Two South Sudanese pastors possibly facing execution in Sudan said they are not afraid to die. They have been charged with “inciting organized groups” and “offending Islamic beliefs.”
Pastors Yat Michael and Peter Yen Reith (also named as David Yein Reith in some reports) spoke with CBN News Senior International Correspondent George Thomas by phone from their Khartoum jail cell this week.
Pastor Michael said he has suffered psychological intimidation and hasn’t talked to his family for two months. He was accused of spying when he was arrested last January.
“When they interviewed me, they asked me why I’m preaching here. I say, ‘I am preaching because this is my call. I am a pastor. I must speak the Word of God,’” Michael told Thomas.
“They say ‘no, you don’t need to preach the Word of God with a hidden agenda,’” he recalled. “I said, ‘no, I don’t have any hidden agenda.’ They accused me because I’m a spy here.”
Pastor Yen said: “I am not afraid of anything….I am never afraid of anything because it is my love, it is my being, because I believe. God chose me to suffer. I’m not afraid from doing my ministry and my message because I’m chosen by God. I serve him in any circumstances; be instant in season and out of season.”
Yen wants Christians to pray that their imprisonment will be for God’s glory, and that both pastors will be at peace with those who oppose them.
For the complete interview, go to http://blogs.cbn.com/globallane/archive/2015/06/01/imprisoned-south-sudan-pastors-unafraid.aspx.
Michael was taken into custody on Dec. 21, 2014 after preaching at a church in Khartoum. Yen was arrested on Jan. 11, 2015 after he delivered a letter to the Religious Affairs Office in Khartoum asking about his colleague Michael’s arrest in December. Both pastors were held incommunicado until March 2. On May 4 they were falsely charged with a series of offenses, two of which carry the death penalty. Court sessions for the pastors were held May 19 and May 31. The next session is scheduled for June 15.
Sudan is ranked sixth on the Open Doors’ 2015 World Watch List of the 50 worst persecutors of Christians. Islam is well rooted in the Sudanese society. The overwhelming majority of the population in Sudan is Sunni Muslim, and Sharia law is the foundation of Sudan’s legal system. The regime is authoritarian and wants to control all aspects of the lives of its citizens. Blasphemy laws are used country-wide to persecute and prosecute Christians. Apostasy is criminalized, punishable by the death penalty.
Compiled by Jerry Dykstra. For media inquiries, contact Christine Cape at 404-545-0085 or Christy Lynn Wilson at 770-401-9842.