Trial Begins for Nine Attackers Accused of Sudan Church Arson

Church in Khartoum

The trial of nine defendants accused of setting fire to a church in Omdurman, Khartoum, commenced on November 29 at Dar-Alsalam Criminal Court, marking the first prosecutions for damaging a church in the nation’s history.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (www.csw.org) reports a total of 14 individuals are accused of the church attacks; one is being tried in a separate court for minors, while the remaining four are believed to be in hiding.

The trial relates to a series of attacks on a church building belonging to the Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC) in Jabarona, Omdurman, which have taken place since December 2019. The church was initially attacked by extremists four times between December 2019 and January 2020.

In March, following calls from CSW, Sudan’s Minister for Religious Affairs and Endowments, Mr Nasr al-Din Mufreh, pledged to investigate the attacks, signing a ministerial order which appointed commissioners to carry out the investigation.

Despite this, the church was attacked once again on August 14, 2020. Subsequently, on August 22, the 14 defendants submitted a letter to the Ombada local authority asking them to clear the square where the church is located within three months and threatening to undertake the action themselves if this was not done.

The defendants have not denied sending the letter. CSW sources report that the next trial hearing will be held on December 21.

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SOURCE: Assist News Service