Court proceedings were scheduled to resume today in Khartoum, Sudan in the trial of two South Sudanese Christian pastors who could face the death penalty for their faith in Christ.
Pastors Peter and Michael stand charged with undermining the constitutional code, waging war against the state, spying, and other charges, and last appeared in court on 31st May. At that time, the judge granted a delay in proceedings so that the prosecution could build their case, as they had reportedly produced scant evidence against the pastors.
The pastors, who have been in prison since their arrests in December 2014 and January 2015, were transferred to a high-security prison in North Khartoum last week, where they are being kept in solitary confinement.
In the face of possible death sentences, Pastors Peter and Michael remain hopeful with their faith grounded in Christ. “I am never afraid of anything because it is my love… because I believe. God chose me to suffer,” Peter explained.
The story of Pastor Peter and Pastor Michael highlights the continued opposition that the Sudanese government regularly shows towards Christians. According to Rev.Tut Kony from the South Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church, where Pastors Peter and Michael serve, “Almost all pastors [have] gone to jail under the government of Sudan. We have been stoned and beaten. This is their habit to pull down the church. We are not surprised. This is the way they deal with the church,”
International Christian Concern has partnered with other like-minded organizations to co-sign a letter to Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir requesting the release of Pastors Peter and Michael and calling for an end to the persecution of Christians in the country.
- Pray for Pastors Peter and Michael, and their families at this time. Pray that they will know the peace of God which passes all understanding, and that their faith will be a strong witness in prison.
- Pray for Christians in Sudan, who daily face persecution, prison and abuse. Pray for the Church to be strong in the midst of it all, and for many to come to know Christ in this struggling country.
- Pray for the Sudan government, especially at this time when President Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for genocide and crimes against humanity. Pray for an end to persecution of Christians, and for political stability in Sudan.
Psalm 102 vs 19 – 20: “‘The Lord looked down from his sanctuary on high, from heaven he viewed the earth, to hear the groans of the prisoners and release those condemned to death.”