After eight months of legal limbo, Sudan has finally charged two pastors of being guilty of at least seven crimes, some punishable by death.
According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), Hassan Abduraheem Taour and Kuwa Shamal, both pastors of the Sudan Church of Christ, are accused of “complicity to execute a criminal agreement and waging war against the state”.
The two Christian ministers also face charges of espionage, calling for opposition of the public authority by violence or criminal force, and inciting hatred between classes, CSW added.
Among the host of other crimes the Christians are accused of are “propagation of false news articles, and entry and photography of military areas and equipment.”
Pastor Taour had been detained without charge after being arrested on 18th December 2015, which is in contravention of Khartoum’s own law. Meanwhile, Pastor Shamal was detained on the same date, released, and then re-arrested again without charge on 24th May.
The pastors were moved to Sudan’s Khartoum State Prison on 11th August and it was believed the pastors had appeared in court on 14th August. However, World Watch Monitor now understands that the hearing was suddenly postponed until this Sunday, 21st August.
The maximum sentence for waging war against the state (Article 51 of Sudan’s law) and espionage (Article 53) is the death penalty.
- Pray for Pastors Taour and Shamal as they await their court hearing this weekend. Pray for peace surround them and their families at this time, and for their faith to be a witness to others in prison, including their guards.
- Pray for the hearing on Sunday to go ahead, for the charges to be dropped and the two pastors released without further delays.
- Pray for Christians in Sudan, as they face ongoing and growing persecution. Pray for their protection, for their faith to be strong and for freedom to meet together to worship without fear.
- Pray for a move of the Holy Spirit across Sudan for and easing of the strict Islamic law that holds many in fear, and for many people to have life changing encounters the living Jesus Christ.
Acts 12 vs 5: “While Peter was kept in prison, the church prayed fervently to God for him.”