By Mohammed Amin
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby arrived in Khartoum on Sunday for a rare visit to Sudan.
Shortly upon arrival, the archbishop inaugurated the Anglican Church in Sudan, which had been administrated from Juba, the capital of South Sudan since its secession from Sudan in 2011.
During the ceremony, he called on the Sudanese government to guarantee the religious freedom of Christians in the country.
He went on to commend “coexistence between Muslims and Christians” in Sudan.
“Such tolerant coexistence needs freedoms, in which we welcome every one and pray for Sudan there will be freedom continuously forever,” he said.
The archbishop is expected to meet Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir during his four-day visit to the country. He will also visit Kadugli, one of five dioceses in Sudan, where there has been violent conflict.
Sudanese authorities have welcomed Welby’s visit, saying it reflects tolerance and religious freedoms in the country.
Sudan – a Muslim-majority country — has face accusations of oppressing Christians with several leaders arrested on charges of espionage.
Sudan is currently number five on the Open Doors world watch list of countries where persecution is most severe.