As the African country of Sudan continues to be run by President Omar al-Bashir, the punishments associated with the practice of Christianity continues to be harsh.
On Monday, a Czech Christian missionary was sentenced to a twenty year prison sentence and ordered to pay a fine of 100,000 Sudanese pounds due to his Christian faith.
The fine charge was related to his NGO work in the country without a permit. The other alleged charges varied from fake news to inciting hatred.
Multiple outlets have reported Petr Jasek’s real crime was actually for being a Christian and practicing his beliefs as well as helping the community.
— Dominic Sputo (@DominicPRC) January 30, 2017
Jasek’s lawyer stated that specific charges included “entering the country without a visa… spying… taking pictures of military installations… inciting hatred… and publishing fake news.”
— HRWF International (@HRWFint) January 30, 2017
The European missionary was tried with two other Sudanese nationals earlier this week. One was Reverend Hassan Abduraheem Kodi Taour and the other was Abdulmonem Abdumawla. Both men are Christians and they were sentenced to twelve years behind bars for helping the 52-year-old, Release International reported on Monday.
Jasek was first detained two years ago when he was exiting the country and government officials questioned a $5,000 receipt in his possession.
At the time the man explained that the large sum of money was used to help Sudanese student, Ali Omer, a young boy who was injured during a 2013 protest that the missionary wanted to help.
— blueshawk (@blueshawk) January 31, 2017
However government officials linked his “help” to the Darfur based student to rebel groups.
Sources have reported that, in court the prosecution alleged that Jasek’s so called “donation” was to anarchist, a link based on the turbulent political history between the Sudanese government and two extremist groups in Darfur.
The World Watch Monitor explained that the prosecution said Jasek was helping rebel groups in the southern regions of South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur.
Petr Jasek has been given a 20 year sentence for 'war against the state' in Sudan. Please pray for him and his… https://t.co/O4mt7lhP4h
— VOM New Zealand (@VOMNewZealand) January 29, 2017
Christianity has long had a place in Sudan and South Sudan’s religious history but under the current government of President Omar al-Bashir the persecution level has skyrocketed to extreme.
The 2017 Open Doors USA watchlist has placed Sudan as one of the top five countries persecuting Christians.
Open Doors USA said, Sudan has been on the World Watch List since 1993 and over the last two decades the predominantly Islamic country has been in the top twenty list of persecuted places.
The organization also classified the oppression in the country as “systematic” and “reminiscent of ethnic cleansing.”
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
There are thousands of Christians persecuted around the world. To help continue to pray, advocate and donate.
— Open Doors USA (@OpenDoors) January 26, 2017