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Is a Christian pastor facing trumped-up charges in Sudan?

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KHARTOUM, SUDAN – Charges have been dropped against one Christian pastor in Sudan, but another pastor could face execution for what his defenders say are trumped-up charges based on animosity toward their religion.

In November 2015, Kuwa Shamal and Hassan Abduraheem attended a Christian conference where Abduraheem was a speaker, according to the American Center for Law and Justice, which is supporting the pastors.

During his speech, Abduraheem showed a picture of a young man who was beaten badly for attending a demonstration. The pastor said he was helping pay for his medical treatment.

In December 2015, the two pastors were arrested by Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services, which claimed their financial aid constituted support for rebel forces in the country’s South Kordofan region, part of which is contested with South Sudan.

The American Center for Law and Justice alleged that the charges were “trumped-up” and said the two were on trial for their Christian faith.

A judge dropped all charges against Shamal Jan. 2 and released him to his family.

Abduraheem and two other men standing trial continue to face many charges, including espionage and agitating hatred between classes. They could be sentenced to death if convicted. Their fellow defendants are Petr Jasek, a Christian aid worker from the Czech Republic, and Abdulmonem Abdumawla Issa Abdumawla, a graduate student and activist from Darfur.

Shamal and Abduraheem’s case was noted on Twitter in August 2016 by David Saperstein, the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom.

Read more at Crux.

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