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Pastors Kuwa Shamal (left) and Hassan Taour (right)
Photo: World Watch Monitor

A trial of four men, including two Sudanese church leaders and a foreign aid worker, resumed on August 29th in Khartoum, with Sudan's prosecution accusing the defendants of highlighting the alleged suffering of Christians in war-ravaged areas of the country.

The four defendants are Hassan Abduraheem Kodi Taour and Kuwa Shamal, pastors originally from the Nuba Mountains of Sudan's South Kordofan region; Petr Jasek, a Christian aid worker from the Czech Republic; and Abdulmonem Abdumawla Issa Abdumawla, a Darfuri graduate student. The men have been accused of conducting intelligence activities and providing material support for rebels. Some of the charges against them are punishable by death.

During the trial, the prosecutor demanded the harshest punishment, alleging that the defendants claimed the buildings were bombarded by government warplanes. He also purported that the Christian aid worker was planning to go into areas "claimed to have been destroyed by the Sudanese army" with the intent to interview civilians regarding concerns of torturous conduct by Sudanese authorities.

In Sudan, the demolition of churches and arrests of Christians have increased since 72-year-old President Omar al-Bashir began reasserting Sharia law. Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. Sudan currently is ranked eighth on Open Doors' World Watch List of the 50 countries where Christians face the most severe persecution. For more information on the country of Sudan, click here.

Please pray for the four accused men and their families as they endure the ongoing court proceedings and allegations presented against them. As greater awareness of their case becomes known internationally, may fellow believers around the world join in the prayer vigil on their behalf, petitioning our Righteous Judge for their safety and a just outcome. Pray for a miraculous turnaround of this case, and that the Sudanese president and his government officials will come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ who loves and values human lives. Let's also widen our prayers by lifting up to the Lord all of His followers who are suffering persecution in Sudan, especially those in the Nuba Mountain region where Christian communities have been harassed for so many years.