Official Says Sudan Will Consider Christian Holidays in Setting Student Exam Schedules

Sudanese demonstrators wave their national flag as they attend a protest rally demanding Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir to step down, outside Defence Ministry in Khartoum, Sudan April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

JUBASouth Sudan, March 6, 2020 (Morning Star News) – Christian leaders in Sudan were skeptical about a government statement this week that it will consider removing Sundays as a student exam day.

Disregarding Sunday as a worship day for Christians, Sudan even before the 30-year Islamist regime of former President Omar al-Bashir had scheduled exams for both primary and secondary schools on Sundays.

Following the downfall of Bashir last year, new Sudanese Minister of Education Mohamed Al-Amin Al-Toam told church leaders in Khartoum this week that the government would consider excluding Christian holidays and Sundays in scheduling national exams, newspaper Sudan News Now reported on Thursday (March 5).

Persecution-weary church leaders said Christians in Sudan seek action rather than empty promises. The Rev. Yahya Abdelrahim Nalu of the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church said Christians have rights and shouldn’t have to beg for them.

“We are tired of such promises from the government,” Pastor Nalu told Morning Star News. “We need action to show the good motives from the government.”

Al-Toam reportedly told Coptic church leaders in Sudan that his ministry will also consider the appointment of Christian teachers to teach Christianity nationwide.

Unlike Islam, Christianity has not been taught in public schools in Sudan for more than 30 years. Prohibiting the teaching of Christianity at government schools due to lack of Christian teachers appointed by the governments, Bashir had left instruction on Christianity to churches.

In July 2017, the Bashir government ordered all Christian schools in the capital to regard Sunday as a workday. The Ministry of General Education of Khartoum State sent a letter dated July 26, 2017 ordering all Christian schools in the Khartoum area to stop regarding Sunday as a public day off.

Sunday is considered a working day in Sudan, but traditionally Christian schools had not operated on their day of worship and rest. Fridays and Saturdays are public days off in Sudan, which has a sizeable Muslim majority.

The move prompted widespread outrage and led many Christians in Sudan and around the world to view it as another means of harassment and discrimination against Sudanese Christians.

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Source: Christian Headlines