Sudan: tools of intimidation
A Sudanese government force destroyed a church Monday, ignoring the wails of nearby residents, witnesses told journalists working for CNN.
The attack came a day after authorities sent a letter saying they would demolish the church, priest Kuoa Shimal said.
The 70-strong force Monday arrived at the Alizba slums near the capital, Khartoum, around 10 a.m., witnesses said. Some were dressed in plain clothes.
In April 2013, the Sudanese minister of religious affairs announced that no licenses would be granted to allow for the building of new churches — less than two years after the predominantly Christian South Sudan seceded to form an independent country.
During a brief territorial war between Sudan and South Sudan in April 2012, a mob of Islamist extremists attacked and destroyed a church west of Khartoum despite a police cordon around it.
The threat of violence has caused Sudan’s churches to empty. “The church is now contaminated with terror. You don’t feel safe in prayer,” one Christian activist said.