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Rev. Kuwa Shamal
Photo: Morning Star News

Rev. Kuwa Shamal, head of missions for the Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC), was arrested on December 18th and released on December 21st. Subsequently, he had been required to report daily to the office of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) where he was held from 8 a.m. until midnight; a requirement that was removed on January 16th. However, his colleague, Rev. Hassan Taour, SCOC vice-moderator, remains in detention without charges.

NISS officials were reportedly upset with the pastors for telling others that Christians faced persecution in Sudan. Authorities had arrested the two men from their respective homes at the same hour. No charges have been brought against them, although NISS officials were to have said they objected to the pastors' Christian activities.

Since the church leaders' arrests in December, Christians in Sudan and elsewhere have been praying fervently for the two pastors and other imprisoned believers in this northeastern African country. Both of these men are from the Nuba Mountain region of South Kordofan state. Ethnic Nuba, along with Christians, have faced discrimination since President Omar al-Bashir vowed to adopt a stricter version of Sharia (Islamic) law.

Due to the government's treatment of Christians and other human rights violations, Sudan has been designated a "Country of Particular Concern" by the U.S. State Department since 1999. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom recommended that the country remain on the list in its 2015 report. More information about the persecution of believers in Sudan can be found at our Sudan Country Report.

Please join us in praying for the safety and protection of Rev. Hassan Taour. May the Lord's presence provide him needed reassurance during his unjust detainment. Ask God to also touch the hearts of Sudan's governmental and judicial authorities so that His people will receive fair treatment and be granted the freedom to worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). In the meantime, we can rejoice over the release of Rev. Kuwa Shamal, praising God that this pastor's detainment was short-lived. Please intercede for both pastors, and other believers in the country who are experiencing the pressures of persecution, asking the Lord to give them the courage and strength to continue sharing His love and the message of His saving grace.