Christians and churches in Sudan are facing increased restrictions and hostility, since the secession of the southern part of the country six months ago, according to some church leaders – writes Fredrick Nzwili.

The leaders are highlighting arrests and abduction of Christians and threats directed at clergy, while warning of more challenges when the country implements Sharia (Islamic law).

“Restrictions in Sudan are not new, but we are worried things are getting harder since the secession of the south. With Sharia law we expect things to get even harder,” the Rev Mark Akec Cien, deputy General Secretary of the Sudan Council of Churches told ENInews on 20 January in a telephone interview.

Against the growing tensions, President Omar al-Bashir on 3 January 2012 reiterated that the north’s constitution will deeply entrench the law since the non-Islamic south had seceded. Around the same time, Sudan’s Ministry of Guidance and Religious Endowment threatened to arrest church leaders if they carried out evangelistic activities, according to Compass Direct News, a service that reports on Christians’ persecution.

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