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Sudan: Christian Couple Faces Flogging for ‘Adultery’ After Relatives Get Court to Annul Their Marriage

“When Kafi put his faith in Christ in 2018, his wife’s family sought and won a sharia court decision to dissolve their marriage.” Conversion to Christianity is often the occasion for persecution of Christians, both of the converts and of those who brought the converts the Gospel. Authorities in many countries consider conversion to be an act of disloyalty to the state, and numerous citizens see it as a threat to the established order, and an unpardonable rejection of the dominant culture and values.

For previous ChristianPersecution.com coverage of the persecution of Christians in Sudan, see here.

“Christian Couple in Sudan Faces Possible Flogging for ‘Adultery,’” Morning Star News, May 3, 2022:

JUBA, South Sudan (Morning Star News) – A couple in Sudan could be punished with 100 lashes after being charged with “adultery” because a sharia (Islamic law) court annulled their marriage due to the husband’s conversion to Christianity, their attorney said.

Hamouda Tia Kafi, 34, and Nada Hamad Shukralah, 25, of Al Bageir, Al Jazirah state, were Muslims when they married in 2016, but when Kafi put his faith in Christ in 2018, his wife’s family sought and won a sharia court decision to dissolve their marriage, their attorney said.

The sharia court annulled the marriage on the basis of Kafi’s conversion as apostasy was a crime punishable by death at the time. In 2020, following the end of President Omar al-Bashir’s Islamist regime in 2019, Sudan decriminalized apostasy, and in 2021 Shukralah converted to Christianity and returned with their two children to her husband.

Following Shukralah’s conversion and return to her husband, her brother charged them with adultery under Article 146 of Sudan’s 1991 criminal law based on the sharia court’s annulment of their marriage, said their attorney, whose name is withheld for security reasons. Police arrested the couple on Aug. 17 and detained them for four days before they received bail.

“The court has interrogated the couple after two of the witnesses told the court that the marriage between the couple is illegal, and as a result they are accused of adultery under Article 146, but I told the court that the marriage is legal,” their attorney said.

The next hearing in their case was scheduled for May 12.

He said the couple, members of a Baptist church, are facing growing threats from hardline Muslims, in particular Shukralah’s brother.

In the case of adultery by an unmarried person, Article 146 calls for a sentence of flogging and expulsion from the area. If the convicted is married, adultery is punishable by death by stoning under Article 146….

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