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On Trial: Four Christians in Sudan

VOM Concerned by Sudan’s Imprisonment of Christian Leaders

August 22, 2016

VOM and other organizations concerned about the treatment of Christians by the Islamist Sudanese regime have been watching closely a developing situation in Sudan in which three Sudanese men and a Czech Christian man were arrested last December and held without charges. After more than eight months of wrongful imprisonment, Sudanese media reported that a trial for these men began on Sunday, August 21.

The Sudanese government is led by Omar Al Bashir, an Islamist indicted for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide by the International Criminal Court. Bashir and his government have a history of severe persecution of Christians. Upon Sudan’s separation from South Sudan, Bashir promised the country would become more Islamic, and vowed to replace the current constitution with one much closer to Islamic Sharia law.

Three Sudanese men, Rev. Hassan Abdelrahim Kodi, Rev. Kuwa Shemaal, and Mr. Abdelmoneim Abdelmoula are currently on trial in Khartoum, Sudan, along with a Czech national, Petr Jasek. All four men were arrested in December. Sudanese law stipulates that a prisoner be formally charged or released within 45 days; none of the four men was formally charged within that time frame. These four are just the latest in a long line of Christians persecuted in Sudan. Last year two pastors from South Sudan were arrested. They were eventually found guilty of lesser charges, but sentenced to time served and released to return to South Sudan. Meriam Ibrahim, another Sudanese Christian, gained international attention when she was arrested for apostasy and forced to deliver a baby inside a Sudanese prison.

The Sudanese have sought to characterize Petr Jasek, the Czech national, as a “filmmaker” whose aim was to conspire against the Sudanese state. The accusations made against Mr. Jasek by the Sudanese National Intelligence Security Services (NISS) are false. Mr. Jasek has never made nor released a film, nor has he made political statements.

VOM knows Mr. Jasek to be a kindhearted man who has assisted VOM in delivering aid to displaced and suffering Christians in Sudan, Nigeria and other African nations. Mr. Jasek's background in hospital administration uniquely qualifies him to serve suffering people, and especially to benefit suffering communities through provision of medical care in austere locations. Mr. Jasek's work has always been humanitarian in nature, and not in any way political.

The Voice of the Martyrs calls on Christians everywhere to pray for Pastors Kodi and Shemaal, as well as Mr. Abdelmoula, Mr. Jasek and their families. Pray with us for a just verdict and their immediate release to be reunited with their families.

Posted: August 22, 2016
Updated: September 20, 2016

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