Sudanese Christians request prayer for an upcoming court hearing concerning the ongoing issue of illegal appropriation of church property by government-aligned agents.
The hearing, at which a verdict is expected, is scheduled for 1pm (local time) on Monday 30th October, at Omdurman Criminal Court. Rafat and Daniel, Chair and Secretary of the Evangelical Community Council, the committee of the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SPEC) responsible for managing SPEC properties, will attend the session, together with their lawyer, Adam Mosa Abu-Anja.
In 2012 the SPEC dismissed the previous chair of the committee, Hamad Muhammad Salah, for committing fraud, appointing Rafat as his replacement. However, Mr Salah complained to the government, which “reinstated” him, even though the government has no legal authority to make appointments to church committees. Since his “reinstatement”, Mr Salah has been “selling” property belonging to the SPEC to businessmen aligned with the government, against the wishes of the SPEC. On several occasions, SPEC members have been detained or physically assaulted while peacefully protesting these “sales”.
In 2016 an administrative court ruled that Rafat is the legal chair of the Community Council, not Mr Salah. However, Mr Salah has accused Rafat and Daniel of trespass, criminal possession (by pretending to be a church representative) and illegally impersonating the chair of the Community Council. At a Criminal Court hearing on 20th October, witnesses presented evidence. The presiding judge is due to issue his decision at the hearing on 30th October.
Sudanese Christians request prayer:
a. that government efforts to confiscate SPEC properties will cease, together with efforts to demolish church buildings belonging to other denominations
b. for wisdom and peace for Rafat, Daniel and their lawyer as the legal proceedings continue
c. that the judge will act fairly, recognise Rafat as the chair of the committee, and acquit Rafat and Daniel of all charges
d. that Sudanese Christians will experience the peace of the Lord, and that pressures against them would ease
e. that the church in Sudan will stand strong in faith and perseverance, despite pressures and persecution, so that all may see the light of Jesus