Sudan: 2 Coptic priests arrested after ‘baptism’

Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir (left) and Bishop Srabamon (right) during Ramadan iftar in 2012 organized by Sudan’s Copts. Sudan’s Copts have not experienced the violence under Islamist regime of Bashir in 23 years. (Reuters)

Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir (left) and Bishop Srabamon (right) during Ramadan iftar in 2012 organized by Sudan’s Copts. Sudan’s Copts have not experienced the violence under Islamist regime of Bashir in 23 years. (Reuters)

By AFP
Khartoum

Two priests from the Coptic Orthodox Church in Sudan have been arrested after the religious conversion of a Muslim in the Islamist-run state, church sources said.

“I understand there was someone from the Arab origin that accepted Christ and was baptized by them,” leading to their arrest within the past few days, one religious leader told AFP.

Other religious sources confirmed the incident but Khartoum’s Coptic Bishop Elia was not immediately able to comment.

Under the 23-year Islamist regime of President Omar al-Bashir, Sudan’s minority Copts have not experienced the violence suffered by their brethren in Egypt, where sectarian attacks surged after an uprising overthrew president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011 and saw Islamists rise to power.

But a little-known group calling itself Al-Qaeda in the Nilien States sent a statement to Sudanese journalists on Tuesday threatening violence against Copts unless the woman who converted and was “kidnapped” by the Christians is returned.