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Amid the political shifts in the North African countries of Egypt and Sudan, the laws against defaming Islam continue to threaten Christians in the countries.

Article 98(f) of Egyptian law, known to attorneys as the "contempt of religion" charge, is not officially an anti-blasphemy law. It is meant to discourage people from offending others' religious sensitivities. In reality, however, it is reportedly used to stifle free speech and punish and intimidate those who do not subscribe to the standard, orthodox version of Sunni Islam practiced by most in Egypt. Violating this statute is known as having "defamed a heavenly religion." Others have been charged under the statute with "insulting Islam." By comparison, no convert from Christianity to Islam has ever been charged with Article 98(f) for defiling Christianity.

In Sudan, where the non-Islamic south is set to split from the Islamic north on July 9, as the result of the referendum earlier this year (click here for more information), Christians in the north remain vulnerable to baseless accusations of defaming Islam. Apostasy (leaving Islam) is punishable by death. Violation of Section 125 of the Sudanese Criminal Act, which prohibits "insulting religion, inciting hatred and showing contempt for religious beliefs," is punishable by imprisonment of one year, a fine and 40 lashes. While convictions are reportedly rare, Christian converts from Islam continue to be victims of Sudan's blasphemy law.

Pray the Lord will equip faithful leaders who are willing to speak up for human rights and religious freedom in Egypt and Sudan. Ask the Lord to strengthen and protect His often-embattled Church in these countries. Pray that Christ's Body throughout North Africa will continue to be a bold testimony of His love and grace.

To find out more about trials facing Sudanese Christians, go to the Sudan Country Report.

Country Information

46,751,152 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Sudanese Arab (70), Fur, Beja, Nuba and Fallata (30)

Sunni Muslim, small Christian minority

President (vacant)
Military transitional council under General Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman al-Burhan

Government type
Presidential republic

Legal system
Mixed legal system of Islamic law and English common law

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Sudan

Pray that Christians throughout Sudan will continue to entrust themselves to Christ and preach the Gospel boldly, knowing Jesus is the ruler over the kings of the earth (2 Timothy 1:7-12, Revelation 1:5).

Pray also that peace, justice and religious freedom may be firmly established.


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Sudan News

  • Court Orders Partial Destruction
    Hands raised in worship
    Pray that believers will be able to continue meeting together.

    A court in the Sudanese city of Khartoum Bahri has ordered the partial demolition of the Khartoum Bahri Evangelical Church, effectively blocking the only entry point to the building. The church has faced several court challenges in the p

  • Couple's Marriage Considered Illegal and Adulterous
    Wedding couple at sunset

    A married Christian couple living in Gezira State, Sudan, is on trial for adultery after the wife's family filed charges against them. The case relates to the legitimacy of their religious conversions, along with a law that prohibits a Muslim woman from being married to a non-Muslim man.