Christian Entity Condemns “intentional attacks” on Worship Centers in Sudan amid Fighting

Credit: Christians Solidarity Worldwide (CSW)

Christians Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), a UK-based human rights foundation, has condemned “intentional attacks” on worship centers in Sudan since fighting between the  Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) broke out on April 15.

In a Tuesday, May 16 report, CSW Founder President, Thomas Mervyn, says gunmen have intentionally attacked places of worship in the country as well as religious leaders, and seized some of the centers, utilizing them as “military bases”. 

“CSW condemns these recent attacks on places of worship across Sudan. The intentional attacks on clergy, the bombing of houses of worship, and seizures of religious buildings for use as military bases violate international human rights and humanitarian law and are among a litany of violations which may amount to war crimes,” Mr. Mervyn says.

CSW officials report that six gunmen attacked Al-Masalma Coptic Church in Omdurman, Khartoum, on May 13, and killed four people including the priest and his son.

The RSF reportedly forcibly evacuated clergy members, including Bishop Elia, the Bishop of Khartoum and South Sudan, from St. Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Church on Nile Street in Khartoum on 14 May in order to use the premises as a military base. 


RSF is said to have harassed the people present in the Coptic Church for a week before forcing them to leave. 

Catholic facilities in the country have also been damaged by artillery from the violence. In April,  rockets hit the compound of  Mary Queen of Africa Cathedral of El-Obeid Diocese. Part of St. Joseph Vocational Training Centre (VCT) in Khartoum has also been destroyed in the ongoing violence.

CSW also reports that several mosques in Sudan have been attacked. 

Mr. Mervyn has called on the Designated Expert of the High Commissioner on Human Rights in Sudan, Radhouan Nouicer, to take note of the human rights violations in the Northeastern African nation.

The CSW official has also urged the international community “to commit to long-term support for the promotion, protection, and fulfillment of human rights, and to facilitate broad and significant civil society participation in negotiations on a peaceful democratic transition.” 

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Mr. Mervyn says the promotion and protection of human rights in Sudan “is the only way to secure an effective political solution based on an inclusive Sudanese identity, the rule of law, human rights and accountability.”

At least 700 people have reportedly been killed and hundreds of thousands displaced since violence broke out between the General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan SAF and RSF, the paramilitary force under General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo. 

On May 11, representatives of the RSF and SAF signed the Jeddah Declaration of Commitment to Protect the Civilians of Sudan

The commitment signed in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is not an agreement to a ceasefire but a recognition that both warring parties are obligated to promote humanitarian action to meet the needs of the people. 

In the May 16 report, Mr. Mervyn says that while the signing of the Jeddah Commitment is “a commendable initial step” if adhered to, there is need for an “immediate, unconditional ceasefire.”


Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.