Police and security personnel today dispersed a congregation keeping vigil over its disputed property in North Khartoum, Sudan, and arrested five church leaders, sources said.
Authorities arrived at noon at the compound of the Khartoum Bahri Evangelical Church, where last week they demolished a pastor’s house and church wall, and threatened to arrest members of the congregation camped out on the site of the destroyed house as the Christians prayed and worshipped, a church source told Morning Star News.
Five church leaders were arrested for refusing to surrender the property as they encouraged the church to remain vigilant – the Rev. Daud Fadul, elder Fathi Hakim, elder Nouh Manzoul, deacon Iman Hamid and Tilal Mafishi. The leaders of the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SPEC)-affiliated congregation were taken to Khartoum North Police Station, the source said.
“Police present can still be seen surrounding Bahri Evangelical Church,” he said.
Another member added, “The whole church since last week has been camping in this place to prevent church property from destruction.”
Church members and other Christians who have been gathering at the site urged President Omar al-Bashir to stop targeting church property.
A sign in front of the church read, “We urge president of the Republic to urgently intervene and stop targeting church property.” Police removed it today as they entered the compound.
After a bulldozer accompanied by security personnel and police knocked down a wall of the church and houses on Nov. 17-18, the Christians formed a human barrier to face down further demolition attempts on Wednesday and Thursday (Nov. 19-20).
One of the homes destroyed in the compound belonged to Nile Theological College; a Christian doctor had rented it, and he lost all his belongings, sources said.
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SOURCE: Christian Daily