Sudan’s President Omer al-Bashir and the head of the Church of England Justin Welby Sunday discussed the religious freedom in Sudan, as the former reiterated his government keenness to protect Christians.
In a ceremony held in Khartoum on Sunday, the Archbishop of Canterbury installed Ezekiel Kondo Kumir Kuku as the Sudan’s first archbishop.
Following his installation, the new primate told reporters that his installation would contribute to ensuring that Sudan Anglican Church is respected particularly by the government.
In a meeting held at the Guest House in Khartoum on Sunday evening, President al-Bashir “stressed the government’s keenness to promote coexistence among all religions in the country and to guarantee religious freedom in order to achieve security and religious stability in the country,” said a report by the official news agency SUNA.
It further reported that the President pointed out to the great peaceful coexistence enjoyed by Sudanese, Christians and Muslims, even at the level of the family.
“The Christian churches or institutions have not been subjected to any aggression across history, which confirms that the Christian brothers in Sudan enjoy peace and live in love,” said al-Bashir according to the state agency.
The Sudanese government has been accused of restricting the religious freedom of Sudanese Christians.
Last June, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, accused Sudan of continuing to arrest religious leaders and to demolish churches. Following what President Donald Trump delayed the permanent revocation of economic sanctions for three months.
Speaking to reporters following the meeting, the Archbishop of Canterbury who is also the spiritual head of the global Anglican Communion said he discussed the situation of Christians with the Sudanese president.
“We talked of how in England we seek to help mosques in ensuring that they are able to function well and freely,” he said.
“In England, the Church of England often seeks to protect Muslims when they are under pressure,” Welby added. He further said that he expected the same in Sudan when it came to protecting Christians.