Monday, October 29, 2012
Sudanese Bible School Re-Opens Despite Islamist Intimidation
Burned and ransacked in April, Christian compound faces further threats
By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service
JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN (ANS) -- Amid threats of further losses, classes resumed this month at a Khartoum Bible school and church compound that Muslim extremists torched in April, an area Christian source said.
According to a story by Morning Star News, students and administrators at Gerif West Bible School in Sudan have yet to fully recover their losses from the April 21 attack.
However, the source said classes resumed on Oct. 15 even as area Muslims try to take school land and anti-Christian messages broadcast from a nearby mosque loudspeaker on most Fridays.
Muslim leaders have been saying through the mosque loudspeaker that Christian institutions should not be allowed in Sudan, as the country should be a "purely Islamic state" since the secession of South Sudan on July 9 2011, he said.
“We are expecting the level of persecution to rise in Sudan in the coming days,” a pastor who works at the Bible school told Morning Star News by phone, adding that hostilities against churches and Christians were intensifying.
Morning Star News said Islamist attackers shouting threats against Christians and “Allahu Akbar” (God is greater) on April 21 broke down the Christian compound wall with a bulldozer and set fire to the school and a Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SPEC) building. Also damaged were a clinic, a home for the elderly and living quarters.
According to Morning Star News, the hard-line Muslim sheikh who led the attack, Muhammad Abdelkrim, on Sept. 21 urged Muslims to tolerate no Christian presence and to have no dealings with them because they were “infidels,” the source said.
“We will never forgive Christians” for not being Muslims, Morning Star News reported the imam said during a mosque service on Sept. 21 through loudspeakers, besides saying that Christian institutions have no place in Sudan.
Morning Star News said the attackers ruined four halls used by three churches and burned the belongings of students at a dormitory. School library books, including 50 boxes of Bibles, were also destroyed. The attackers destroyed school furniture, as well as breaking into a safe and stealing college funds.
Morning Star News reported the attacks followed an effort by area Muslims to take control of at least part of the land, and another attempt has since emerged.
However, with the support of “Public Committees,” (Islamist bodies supported by the government that monitor Christian activities in Sudan), Islamic extremists continue to lay claim to the land as a justification for their threats to take it by force.
According to Morning Star News, police dropped the case after the school's lawyer presented the documents showing SPEC was the legal owner of the land. However, Adil and Ezat Hanaha have continued to claim the property with hopes that authorities sympathetic to Muslims will aid them.
Later this year look for Morning Star News at www.morningstarnews.org
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