International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on October 13, 12 Christian men from Darfur were arbitrarily arrested by officers from the Sudan National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) for mingling with the local Muslim community. Reverend Kuwa Shamal confirmed, “The arrests were done at Nyala market while the young men were interacting with Islam adherents, building rapport for witnessing, when Sudan’s security authorities surrounded them and led them to the police station, handcuffed.”
Darfur is a predominantly Muslim, war-torn region. The constant conflict between the Arab Muslims and Christians led to the secession of South Sudan in 2011, after which Sudan pressed harder for adopting stronger Islamic policies.
Commenting on the incident, a lawyer who represents Christians prosecuted in Sudanese courts, expressed, “Until now, the Christians have not been asked what was happening or given a chance to explain what they were doing. This is a total breach of the law of the land that gives freedom of worship and sharing of one’s faith. It is also unlawful to detain anyone without trial.”
Adding to the matter, Rev. Kuwa said, “Some of the arrested men are disciples that I baptized in 2015 when they left Islam and converted to Christianity. The detainees have been doing a recommendable work of sharing the Good News in Darfur, and we pray for their immediate and unconditional release.”
Christians in Sudan who convert from Islam often face discrimination and hostility as a result of their faith. They are considered apostates who deserve the death penalty, according to radical Muslims throughout Sudan.