Christian Sudanese pastors are currently under threat of facing the death penalty in Sudan after being persecuted and imprisoned a year ago along with a Christian Sudanese leader and an aid worker.
A global petition is currently underway to save the pastors along with the other condemned individuals. The allegations of Rev. Hassan Abduraheem and Rev. Kuwa Shamal's insurgence of the Sudanese government were brought upon an instance when the pastors attended a Christian seminar in November 2015. Rev. Abduraheem showed a picture of a man he is helping who was beaten while conducting a protest, according to ACLJ.
The Sudanese government claimed that aiding and assisting the said person is in line with insubordination. In December 2015, the pastors were arrested, along with Christian leader Abdelmoneim Abdelmoula, and Czech aid worker Petr Jasek.
The Sudanese National Intelligence Security Services claimed that Jasek was aiming to conspire against the Sudanese government by releasing a film that badly promotes the government. This allegations of the NISS were disputed since Jasek's activities in Sudan are solely for humanitarian purposes who aided Christians persecuted by the government.
In the trials, the prosecutor released photos and videos from Jasek's laptop showing the four convicted persons helping a young student, Ali Omer, who was badly burned because of a tear gas thrown at a protest in Alzaiem Alazhari University, according to Nuba. The footages used against the convicted were said to be used against the ill promotion of the Sudanese government.
"They are charged with basically everything but the kitchen sink. They are charged with espionage, undermining the government, and reporting false information about the government of Sudan. All kinds of things that, if they were found guilty of everything, they could actually face the death penalty," Voice of the Martyrs Todd Nettleton said.
Rev. Abduraheem, Rev. Shamal, Jasek, and Abdelmoula's ray of hope can come from the international community as the petition might raise caution for the Sudanese government to proceed for the death penalty. This is highly possible since the release of the once persecuted Christian Pastor Yat Michael Ruot, Pastor Peter Yein Reith, and Mariam Ibraheem, who were freed because of international plea.
"The Sudanese government is sensitive to sort how they're perceived in the world, and so when they get thousands of letters and signatures saying, 'Hey, you shouldn't be putting these people on trial,' that really does make a difference. We've seen it in the past, and I hope that we'll see it in this case, too," Nettleton said.
The current president of Sudan, Omar Al-Bashir, promised an Islamic state to his people after the separation of Sudan and South Sudan in 2011. He stated that he will reform the current constitution and replace it with one that is close to Sharia law. He was also accused by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide.
Upon the country's independence, it took turn for the worst for the Christians. Churches were demolished since international forces who were protecting the Christians diminished after 2011. In 2013, building of churches are not allowed and in 2015, religious freedom is constrained further as Christians were arrested, accused, and persecuted.