Council for Minority Rights, a special police force to protect places of worship, and a taskforce to develop strategies to counter intolerance, along with further corrective measures. Campaigners for the rights of Christians in Pakistan welcomed the moves but expressed reservations about whether they would be implemented. Pray that the measures will achieve a tangible improvement in the condition of the country’s Christians. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Aug 2014 00:00

    • Loving Father, we cry out to You for the loved ones of ten Egyptian Christians who were murdered in Libya in February and March this year. We ask that You will bring your healing and peace to their families and friends and comfort their congregations in their loss. We pray for protection for Egyptian and other expatriate Christians in Libya and ask that their neighbours will not yield to requests by the militants to hand them over and get a reward in return. We pray that further Islamist attacks against Christians will be prevented and that the Libyan authorities will establish a greater measure of control over the country. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Aug 2014 00:00

    • Pray for Egyptian Christians who are leaving Libya in the face of growing violence against them. Many have gone there seeking work, but following the recent spate of killings, they are now fleeing. An Egyptian church leader has said that attacks and threats against Christians in the region are an attempt at “genocide”. Pray that what seems to be a targeted Islamist campaign to wipe Christians out of Libya will not succeed. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Aug 2014 00:00

    • A young Christian woman in Somalia was killed by a group of armed men who broke into her house in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, earlier this year. The assailants dragged her outside and shot at neighbours who tried to rescue her. Her parents were present when the attack took place. The Islamist group al-Shabaab has killed dozens of Christians since 2008, when it seized control of large parts of the country, and although it has now been driven from its strongholds, its deadly hostility to Christians is unrelenting. Pray for other Christian converts in Somalia as they face terror on every side (Psalm 31:13). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Aug 2014 00:00

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