South Sudanese Pastors Face Death at Trial

Mark 13:13 “You will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.”

Two South Sudanese pastors charged with spying are facing death after a judge ruled prosecutors presented enough evidence and then gave defense lawyers only 15 minutes with their clients.

Supporters of pastors Yat Michael Ruot and Peter Yein Reith say they are being persecuted only because of their Christian faith.

“Pastors Michael and Peter are two of the most recent victims under the power-hungry National Intelligence and Security Service of Sudan,” Tiffany Barrans, international legal director of the American Center for Law and Justice, told “The crimes alleged against these pastors carry potentially serious sentences, including death or life imprisonment.”

Ruot was arrested in December 2014 after delivering a sermon.  Reith was arrested on January 11, 2015 after being called to the offices of Security Services.

“[T]he judge was presented with evidence far below any threshold for conviction,” Barrans said. “There is zero evidence that either pastor undermined the constitutional system of Sudan, conducted espionage, promoted hatred, disturbed the peace, or blasphemed.  Despite this lack of evidence, the judge has refused to dismiss the case,” Barrans added. “Though the defense will get its day in court, the attorney has been denied access to his clients to prepare an adequate defense.”

The American Center for Law and Justice said that defense attorney Mohaned Mustafa will have to prove his client’s innocence rather than the two pastors having to be proven guilty.

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