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Another Church Building Set Ablaze in Sudan

The ninth church building in two years to be set ablaze in Sudan was torched last month, sources said.

Suspected Muslim extremists set fire to the Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC) building in the rural Tambul area of Al Jazirah, Al Jazirah state southeast of Khartoum, on Jan. 3, said the Rev. Kuwa Shamal, head of mission for the SCOC.

Hate messages against Christians circulated on social media in the area in the weeks leading up to the arson, according to local church leaders. Jubrial Tutu, pastor of the SCOC church in Tambul, described the arson as direct persecution of Christians.

Pastor Shamal said Sunday worshipers at the SCOC church had left the building a few minutes before the arson attack. Serving congregations of various denominations, the building was the only worship hall in the Tambul area, he said.

“They targeted the church because they do not want to see any sign of the cross in the area,” told Pastor Shamal.

Several social media posts have urged Muslims in Sudan to resist any church officials’ attempts to obtain approval for land for church buildings.

“In every city or village where Muslims live, they should not allow anything that belongs to infidels such as church buildings to be there,” one commentator posted in January.

Another urged Muslims in Tambul to prohibit the existence of another church building.

“When you build a church in Tambul…do you want the area to be a disgraced place?” he wrote.

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