We received word from Teresa Conradie, AI's Global Council Vice-Chairperson, regarding a significant increase in Sudan in the number of arrests, interrogations and deportations of Christians. She received the following letters, names changed to protect those involved:
Today we feel very saddened and burdened about the further deterioration in S. Our staff and ministry partners have come under intense pressure. Some have been called to the SS, others were already asked to leave the country.
Computers, laptops and cars have been confiscated. Most are held for questioning for prolonged time, 2 of our ministry partners are still in the SS headquarters now since 11 hrs!
I have been on the phone urging our staff to make travel arrangements to leave the country. One couple will leave tomorrow evening, the other family will decide tomorrow.
The situation with R. didn't change, she still didn't get her passport, is just waiting for them to call her again, she is very distressed psychologically and emotionally.
While I'm writing this message in the airplane in my way to Cairo one of our staff members is in the SS headquarter for interrogation, he, his wife and 2 children 5 & 7 years old, were scheduled to leave the country tomorrow. The other couple we have there left yesterday before being called by the SS. One of our partners - after he was interrogated for hours on 2 successive days was allowed to leave the country. In the airport he was questioned again and they took his computer and cell phone. The feeling is that one of the officers just took it for himself!!! R. is still there, they don't call her but they have her passport, so she can't leave the country.
Yesterday I had a meeting with the 7 Egyptian families who were deported from Sudan in the last 7 days, the meeting was very intense emotionally. Some of those families were given 48 hours to leave the country, they had to sell all their furniture, cars and everything they own. Many of these things they just gave to their friends, there was no time to sell!! One family left the country before they managed to go back to their home, so they just left behind everything they own! Several of their homes were searched, the SS took every piece of paper, computer, laptop, iPad, iPhone (that is the SS favorite!!!) none of these items were returned. The 7 families represented in the meeting lived in Sudan between 33 (the longest) and 4 years (the shortest). All were planning to be there long term, all loved the country and the people and all have a clear call from God to support the Church and bring the good news of Christ to the people of Sudan. All were given clear instruction by the SS never to go back. All had the question: Why? Except the 73 year old man of God who lived there for 33 years, he gave us a word from God from Psalm 32, 6 - 11 & John 15, 9 -25. There were prayers, tears and lots of memories of Sudan!!!
Three South Sudanese took an airline flight out of Sudan after authorities ordered them to leave the country because of their Christian activities - the latest in a rash of expulsions as the Islamic regime rids the nation of Christianity, sources said.
Please join us in praying for the safety and well-being of our brothers and sisters in Sudan.
Thanks again for your continued prayers for Advocates around the globe who are representing people facing persecution.
May the Lord bless and keep you in His perfect. . .
Grace and Peace,