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Sudanese Christians reject the coup and call to pray for peace

The army is in control again, two years after the overthrow of Omar al-Bashir. “It is very important to pray for peace and security for all in Sudan”, evangelicals say.

FUENTES Protestante Digital AUTOR 5/Evangelical_Focus KHARTOUM 03 DE NOVIEMBRE DE 2021 10:05 h
A protester displays a Sudanese flag after the coup d'état / Screnshot RTVE

Sudan is once again experiencing tense and unstable times, after the army deposed Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and the rest of the government.

The military has also dissolved the main government bodies in the country and is violently suppressing the popular protests that were organised immediately after the announcement of the coup d'état.

Nearly ten civilians have already died as a result of violence by the armed forces, and hundreds have been injured.

Sudanese army general Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said in a speech from Khartoum that the military had already “gave all concessions possible” to reach an agreement with its civilian partners in the country's transition following the overthrow of autocrat Omar al-Bashir in 2019.

Al Burhan justified his rejection of “all the proposals for a solution” because, he said, the other parties were too polarised in their approaches, and added that the military intervention was carried because they were afraid of  “the disappearance of the country and civil war”.

He also stressed that he wants to complete the transition  “with full civilian participation” and promised democratic elections by July 2023, a year later than the commitments made by the Sovereign Council that was formed after the fall of Al Bashir.

Another of the agreements was the establishment of a shared presidency, with a military officer in charge the first year and a half, to be replaced by a civilian. This will not be fulfilled either.

After the military intervention, the Sudanese Ministry of Information has defended the legitimacy of Hamdok's government, claiming that the military is violating the Constitution.


“It is very important to pray for peace and security for all in Sudan”

Several Christian leaders in Sudan have reacted to the coup d'état and criticised the military's manoeuvre.

A leader of an American ministry in contact with sources in the African country, told Christianity Today that “it is very important to pray for peace and security for all in Sudan”.

Illia Djadi, senior analyst for Open Doors, pointed out that the coup “plunges the country in a new period of uncertainty” after a “hopeful few years”. Djadi added that the coup “seems to threaten to roll back all guarantees of religious freedom”.

Mervyn Thomas, president of Christian Solidarity Worldwide is also “deeply concerned by the military’s unilateral dissolution of the government, which clearly undermines the will of the people”.


Difficult social scenario

The social situation in the country could worsen after workers at the Central Bank of Sudan went on strike and medical personnel refused to work in military hospitals as a sign of rejection of the coup d'état.

Sudan has undergone a democratic transition over the past two years that has brought some signs of openness and normalisation of the human rights situation.

In September 2020 the country removed Islam as the official state religion, and two months earlier it had repealed the death penalty for apostasy. Furthermore, in October 2020, the country announced the restoration of diplomatic relations with Israel.



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