Sudan gets rid of blasphemy law, advances other human rights causes

By July 15, 2020

Sudan (MNN) — A new dawn has come for religious freedom and human rights in Sudan. The government passed several laws that got rid of the country’s apostasy law, allow non-Muslims to drink alcohol, and criminalize female genital mutilation.

The laws repeal other oppressive systems as well. Women no longer need the permission of a husband to travel with children, and public flogging has been outlawed.

The apostasy law, introduced in 1991, prescribed stoning for anyone who rejected Islam. Read more about the oppressive dictator and Islamic laws that held Sudan captive for so many years.

Future progress

Daniel Hoffman of Middle East Concern says, “The government has announced, in a sense, that this is not the final step. This is a step in the changes that they’re seeking to bring to the country. They expect there will be further changes to get rid of old legislation from the previous regime that violates human rights. And [they plan] to bring more positive change in that area in the future as well.”

Of course, not everyone is happy about these changes. Muslim clerics have criticized the changes, and some have called for a new revolt. But Hoffman doesn’t think there is any danger of these new laws being repealed. “I think there’s quite a strong popular support for what they’re trying to do. The clerics that were most strongly calling for the overthrow of the government are actually based abroad. They’re not in Sudan itself.”

Praise God!

As always, be praying for fellow Christians in Sudan. Hoffman says, “The first thing they would say is to praise God for the improvements from this law. Some of the improvements that have been happening in the last few months, it has made a big difference in their lives.”

Nevertheless, Sudan has lots of room for improvement, and Christians still face hardships, such as having property confiscated illegally. Pray that religious freedom in Sudan would continue to grow. Hoffman says, “Pray that the Christian communities in Sudan would be able to have the space to get involved in their society as a force for good and will be perceived as such by both the government and the wider society as well.”



The header image shows the flag of Sudan. (Image by David Peterson from Pixabay)

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