Across the globe, persecution of Christians is increasing. It is important that this rise in persecution not go unnoticed, and even more important that it be stopped.
A few weeks ago we explained the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) system, and how the ACLJ continually uses it as a tool to address religious persecution. Today, Sudan is under the review of the 25th Session of the UPR Working Group of the U.N. Human Rights Council. Sudan is a country in which persecution of Christians is prevalent. Thus, as we highlighted in the report we submitted on Sudan to the UPR, this review of Sudan is quite necessary.
You may recall the poignant story of Mariam Ibraheem, the Christian mother of two, who was sentenced to death and forced to give birth to her second child while imprisoned – simply because she was a Christian. You may also remember Pastors Michael and Peter, who were also imprisoned in Sudan and faced possible death sentences because of their Christian faith. Fortunately, because of public attention to their cases and the prayers of Christians around the world, Mariam and Pastors Michael and Peter were released from prison. Their cases, however, serve to highlight the necessity of social accountability, and the role that the UPR process plays in that accountability process.
Part of the UPR process includes U.N. recommendations to the state as to what actions must be taken to address ongoing human rights violations. In our report, we recommended that the Working Group demand that Sudan cease violating the religious freedom of its citizens by abolishing the criminalization of apostasy (changing one’s religion). We further recommended that the Working Group demand that “Sudan cease the confiscation and destruction of churches and allow Christians to freely build new churches in their communities.”
It is our hope that today’s review of Sudan will result in the UPR Working Group recognizing Sudan’s failure to address these issues in the past, and to work with Sudan to ensure that they do not continue to go unaddressed.
Here at the ACLJ we continue to fight for the rights and freedoms of Christians – the rights and freedoms that are founded in their dignity and worth as human beings. We continue our efforts to hold accountable the abusive and oppressive governments that fail to recognize and protect the worth and dignity of their citizens. We will keep you updated as this process unfolds to ensure that religious freedom prevails.
We’re mobilizing our offices worldwide and working in Congress to defend Christians. Support our work for the persecuted Church today.
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