AFRICA/SUDAN - Increasing acts of intimidation against the Church

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Khartoum (Agenzia Fides) - There are increasing acts of intimidation against priests and missionaries on behalf of the authorities of Sudan. This was denounced to Fides Agency by local Church sources that for security reasons have requested anonymity.
In particular, in September four priests were summoned several times by the security services (Sudan National Security Intelligence Agency) in order to be questioned.
A priest reported that during his interrogation, the security men accused him of being a spy at the service of another African Country, having among other things spent a training period abroad. The priest calmly replied that the allegations are unjustified.
Both the passport and his mobile phone were detained by security officials "for verification".
According to our sources, this episode is just one example of intimidation carried out by the Sudanese authorities against the Catholic Church. Recently, in fact, some church centers were closed, several priests and foreign missionaries were forced to leave the country, while others did not have their residence permit renewed or were refused entry into the Country. Finally, the meetings of the church and the faithful movements are controlled by a network of informers .
The government in Khartoum has already expelled all foreign missionaries of other Christian churches. There are fears now that the future of the Catholic Church in Sudan is at risk. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 26/09/2013)