17th March, 2016

Sudanese authorities detained another church leader in the Khartoum area without charges on Monday, releasing him that night before arresting him again the next day, according to an area source.

The whereabouts of pastor Philemon Hassan of Baptist Church Hai El Esbah-Khartoum North were unknown after personnel from Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) arrested him again on Tuesday.

The pastor’s wife urged Christians to pray for her husband as she does not know why he was detained.
“Pray for him and our family,” she said.

Several sources told Morning Star News that, prior to arresting the pastor on Monday, NISS officials had raided his home, scattered his belongings about the house and confiscated his laptop and documents. He was jailed for more than 10 hours and released around 1am before his re-arrest on Tuesday.

The pastor is well-known for composing worship songs.

“May God be with those who are oppressed,” a Sudanese Christian wrote in a prayer campaign on her Facebook page. “He will keep you safe from every evil.”

Sudanese authorities arrested two pastors without charges in Khartoum in December, releasing one, and they also arrested Telahoon Nogose Kassa that month, presumably for his advocacy against the government confiscation of the property of his church, Khartoum Bahri Evangelical Church. Kassa has been detained without charges since 14th December

Rev Kwa Shamaal, head of missions for the Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC), was arrested on 18th December and released on 21st December but had been required to report daily to NISS offices, where he was held from 8am until midnight, sources said. That requirement was removed on 16th January. His colleague, Rev Hassan Abdelrahim Tawor, SCOC vice-moderator, remains in detention without charges since his arrest on 18th December.

NISS officials were said to have been upset with the pastors for telling others that Christians faced persecution in Sudan. Authorities had arrested the two pastors from their respective homes at the same hour.

The arrest of Pastor Hassan comes after two South Sudanese pastors, Rev Peter Yein Reith and Rev Yat Michael, were released last year following eight months in prison on false charges of capital crimes due to their efforts to defend Khartoum Bahri Evangelical Church against the illegal sale of its property.

- Morning Star News