This is the second post in a series on Stories of Reckless Faith.
Here’s a quick summary of Pastor Hassan’s situation with some resources for response.
Fabulous new news from Sudan! I was concerned that Pastor Hassan and his companion Mr. Abdumawla had been forgotten after Petr Jasek was freed. But with a renewed international advocacy campaign, they have now been freed too! They received a presidential pardon on May 11. Praise God for the answered prayer!
Pastor Hassan Abduraheem, 49, served as Pastor and Secretary General for the Sudan Church of Christ (SCOC). He spoke at an international conference for Christian leaders in Sudan in November 2015. His presentation touched on the injuries sustained by a student during a demonstration in Darfur. Petr Jasek, a Czechoslovakian Christian aid worker who attended the conference, volunteered to help fund the young man’s medical care. Pastor Hassan facilitated a meeting and between Mr. Jasek and the young man in Khartoum and gave Mr. Jasek a receipt for his financial support.
Mr. Jasek was arrested when he tried to leave the country and has been in prison ever since—for an act of mercy toward an injured man. Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service claims that Mr. Jasek’s donation was in reality support for rebel militias in the war zone in South Sudan. Jasek, Pastor Hassan, and two other SCOC pastors (Reverend Shamal and Mr. Abdumawla) were imprisoned and charged last August with a number of false charges including waging war against the state and espionage—charges that could bring the death penalty.
Reverend Shumal was released last week after a judge concluded the case against him was baseless. But the trial against the other three continues on Monday, January 8, when the defense teams will present evidence for their innocence. Please pray for these three men!
The men have been detained illegally for months in cramped and unsanitary conditions. Reverend Hassan suffers from duodenal ulcers. Poor prison conditions and lack of medical attention have reportedly worsened his condition.
Many Sudanese Christians have faced persecution, including Pastors Michael and Peter and Meriam Ibraheem. World Watch Monitor, a persecution watch group, has expressed that these cases are “representative of a much larger campaign by Sudan to eradicate Christianity.” Sudan is eighth on the 2016 Open Doors World Watch List of countries where Christians face “extreme” persecution—Open Doors’ worst rating. Church buildings have been bombed and bulldozed. The International Criminal Court has also indicted the country’s president, Omar al-Bashir, for genocide and other charges.
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