Sudan is just one step away from eliminating the death penalty for those accused of apostasy, a decision made by the country’s Christian people.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide Chief Executive, Mervyn Thomas, welcomed the news with a statement, “We welcome the Sudanese government’s promise to end the death penalty for apostasy and criminalize those making accusations of apostasy. If enacted, it will be an important step towards protecting freedom of religion or belief.”
This decree was used to reduce the number of believers
Just a few days ago, one of the members of the Coordination Council of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC), told the country’s main media outlet that the death penalty would be eliminated with a draft of several measures.
The 2020 Various Amendments Law project will abolish the rule of accusing someone of apostasy to be a criminal offense, which has been a law in the country since 1991 by the Penal Code.
The measure was used to reduce religious minorities – Christians – and thus be able to restrict freedom of expression throughout the African continent.
A crucial visit to achieve this measure
As well as this one, there are also other rules and laws that limit personal liberties and punish blasphemy, however, it is not yet known if these will also be repealed.
The decision to abolish the death penalty is backed by authorities from the United States Commission for International Religious Freedom (USICRF), after they made a visit to the country to address cases of persecution.
During his visit, Tony Perkins, President of the USICRF, and Anurima Bhargava urged this government to formally repeal this article.
“We ask that this legislation be revoked”
The cases that accelerated the measure were attacks on three churches in less than two weeks; the federal government ensured the reconstruction of each one.
“However, we remain concerned that the crime of apostasy remains in the Penal Code, along with article 125, which criminalizes blasphemy. We call on Sudan to revoke any legislation that prevents the full enjoyment by every citizen of the fundamental right to freedom of religion or belief,” concluded Thomas.