In Sudan Pastor arrested without charges by police

Rev. Reith who pastors the South Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church was going to his home in Khartoum and had received a call earlier that day from someone threatening to 'arrest' his wife and 1-year-old son if he failed to go to his home immediately

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 Pastor Peter Yein Reith play

 Pastor Peter Yein Reith

(Morning Star News)
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A Pastor from Sudan has been arrested without charges in Sudanese capital, Khartoum, sources said.

Reports say the country's National Security and Intelligence Services (NISS) arrested Peter Yein Reith of South Sudanese descent on January 9 on his way home from a prayer meeting.

Rev. Reith who pastors the South Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church was going to his home at the Gerif West Bible School in Khartoum and had received a call earlier that day from someone threatening to 'arrest' his wife and 1-year-old son if he failed to go to his home immediately.

“We will arrest your entire family should you fail to come home as soon as possible,” the caller told the pastor, according to the source.

The pastor’s wife has repeatedly asked NISS officials under what charge he is being held without an answer, she said.

“We are still interrogating him; he is in custody,” one NISS official told her.

Though of South Sudanese descent, Reith has always lived in Khartoum.

On December 28, NISS officials arrested a visiting South Sudanese pastor from Juba, the Rev. Yat Michael, after Sunday worship at Khartoum Bahri Evangelical Church on December 21.

He is still in custody.

Authorities have repeatedly refused to allow Pastor Michael’s family to visit him since his arrest, sources said.

“Each time they said they were going to arrange a visit for me, they continued to refuse my requests to visit my husband,” said his wife, whose name is withheld for security reasons.

The Morning Star news reports the Khartoum Bahri Evangelical Church that Pastor Michael was visiting is a Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SPEC)-congregation that has been the subject of harassment, arrests and demolition of part of its worship center as Muslim investors seek to take it over.

Police in North Khartoum on December 2, beat, arrested and fined 38 Christians from the church after nearly two weeks of raiding and demolishing church property. They were released later that night.

Reports say article 77 of the notorious Public Order Law of 1991 gives police broad powers to arrest Christians and other lowly regarded people without cause for “creating a public disturbance.

Pastor Michael had been invited to encourage the congregation to stand firm amid persecution.

Five church leaders arrested on November 25 were released that same night.

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