Muslims in Sudan Force Pastors to Give Up Church Properties, Evict Congregations - Religious Freedom News

Muslims in Sudan Force Pastors to Give Up Church Properties, Evict Congregations

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Muslims in Sudan Force Pastors to Give Up Church Properties, Evict Congregations

An Islamist judge in Sudan has backed the decision for eviction of two pastors from their church-owned homes while 60 other Christians have been summoned to the court over their rejection to vacate property, The Gospel Herald informs citing sources.

Judge Adam Tahir Haj Adam on December 3 dismissed an appeal of the August 15 eviction of the Reverent Yahia Abdelrahim Nalu, Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SPEC) moderator, and the Reverent Sidiq Abdalla, a SPEC pastor, from their homes. Adam adopted a verdict that Muslim businessman Hisham Hamad Al-Neel should take over the houses, in what Christians in Sudan believe is a smear campaign to take over church property.

“All appeals presented are rejected, and implantation of court order should continue,” the court order stated.

The two pastors and their families are now on the street after the police raided their houses on August 15 and threw them out. Pastor Abdalla has two children, ages 8 and 10, and Pastor Nalu has a 1-year-old boy.

More than 60 church leaders are faced with charges in various courts in Khartoum for rejecting to hand over church lands and estates to Al-Neel, sources stated. A group of 25 SPEC leaders on November 28 appeared in a court in Omdurman, across the Nile River from Khartoum, after Al-Neel accused them of refusing to hand over church property that he claimed to own, they said.

Al-Neel is attempting to take over SPEC properties in Khartoum and Khartoum Bahri (Khartoum North). He is the Muslim businessman behind nearly all the cases filed to obtain church property, a source who requested anonymity told Morning Star News.

“Almost all the cases were opened by Hisham,” the source said.

The judge dismissed the petition of the two evicted SPEC pastors even though the August 15 eviction order referred to another house, No. 567, rather than that of one of the pastors, No. 772, a source said. The order does not name the occupants to be evicted, only the properties.

SPEC leaders said they believe the verdict could result in the imminent demolition of at least one of the church-owned houses.

“We need prayers from everyone,” Pastor Nalu said.

Among those on trial over SPEC properties is church elder Yohanna Tia, who appeared at a hearing on Nov. 28 after he was accused of attacking someone during an April raid by police and a mob on an evangelical school. Al-Neel also opened that case.