Christians in South Sudan were stunned on Sunday when government authorities arrived at their church with a bulldozer and leveled the building just two hours after service.
In the African nation's capital city of Al Haj Yousif, the 64-member congregation of the Evangelical Church watched as law enforcement officials drove onto the church property with trucks and a bulldozer. They could do nothing but stand by quietly as their church was demolished, according to a Morning Star News report.
The church leaders explained that government officials informed the congregation their ministry was causing "public disturbances."
One church leader said, "They took everything from the church."
The church had been in an ongoing battle with radical Muslims forging documents in an attempt to seize the property, which has been reportedly owned by the church since 1989, with a local judge confirming the true ownership.
Prior to the demolition, local authorities charged into the church, seizing Bibles, chairs, and tables before they ordered the destruction of the building. Local Christians are joining with the congregation in putting pressure on the government to return the confiscated items.
Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SPEC) said that the demolition has angered the local Christian community who have accused South Sudan of targeting Christians for their faith.
Nalu told Morning Star News, "These crazy actions will not stop us from praying and praising God! God is Almighty."
South Sudan has increased its persecution of Christians; since April 2013, the Minister of Guidance and Endowments has ceased issuing building permits to congregations.
The government has announced their intention to demolish 25 more churches in the region.