A judge in Sudan has ruled there is enough evidence to charge two pastors with crimes punishable by death.

The charges, including espionage and promoting hatred among or against sects, were filed July 2, months after authorities arrested Yat Michael last December and Peter Yein Reith in January, both of South Sudanese origin, for their efforts to encourage a North Khartoum church in the face of a government-aided takeover of the church’s property.

Though South Sudan gained independence from Sudan and the Islamic regime of Omar al-Bashir in 2011, Christians in Sudan have faced increasing persecution…

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