Two South Sudanese pastors on trial in Khartoum had their latest hearing on 2 July. During the hearing, the judge questioned Pastor Yat and Pastor Reith, focusing on why they should be involved in Christian ministry in an Islamic country, and decided their case would continue to trial. The next hearing has been set for 14 July. The two pastors’ lawyer has been denied access to them.
Pastor Yat and Pastor Reith were arrested in December 2014 and January 2015 respectively and charged with multiple offences, including undermining the constitutional system and espionage (offences which carry the death penalty) and blasphemy (which may be punished by whipping).
On 1 July Pastor Hafez of the Evangelical Church in Bahri (where Pastor Yat preached before his arrest) and Mohaned Mustafa (the lawyer not only for the two pastors but also for the church) were arrested and detained briefly before being released on bail. The authorities had come to destroy part of the church complex on the order of government officials. When Pastor Hafez and the lawyer complained that the government employee was attempting to destroy part of the church compound that was not within the government order, they were both arrested for obstructing a public servant in the exercise of his duties. The government employee continued to destroy the part of the compound that was not within the order.
The lawyer was driven to the police station but the pastor was made to walk there in handcuffs. During his detention, Pastor Hafez was hit on the side of his head with a gun. After his release he needed to go to hospital for x-rays. It is not yet known when the case against Pastor Hafez and the lawyer will be brought to court.
Source: Middle East Concern
- Please pray that Pastor Yat, Pastor Reith, Pastor Hafez and the lawyer, Mohaned, together with their families, will know the Lord’s peace and protection.
- Pray for the upcoming trial, that it will be just and reasonable. Pray all charges against them will be dropped.
- Pray the church in Sudan will not lose heart, but rejoice in the opportunity to grow in Christlikeness through the opposition they face (James 1:2-4)