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Policy Update: Sudan - The Shrinking Space for and Increasing Persecution of Christians

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Since South Sudan’s secession in 2011, USCIRF has documented an escalation in the Sudanese government’s persecution of Christians. The government’s persecution of Christians is in line with the ruling National Congress Party’s (NCP) long standing campaign to strengthen Sudan’s Islamic and Arabic identity, disregarding the country’s vast religious and ethnic diversity. Peace agreements remain out of reach in Darfur, the Nuba Mountains, and Blue Nile. Security officers have arrested on the capital offense of apostasy more than 150 Muslims who practice an interpretation of Islam different than that espoused by NCP. In 2015, the National Assembly strengthened penalties for apostasy and blasphemy. In this environment, Christians have faced particular persecution as a religious community.