Hopeful Signs for Change in Sudan Meet with Cautious Pessimism

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Hopeful Signs for Change in Sudan Meet with Cautious Pessimism



JUBASouth Sudan, September 12, 2019 (Morning Star News) – The appointment of a Christian woman to the council overseeing the transition to civilian rule in Sudan is a hopeful sign, but some persecution-weary Christians are less than optimistic about prospects for improved religious rights.


Raja Nicola Eissa Abdel-Masih, a Coptic Christian who long served as a judge in Sudan’s Ministry of Justice, was one of six civilians appointed to the 11-member Sovereignty Council on Aug. 21. But Christians who have seen increased persecution from former President Omar al-Bashir’s Islamist campaign of the last seven years question whether Abdel-Masih and the new government can counter an entrenched Islamist mindset.


The Rev. Yahia Nalu of the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SPEC) said Abdel-Masih’s appointment is a positive symbol, but that it remains to be seen whether the council, with six civilians and five military members, can bring equality.


“Sudan’s case has to do with equality and the rule of law – rights have to be based on citizenship and nothing else,” Pastor Nalu told Morning Star News.


Abdel-Masih has said her appointment will enhance religious coexistence in Sudan. But the Rev. Kwa Shamaal (also transliterated Kuwa Shamaal) of the Sudanese Church of Christ, jailed for nearly two years between 2015 and 2017, is among those who believe her appointment…

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