Sudan: Omar Hassan and Amouna Ahamdi

In Khartoum, (North) Sudan, a Christian couple with a newborn son said they have come under attack for converting from Islam to Christianity. Omar Hassan and Amouna Ahamdi fled Nyala, 120 km southwest of Al-Fashir, for Khartoum in June 2010, but knife-wielding, masked assailants on May 4th, 2011, attacked the couple after relatives learned that they had converted from Islam to Christianity. Hassan and his wife were renting a house from her uncle in Khartoum, but he ordered them to leave after learning they had left Islam. His wife was injured trying to protect him during the attack.
“I have been in Khartoum for six months, with no job to support my sick wife,” Hassan said. “Muslims invaded our house and, in an attempt to kill me, they knifed my wife Ahamdi in the hand.” Ahamdi said her brother had stabbed her three times in the stomach nine months ago, seriously injuring her spleen, after she told him she had become a Christian. “I feel pain, but my husband is alive, and we are praying that we get money for treatment for both my hand and the spleen,” she said.

In a violent outburst, her brother also broke her left leg. She was rushed to a local hospital, where personnel were reluctant to treat her because of her conversion. Ultimately she was hospitalized in Nyala Teaching Hospital for three weeks – where she met Hassan, a recent convert who had also suffered for his faith who visited her after hearing how her family hurt her. He said he found no one caring for her in her agony. He called an Episcopal Church of Sudan (ECS) pastor to help her, and she was discharged after partial recovery – to the hostile home where she had been attacked. “You don’t deserve to be a member of my family,” her angry father had shouted at her. Her family locked her in a room, shackled to a wooden chair, and severely beat her for a month. “I was badly mistreated – they shaved all my hair and my father whipped my head,” Ahamdi said. “But neighbors used to sneak in secretly and provided me food and water.” After freeing her from the chair, they restricted her movement to the property.
“I found a chance to escape to the ECS church, where I got married to Hassan,” she said. “My health continued deteriorating, and the doctors recommended that I be transferred to Khartoum for specialized treatment for my ailing spleen. With a small amount of money, we managed to reach Khartoum by train, where my uncle hosted us not knowing that we were Christians.” In Khartoum, they were unable to afford the medicine prescribed for her spleen. They depend on friends to provide them occasional food, and sometimes go without eating for two days. “We cannot deny Christ – this is a big challenge to us, because we do not have a place to go,” she said, through tears. “We have no food, and we are jobless. I am still in pain, besides having a 2-month-old baby boy to care for.”

(Friends of the Martyred Church)

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