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Christians targeted in latest genocide campaign by North Sudan

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Christians targeted in latest genocide campaign by North Sudan

Country/Region: Sudan, Middle East and North Africa

It is a war of horror.

South Kordofan Bishop Andudu Adam Elnail

A humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Sudan's border region where Christians are being targeted in a campaign of ethnic cleansing by North Sudan's Islamist regime.

Sudanese children from the Nuba mountains, which are coming under sustained attack by North Sudan
Sudanese children from the Nuba mountains, which are coming under sustained attack by North Sudan
CC BY-SA 2.0 by Maureen Lunn

President Omar al-Bashir's forces are conducting daily air strikes and house-to-house raids in the Nuba mountains in South Kordofan state, which has one of the largest Christian populations in the North.

A leaked UN human rights report described "significant loss of civilian lives ... abductions ... arbitrary arrests and detentions; targeted killings; summary executions; ... mass graves; systematic destruction of dwellings; and attacks on churches".

Churches have been burnt down and Christians targeted because they are presumed to oppose al-Bashir's government. Pastors in particular have been singled out and tortured in an effort to get them to give up the names of those in their congregations, which they refuse to do. One church leader was told that the Sudan Armed Forces, the North's army, had a list of all church leaders and suspected Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) sympathisers.

Bishop Andudu of South Kordofan said,

My house was shot with guns and my chaplain was able to escape through the window and also my offices and cafe [were] burned down.

The daily bombings are preventing people from cultivating the land during the crucial planting season, raising fears of an impending humanitarian crisis.

History of violence

Many Nuba people allied with the South during the long and bloody civil war in which the North fought to Islamise the South. But when South Sudan became an independent nation on 9 July, South Kordofan remained part of the North. Under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that was forged between the North and South in 2005, the Nuba were promised an election to determine their political future, but this has so far been denied.

The Nuba people have been previously targeted, in the 1990s when more than 500,000 of their number were killed. The current violence is the latest in a long-running military campaign spearheaded by the National Islamic Front (NIF) to Islamise and Arabise the African indigenous population. Al-Bashir has been indicted for war crimes for the genocide in Darfur.

Before the secession of the south, al-Bashir declared that the North would be 100 per cent Arab and Muslim, posing an ominous threat to the minority Christian community there. Reports are now coming from the North of pastors being warned not to conduct church services, or else be killed. As churches come under increasing pressure, from both the authorities and individual groups, to close, some are shutting church schools and considering moving to the South.

 

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christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

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Daily prayer

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  • Praise God for the release of John Short, an Australian missionary who was detained in North Korea for distributing Christian leaflets. John, who is 75 and based in Hong Kong, was reported to security officials in Pyongyang after he was spotted leaving a Christian leaflet at a Buddhist temple, an act that is illegal in North Korea. Further Korean-language Christian pamphlets were subsequently found in his hotel room. John, who was released on 3 March after two weeks in custody, was required to sign a confession probably scripted by the authorities. Other foreign missionaries arrested in North Korea have been given long prison sentences. Give thanks to God that John has escaped further punishment, and pray for him as he recovers from his traumatic ordeal. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 15 hours ago

  • Pray for Barnabas Fund partners in South Sudan who have been supporting Christians forced from their homes by violence. Conflict between supporters of President Salva Kiir and his sacked deputy Riek Machar in December and January displaced around 860,000 people. Churches were burned down and a number of pastors killed, while many people lost their belongings and were left destitute. Give thanks that churches in and around the capital, Juba, were able to provide food and other essentials to many families with help from Barnabas. Pray that they may continue to be salt and light in their country at this unstable time (Matthew 5:13-16), and that it will soon be safe for displaced Christians to return home. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Pray for the residents of a mainly Christian village in Borno state, Northern Nigeria, in the aftermath of a horrific attack by Boko Haram militants on 15 February. Ask for God’s comfort for the relatives and friends of the 106 people in Izghe who were gunned down and slaughtered in their houses or in the open as they tried to flee. Pray for strength for the numerous residents who were wounded or whose properties were looted and torched. Pray too for the many Christians who fled into the neighbouring state after the attack, and ask that the Christian community in the North of Nigeria will be preserved in the face of Islamist violence. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Violent attacks by militants from the Islamist group Boko Haram continue unabated in Northern Nigeria. On one horrendous day of violence on 26 January, at least 138 people were killed. A church in Wada Chakawa village in Adamawa state was targeted; the attackers locked the congregation inside and then detonated bombs, shooting and cutting the throats of people who tried to escape. They then went on a four-hour rampage in the village. Later the same day, Kawuri village in neighbouring Borno state was burned to the ground. Boko Haram is fighting to establish an Islamic state, and Christians are among its main targets. Pray that the Nigerian authorities will succeed in containing its insurgency. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we give You thanks on this Easter Day for the living hope that You have given us and all Your people through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (1 Peter 1:3). We pray that the prospect of an enduring inheritance and future salvation will encourage our persecuted brothers and sisters to persevere in their faith, whatever may happen to them. We pray that we too may be sustained by this hope in the sufferings that we experience for the sake of Christ. We ask that the joy and resurrection power of the Lord will give strength and peace to persecuted believers today and every day. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Apr 2014 00:00

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