South Sudanese Pastor Jailed After Preaching at Church

sudan-s

Security personnel in Sudan have held a pastor from South Sudan since Dec. 21 after he delivered a sermon at an embattled North Khartoum church.

Agents from Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) arrested the Rev. Yat Michael of the South Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church after Sunday worship concluded at Khartoum Bahri Evangelical Church on Dec. 21, a source told Morning Star News. At press time he remained in jail without charges.

Police in North Khartoum on Dec. 2 beat, arrested and fined 38 Christians from the church after nearly two weeks of raiding and demolishing church property. They were released later that night.

Pastor Michael had been invited to encourage the congregation to stand firm amid persecution. Besides arrests, the North Khartoum church compound has been subject to demolition of buildings and part of its worship center as Muslim investors seek to take it over.

NISS is empowered to arrest Christians, South Sudanese and others considered undesirable in the Islamist state without charging them with any crime. After church leaders had given thanks to God for His Word, NISS agents entered the church compound and took Pastor Michael to their office in North Khartoum.

“We tried to visit him, but it was not possible as the security prevented us from doing so,” a church leader told Morning Star News, adding that NISS personnel confiscated the pastor’s mobile phone.

Authorities have tried to take a part of church compound, but the worship center remains open.

“The level of persecution has become too much for us in Sudan,” a church leader said. “But God is good all the time; He will help His church face this persecution.”

Police on Dec. 2 arrested members of the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SPEC)-affiliated congregation under Article 77 of the notorious Public Order Law of 1991, which gives police broad powers to arrest Christians and other lowly regarded people without cause, for creating a public disturbance. The Christians were released after being sentenced to pay a fine of $250 each, sources said.

Five church leaders arrested on Nov. 25 were released that same night.

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SOURCE: Morning Star News

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