In May 2011 the United States Commission on International Religious Freedoms published its annual report (covering 1st April 2010 – 31st March 2011). The Commission designated Sudan a “country of particular concern”.
Here is the Commission’s summary of religious freedom in Sudan:
“Systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of freedom of religion or belief continue in Sudan. Violations include: the efforts by the Arab Muslim-dominated government in Khartoum to impose its version of sharia law and enforce religiously-based morality laws through corporal punishment to limit the fundamental freedoms of Muslims and non-Muslims alike; the criminalization of conversion from Islam, a crime punishable by death, and the intense scrutiny, intimidation, and torture of suspected converts by government security personnel; the denial of the rights of non-Muslims to public religious expression and persuasion, while allowing Muslims to proselytize; and the difficulty in obtaining permission to build churches, as compared to government funding of mosque construction. Based on these concerns, USCIRF again recommends in 2011 that Sudan be named a “country of particular concern”, or CPC. The State Department has designated Sudan a CPC since 1999.
USCIRF identified Sudan as the world’s most violent abuser of the right to freedom of religion or belief during the North-South civil war of 1983-2005. Since the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) ended that war in January 2005, conditions for religious freedom have improved in South Sudan and in contested areas in central Sudan. The Government of National Unity (GNU) instituted by the CPA has officially operated under an Interim National Constitution with provisions guaranteeing universal human rights, including freedom of religion or belief. Nevertheless, despite these provisions, severe human rights violations continue against both non-Muslims and Muslims in areas controlled by the government in Khartoum. With the CPA and Interim National Constitution scheduled to end in July 2011, there is increasing concern that religious freedom and human rights conditions in the North will deteriorate significantly.”