1. Information regarding the situation of Christians. 2. Document Request. [SDN3662]

2. A 15 October 1989 memorandum sent by leaders of Christian Churches to the Chairman of the National Dialogue Conference on Peace Issues, discusses current restrictions on Christian Churches and their followers in Sudan. [
BBC Summary of World Broadcasts from SPLA Radio, 1 December 1989.] Since the introduction of Sharia Islamic Laws in 1983, governments in power have used state organs to facilitate activities of Islamic organizations. Consequently while the latter are permitted to utilize the state media apparatus, Christian Churches are denied access. [ibid.]

Christian Churches report that the introduction of Sharia has resulted in the imposition of Islamic customs and traditions on Moslems and non-Moslems alike. To that end, immigration authorities have reportedly prohibited Christian women from travelling abroad without the written permission of a "Muharram", a male guardian. [ibid.]

Meanwhile, the Missionary Societies Act of 1962 has been utilized by the regime to limit activities associated with Christian Churches in Sudan. Under this act, churches are closed down and obliged to acquire a reportedly "unattainable" licence from a government agency to establish worship facilities. The attached excerpt from Encyclopedia of the Third World (1987) also reports on church closures. The memorandum further alleges that an organized campaign against Christians was underway in Western Sudan, where priests were imprisoned, churches closed and many Christians were detained. [ibid. BBC 1 December 1989.]

In the legal field, Christian churches are permitted to administer their own personal laws and customs pertaining to marriage, divorce, inheritance and the like. However, in all other areas of civil and criminal law, Christians are subjected to Sharia Islamic Laws. [ibid., Keesing's Record of World Events 1989, (London: Longman vol.35 No.1), p.36417.]

There is no information currently available to the IRBDC regarding the Christian Cultural Organization.

2. IRB Reasons and Decisions on Sudan cases are currently unavailable to the IRBDC.

For further information regarding Christians, please refer to the attached excerpts from the following documents:
Keesing's Record of World Events, News Digest for January and March 1989, London: Longman, pp.36417-36418., 35617.
George Thomas Kurian, Encyclopedia of the Third World Third Edition vol.111, New York: Facts On File, Inc., 1987, pp.1834-1838.
Amnesty International Urgent Action, 28 September 1989, 21 November 1989.
The Associated Press, 15 July 1985.
BBC Summary of World Broadcasts for 18 July 1985, 24 July 1985.
"Rebels Become Chips in Sudanese/Ethiopian Negotiations", the Manchester Guardian Weekly, 4 August 1985.
Holly Burkhalter, "To Isolate Sudan's Dangerous Leader", International Herald Tribune, Paris: New York Times Service, 19 January 1990.