Middle East and North Africa

Church closed, clergy arrested in Sudan clampdown

A church in Omdurman has been closed and its leaders arrested by police in the latest Sudanese clampdown on Christians.

The International Solidarity Campaign with Sudanese Christians (ISCSC) claim that police stormed the Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC), in Al-Thawra, Khartoum state on 22 October, preventing a service before ordering the closure of the church.

The report also detailed five arrests including three members of the church leadership and two evangelists. According to local reports the church leaders were released following an interrogation and have been charged with disturbing the peace.

This action will be widely viewed as a setback to Sudan’s attempts to improve its reputation in the international community. Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour said this week that he wanted a second phase of dialogue with the Trump administration next month with the aim of removing Sudan’s name from the list of countries supporting terrorism.

The Trump administration has already lifted US economic and trade sanctions on the country.