In December 2015, three Christians in the Sudan were arrested – a local pastor, one of his co-workers, and one Czech aid worker. The charges did not directly have to do with religion. Rather, they officially had to do with criminal actions against the state which could have promoted revolution. Nevertheless, what developed were worldwide protests.

In the Sudanese Embassy

In the Sudanese Embassy (from the left): Deborah Fikes [UN Envoy for the WEA], Thomas Schirrmacher, Ambassador Maowia O. Khalid, Bishop Efraim Tendero [Secretary General of the WEA] © IIRF Schirrmacher / Warnecke

On February 26, 2017, the responsible courts had already let Petr Yasek, who is from the Czech Republic, go free since there was insufficient evidence against him. In contrast, Pastor Hassan Kodi and Abdulmonem Abdumawla were each sentenced to 12 years of imprisonment. However, on May 11, 2017 they were pardoned by the Sudanese President.

No, it is not surprising, even though it was repeatedly reported as such. Rather, it has to do with the fact that Christians, for instance the leadership of the World Evangelical Alliance, are also active in the areas of politics and law as they work for religious freedom. This is something some Christians are quick to condemn.

Here I have reported that as the World Evangelical Alliance we were with the Ambassador of the Sudan in Washington, Maowia O. Khalid, who negotiated for the President of the country. I was also present alongside Deborah Fikes, the UN Envoy of the WEA and Bishop Efraim Tendero, Secretary General of the WEA. What was involved was above all the matter of the release of both Christians if they were to be sentenced. In return for a Sudanese promise, the WEA stopped its worldwide campaign while the case was being tried. The Sudan held exactly to its promise, for which we are thankful.

 

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