Sudanese Church Leader Held Captive by Militants, Ransom Demanded

JUBA, South Sudan (Morning Star News) – The paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) intercepted and briefly detained church leader Rev. Antar Abbas Abu Hidia as he was travelling to Shendi for a denomination assembly.

The RSF, engaged in conflict with the Sudanese Armed Forces, detained and jailed Rev. Hidia in Khartoum, demanding a ransom for his release.

The Sudanese Church of Christ condemned the incident and called for his immediate release. Despite no ransom being paid, Rev. Hidia was released and able to attend the assembly in Shendi. Christians have been targeted in the ongoing conflict between RSF and SAF, with no sign of resolution a year after fighting began.

The conflict, which emerged following a coup, has resulted in significant civilian casualties and displacement, with Christian sites also being targeted.

The military leaders involved have Islamist backgrounds and have been unable to resolve.

Sudan, ranked 8th on the 2024 World Watch List of the most difficult countries for Christians, has seen setbacks in religious freedom following the coup.

Despite previous progress in religious freedom reforms, the return of state-sponsored persecution has raised concerns among Christians in the country.

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