Sudan releases shipment of Bibles held in Port Sudan for six years

Bibles in Sudan are hard to come by with a government stopping the distribution, and with conflict raging in several parts of the country. such as in South Kordofan's Nuba mountains. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
“Since 2011, customs officials have delayed the clearing of several shipments of Arabic Bibles via Port Sudan, without explanation,” World Watch Monitor was told. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

The Sudanese government has cleared a shipment of Bibles believed to have been held in Port Sudan for six years.

The Arabic-language Bibles were released two weeks ago and transported to the capital, Khartoum, after years of appeals by church leaders, a local source told World Watch Monitor.

“Since 2011, government customs officials have delayed the clearing of several shipments of Arabic Bibles via Port Sudan, without explanation,” the source said, adding that it had left Bibles decaying in shipping containers at the port while the approximate 2 million Christians in the country were facing a serious shortage of Bibles and teaching materials.

In October last year a senior church leader, who has overseen the import of hundreds of thousands of Bibles and other pieces of Christian literature to Sudan, told World Watch Monitor the Bible Society had not received any new Bibles to distribute in Sudan since 2013.

Sudan is fourth on the 2018 Open Doors World Watch List of the 50 countries where it is most difficult to live as a Christian. It is also a “country of particular concern” for the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an independent, bipartisan advisory body.

In 2011, Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, said he wanted to adopt a “100 per cent” Islamic constitution after the Christian-majority south had voted to secede. Since then, foreign missionaries have been expelled, churches confiscated or demolished, and leaders harassed and arrested.


The release of the Bibles coincided with the return of property ownership to 19 Sudanese churches.

These developments come as Sudan pushes for the normalisation of bilateral relations with the US and its removal from the US’s list of state sponsors of terrorism. Rights groups have called on Washington to “put the brakes on” normalising relations, saying there has been little evidence of progress in the area of human rights.

A USCIRF delegation visited Khartoum and North Darfur in May and heard from stakeholders “that there is no religious freedom” in Sudan.

Source : World Watch Monitor

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David Oshin is a Content Creator || Full stack Web Developer||Podcast Host || Digital Marketing Strategist. He is very passionate about UNITY of the body of Christ.

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