Support religious freedom in Sudan
Since 1983, Sharia law has been imposed in Sudan and special courts have been set up to try non-Muslims, particularly Christians. Many citizens have been persecuted and sentenced to death because of their faith in Christ.
But today in Sudan, things could change!
Thanks to the courage of the economist Abdalla Hamdok, prime minister of the government of national unity that emerged from the ashes of Omar Hassan al-Bashir's 30-year-long regime, religious freedom and respect for human rights could become a reality in Sudan.
The majority of the Sudanese people greatly appreciate this new wind of freedom, but a minority of the population, made up of traditionalists linked to the old fundamentalist schemes, is trying in every way to hinder the change.
It is necessary to give the Sudanese government concrete support so that it realises that the path taken to protect fundamental rights such as religious freedom is not going unnoticed in the eyes of the world.
Just as the governments of the United States and Israel have already done, we too must support the Sudanese government in this process of change.
Here are the momentous changes that this new government would like to integrate into the country:
Abolition of Islam as the state religion
Abolition of the death penalty for those who change religion and abandon Islam, and removal of the crime of apostasy from the penal code.
Approval of the decree on religious freedom for all believers and churches in the country
Ban on the marriage of girls and the outlawing of infibulation
Allocation of land to Churches for the construction of Christian places of worship.
These important and courageous measures taken by the country's transitional council have been appreciated not only by the bishops of the Catholic, Coptic, and Evangelical Churches but also by the US Administration, which has recently decided to remove Sudan, after 25 years, from the blacklist of terrorist countries where religious freedom is prevented.
However, there are many Islamist groups in the country linked to the old regime that are trying in every way to boycott the reforms and destroy the new climate of freedom for citizens and Christian communities.
Let us not allow the pressure of these groups to prevent this momentous change!
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To the Chairman of the Sovereignty Council of Sudan, Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan