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Religious freedom receives a small boost in Sudan

Since his ouster, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom says that Sudan has made some improvements in terms of the degree of freedom enjoyed by religious groups.


A proposal for an independent religious freedom commission in Sudan is receiving support from international religious rights groups.

The majority Muslim nation is currently under an interim government after long-time leader Omar al-Bashir was ousted in a coup last year. The al-Bashir regime was responsible for decades of human rights violations of religious and ethnic minorities, and the leader was indicted by the International Criminal Court for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

After visiting the country in February, Tony Perkins chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom noted “a spirit of cautious optimism” on religious freedom.

“We are grateful to Prime Minister Hamdok and other members of the country’s bold transitional leadership who met with USCIRF to convey their explicit desire to bring a new era of openness and inclusivity to their country that suffered for 30 years under brutal and autocratic religious repression. At the same time, we understand that the country’s challenges are deeply-rooted, and we urge the leadership to move quickly to turn that optimism into tangible and meaningful reforms for all people across Sudan-such as acting to formally repeal Article 126 of the 1991 penal code, which outlaws apostasy,” Perkins said.

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