UPDATE August 7, 2015
Pastors Yat Michael Ruot and Peter Yein Reith have been released by a Sudanese judge. Pastor Michael said, “They released us today. We are happy. We had heard we won’t be released. But praise God!” Pastor Peter said, “We are very happy now we are free because of your prayers. Thank you for all that you have done for us. God heard your prayers and we are free! With the help of Mohaned [Mustafa] and his team, they do great work for us and God uses him.”
Please continue to pray for these men and their families. They made need to relocate to an area that is safer for them and their children.
Thank You, Father, for releasing these two men. It was not expected, but it was supremely hoped for. Please continue to help them and their families as they readjust to the new situation this presents for them in their homes in South Sudan. Please Sudan, Father. Bring healing, peace, and Your love to this country.
UPDATE August 1, 2015
The pastors presented their case, and a ruling is expected on August 5, 2015. Please keep praying.
Two pastors from South Sudan were recently arrested in Sudan. Yat Michael Ruot, of Yuba, South Sudan, was arrested in Omdurman, Sudan on Sunday, December 21, after delivering a sermon. Peter Yein Reith, a Presbyterian minister like Ruot, wrote a letter to the authorities in Omdurman requesting information about the status of Ruot. On January 11, 2015, he was called in by authorities and arrested as well. For months no one knew where the two men were or what had happened to them. In March 2015, charges were secretly filed against them, and in April a trial date was announced, which was later delayed until May 31.
Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, intends to create a completely Islamic state in Sudan. He is working toward the application of the strictest interpretation of Sharia Law, forming a country that allows only the Muslim religion and the Arabic language. Last year, Meriam Ibrahim, a Christian from birth, was incarcerated, while pregnant, along with her two-year-old son, and sentenced to death for apostacy. She was eventually released and allowed to travel to the United States, where she was reunited with her American husband. Since 2012, Sudan has destroyed many Christian churches, refused permission to build new churches, and deported Christians from other countries. The intelligence service, NISS, regularly beats and intimidates Christians. They have asked for $12,000 to release the two men, but local groups are afraid that if they pay the ransom, it will only provide more names leading to more Christian arrests.
The families and friends of these two pastors are very concerned about them. They have received no information about the men or their trials.
“We are still worried about their detention,” Ruot’s wife said. “Let us continue to pray for them so that God can help them to be released.”
According to Open Doors, the men have been charged with “disclosure and receipt of official information or documents, arousing feelings of discontent among regular forces, breach of public peace, and offenses relating to insulting religious beliefs.”
What you can do:
- Sign a petition asking President Obama to select a special religious envoy to represent religious rights in the Middle East.
- Sign a petition requesting the release of the Pastors Ruot and Reith.
- Pray for Pastor Ruot and Pastor Reith, their families, and their congregations.
- Pray for the people and the nation of Sudan, and the newly formed nation of South Sudan.
Father, we hold these two pastors up before You today. They say that they are not afraid to die, and many expect them to be executed for their faith in You. They have children who need them, church members who look to them for direction, and responsibilities in their communities. We thank You for their steadfast faith and willingness to share in the sufferings of Jesus. I ask You to flood them with the fellowship that You promised for those that suffer on behalf of Jesus. I ask You to protect their families, and the members of their churches, and the general population of Sudan. Pour out Your Spirit and Your revelation knowledge upon that country, upon the members of the security forces, and upon President al-Bashir. I commit this situation into Your hands, and pray that You will receive glory and honor through the lives of all involved. Amen.