Christmas Celebrated in Sudan for the First Time in Years, Hailed as Victory for the Revolution

Published December 26th, 2019 - 07:28 GMT
Christmas Celebrated in Sudan for the First Time in Years, Hailed as Victory for the Revolution (AFP)
A woman takes part in anniversary of Sudan's uprising on Christmas day which is celebrated for the first time in years. (AFP)

For the first time in nine years, thousands of Sudanese Christians were able to celebrate Christmas as a public holiday, as prayers were held in churches across Khartoum and other cities.

This is the first Christmas celebration since the secession of Christian-majority South Sudan in 2011.

Former Islamist president Omar Al-Bashir, who ruled the country for 30 years, had canceled all Christmas celebrations. Al-Bashir was ousted last April by the military, following months of mass protests calling for his removal.

Translation: "Christians celebrating Christmas with prayers from inside St. Matthew's Cathedral"

Sudan's civilian cabinet, which was sworn in as the country began its transition into civil rule, was hailed for its decision to celebrate Christmas again.

Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok tweeted Christmas greetings and posted a photo of him receiving a Christmas gift from Sudanese beauty queen and anti-racism figure Natalina Yacoub, who joined the PM’s crew last month as a communication’s coordinator.

In his speech on Tuesday, Sudanese Religious Affairs Minister Nasr Aldin Mufarah addressed Sudanese Christians and formally offered them apologies for decades of discrimination and oppression, promising a more tolerant future in which they are treated as equal citizens and granted religious freedoms.

Sudanese activists celebrated this unprecedented celebration on social media and expressed their joy and support for the PM’s decision, considering it a victory of their 2019 uprising.

Only last week Sudan was removed from the US blacklist of countries with the worst records of religious freedoms violations, after decades of persecution in which the nation's Christian population suffered oppression for their faith, with pastors and religious leaders frequently arrested and churches continuously destroyed and demolished.


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