Sudan’s Christian Community Leaders Discuss Religious Freedom

SMC-

  • The Pentecostal Church vehemently denies talking about the desecration  of some of its churches
  • Rev. Teresa: Allegations of no religious freedoms began after the  secession of South Sudan
  • Head of the Evangelical community: Could not locate any demolished churches
  • Reverend Hamad accuses parties of falsifying reports for fundraising
  • President of Christ Church: Delegations from Australia and Canada have  witnessed the availability of religious freedoms in Sudan
  • Council of Religious Coexistence: We moved from coexistence to  brotherhood between Muslims and Christians

 

Seminar was moderated by Abdullah Bashir, Marwa Al Tayeb

A number of Western organizations have recently raised the issue of religious freedom in Sudan. Reports from the US administration have also expressed concern about the situation of non-Muslims, in conjunction with an organized campaign against the government in an attempt to show their disrespect for the rights of non-Muslims. Is unfair and contradicts the praise received from many of the symbols and leaders of global religious institutions in Sudan, who praise the level of security and freedom and respect for the rights of Christians in Sudan. 

To highlight this issue, the Sudanese Media Center and the Sudan Vision newspaper held a symposium in which a number of leaders of the Christian communities in Sudan took part to examine the reality of the freedoms enjoyed by Christians in Sudan and the experience of religious coexistence in the country and their evaluation of reports on religious freedom

 

Coexistence by Nature

Rev. Angelo Zaki Nasser, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Sudanese Church of Christ, began the session by affirming that religious cohabitation is a common among the Sudanese, so it is the reality of a pension and not a claim, indicating that Christians are celebrating these days by concluding the celebrations of Christmas and Independence Day.

America is one day but it is in Sudan for three days, which indicates respect for the rights of Christians.

 

Zaki said that by visiting a number of countries did not find coexistence between Muslims and Christians, as he did in Sudan, saying that in neighboring countries find the churches need to be guarded by security and there is a target for places of worship, which is not found in Sudan.

The priest, Teresa Philippe, the chaplain of the Church of the Pentecostal Church agreed with Zaki, saying that she came to Khartoum in 1981 and there was no spread of churches except Catholics in the eastern Nile and episcopal in the buildings and the Anglican and Coptic, and she participated in the “spiritual renaissance” Throughout these years, she nted, they had coexisted with the Muslims and had only seencooperation from the government.

The Pentecostal Church settled in Juba in 1975 and moved to northern  Sudan with five branches.

Teresa said that after the secession of South Sudan, some began to promote claims that there were no religious freedoms. They were issued by individuals who were trying to confuse them because they did not find positions in the churches.

 Christian… Muslim, No Difference

On the extent of the religious freedoms available in Sudan, the Rev

positions in the churches.Hamad Mohammed Saleh, head of the Evangelical Community Council in Sudan, said that they do not find any difference between Christians or Muslims and did not feel that there is discrimination against them because of religion. This is evidenced by the fact that Muslims andChristians in Sudan visit and congratulate some of them on holidays, That  Christians practice their worship in churches freely.

The Evangelical Congregation Council was founded in 1963, following the handover of the administrative work of the Presbyterian Evangelical Church of Sudan, which was also established in 1903 by the American  Mission.

Zaki said confidently: “I came here with the public vehicle and I wear the priest’s dress without making it a difference to the people,” asserting that they practice their rituals on Sunday without any obstacles. He pointed out that the Church of Christ was ratified by the government after we followed all There are friends who come to us from countries like

Australia and Canada and see for themselves how much religious  freedom is available in Sudan.  

Reports Contrary to Reality

As for their assessment of reports of a narrowing of their religious freedoms, Reverend Hamad expressed astonishment at the publication of such reports, which he asserted were based on unclear data, stressing that the coexistence found in Sudan has no parallel in all countries of the world, The countries he visited, including the United States and European  countries.  He said that the reports issued by foreign parties seeking to distort the image of Sudan, and has an interest in raising false information and reflect the image contrary to the reality of the situation.

Who Promotes Lies?

On the allegations of some churches of the Church of the Pentecostal of the demolition, Teresa said that all the churches of the community were approved by the authorities for its establishment, explaining that some of the camp staff tried to promote the lies of some churches to remove to provoke people against the government. They confirmed that they perform prayers and preaching programs freely in different states across Sudan, which he explained to the delegation he had recently visited from  Australia.

 

The head of the evangelical community said that those who report to organizations abroad do so to get money, that is, they are doing business for personal interests, and that these organizations benefit from these

reports in collecting donations. He said that in turn they asked those who call such cases to determine the locations of these churches until they are visited and inspected, so that they did not find an answer from them, which indicates that this talk is not true.

Building New Churches

“There are priests who do not have churches and they are confusing,” she said. “In the churches, they care about worship, not incitement against the government,” she said. Because the Bible asks them to respect and help the authorities and pray for them.

In the same context, the Rev. Hamad Mohammed Saleh pointed out that they are harmed by any targeting of the state because they are part of it and are influenced by what is affected by it, noting that the church does not resort to any reports to foreign parties. He pointed out that the authorities cooperate with them in the granting of certificates for the establishment of churches and recently was given two pieces of land in  the city of Kosti to build a church on it.

From Cohabitation to Brotherhood

During the symposium, Nur Jadeen, a member of the Advisory Committees of the Council for Religious Coexistence in Sudan, that they formed committees for the state of religious coexistence in all states, and said that these committees equally between Muslim and Christian leaders, noting their keenness to be influential leaders of all Christian communities and Islamic groups.

On his assessment of the experience, he said it was good because it created coexistence and continuity that was previously missing, indicating that moved from religious cohabitation to brotherhood  between Muslims and Christians.

He said that in the White Nile State they were visited by the “Pastor and the Imam” from the Association which represents the Nigerian experience in coexistence. They met all the religious leaderships, and the most important points were that the religious coexistence in Sudan is natural and not made. And the Christian. “It is not enough for you to be living and to take care of the circumstances and changes in the world,” Gadin said. “There are groups that have objectives in dismantling this coexistence. We in the Council are doing our duty to sponsor different religions and organize different celebrations.

The Rev. Angelo Zaki explains that their program in the Council for Religious Coexistence is the same as in the Bible. “The reprimand is better than hidden love.” They apply coexistence in a broad and scientific way by bringing together Christian and Muslim clergy and setting up joint programs, including visits by priests to mosques, and Imams to churches.