26th February 2018

                                                                                                                 Urgent Action
                                                      DEMOLITION OF EVANGELICAL CHURCH IN KHARTOUM NORTH, SUDAN
On Sunday 11th February 2018, personnel from combat riot police in Khartoum state of Sudan demolished the Evangelical Church in Al-Haj Yousif neighborhood of Khartoum North giving the reason that, the church’s plot had been sold. As a result, the church Congregants have no place to worship from. The demolished Evangelical Church is located in AL-Bashir square – 3 in Al-Haj Yousif neighborhood of Khartoum North town in Khartoum State of Sudan. This church was established in 1989 on the same space. It’s an Evangelical church but they accept in agreement with other congregants/ sects to worship/fellowship from there. About a hundred (100) people worship in this church. On 11th February 2018, a group of policemen from combat riot police came to the church and demolished it. This was immediately after the congregants were done with the morning service/ prayers. Demolition was based on a claim by the head of the neighborhood’s popular committee named Abduelkareem Saleh, he claims ownership of the church land and that he is in a process of handing the land to the new owner who bought it from him. The church demolition happened with no evidence of an order from authorities. After destroying the building (church), they took all the church property to unknown place. Immediately after demolishing, the church authority submitted a criminal lawsuit against Abduelkareem to Al-Haj Yousif attorney/ prosecution office. HUDO calls upon:
· Sudan government to respect the religious rights of Sudanese Christians and to maintain the rule of law.
· The Sudanese society, international community and embassies in Sudan to support the Sudanese Christians and observe the running case. HUDO Centre More Information This church was established on the current land since 1989 when the neighborhood was a remote area. In 1996, this area was surveyed for re-planning and by then the church got the registration card which gives priority to the existing building to acquire its plot but, without giving reasons, the authorities have not permitted. After, the church authority went ahead for the state land authority inquiring on denying them the land, the authority justified that, they should get the acceptance and recommendation of the neighborhood’s popular committee. When they went to the popular committee, the same head of the committee (Abduelkareem) informed them that, the plot should be under individual name not the church. Since then, the committee has not offered them the recommendation up to year 2000 when Abduelkareem submitted a lawsuit against the church claiming that, he owns the plot. Since then, the case has been before court up to late 2017 when the case was frozen without justification or a clear verdict. On 31st December 2017, while the church members were in the church praying, the claimant (Abduelkareem) came with a troop of police to evict them but he had no court eviction order and the church authority together with the member’s present resisted.