Persecution of Christian Churches
President Omer Hassan al-Bashir has declared Sudan would embrace Sharia and Islam as the official state religion after the breakaway. Adroub.net has documented this in a previous post. On 7 August, Qutbi al-Mahdi, the political bureau officer of the ruling National Congress Party told the Sudan Tribune that the decrees would soon be issued.
Churches in the Muslim north are facing pressure from government officials and members of the public who are demanding their closure.
South Sudan became an independent state on 9 July, creating hope for many Christians, especially in the north, where they were never allowed full freedom to operate. But they are now facing increased threats from individual groups, according to Rev. Ramadan Chan, a Baptist.
"The groups have collected names of pastors and are warning them against conducting church services on Sundays or they would be killed," said said Chan, general secretary of the Sudan Council of Churches.
He said that renewal of identity cards and other important documents for the leaders and the south Sudanese were being denied. "The people are not being allowed to take property like refrigerators and cookers. Money is also being taken away by the soldiers at the border points," he said.
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Persecution of Journalists
In additional news, reporters who have written articles about human rights violations in north Sudan have been detained. Entire newspapers have been closed down because they were partially owned by South Sudanese investors.
River transport has been reduced, and the amount of good flowing into South Sudan from the north has diminished. This traditional route of import is forcing South Sudan to improve the muddy roads from Uganda. Additionally, the oil that is pumped from South Sudan through the 28" pipeline to Port Sudan for export to Malaysia and China is now being subject to excessive transit charges, reducing the profit to South Sudan, which is dependent on oil exports for the vast majority of government revenue.