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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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Daily prayer

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  • 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 12 hours ago

  • Give thanks for the Christ-like responses of Christian leaders in CAR to the crisis that threatens them and their churches. They have distanced themselves from the anti-balaka militias, saying that these should not be labelled as Christian and that they hold no mandate from the churches. The leaders have also condemned the violence in the country, whatever its origin, and have called on Christians to pursue forgiveness, reconciliation and healing. Churches are hiding, defending and caring for thousands of Muslims endangered by the anti-balaka, and one of CAR’s most senior church leaders has invited the president of the country’s Islamic community to move into his church compound. Pray that this powerful witness to the grace and love of Christ will help to bring peace to the shattered country. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Apr 2014 00:00

  • On this Good Friday, give thanks to God for the death of Christ and for His gift of eternal life. Praise Him too for the example of those Christians who have persevered in their faith at the risk of their lives and who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of Christ and the Gospel. Pray that their martyrdom will inspire their suffering brothers and sisters in Christ to endure whatever hardships befall them and will convince their persecutors of the truth and power of the Gospel. Pray too that their bereaved families and churches will not grieve without hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Cry out to the Lord for Christians in the Central African Republic (CAR) who have been driven from their homes by the violence that has engulfed their country. Attacks by Islamist Séléka militants and retaliation from “anti-balaka” militias has generated a huge humanitarian crisis in which around two million people, many of them Christians, are in need of emergency assistance. Give thanks for the work of Barnabas partners who have been providing food rations to hundreds of displaced believers in the capital, Bangui, and distributing food, medicines, clothing and seeds to thousands in various regions. Pray that the aid will reach those who need it most, and that the Lord will comfort the relatives and friends of the thousands who have been killed in the fighting. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Apr 2014 00:00

  • “Jesus Christ performed tremendous miracles in all our lives through this Shalom Camp.” A pastor spoke of how God had worked through a Barnabas-sponsored weekend Bible camp for persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka. The camp was attended by believers from five different churches that had been the target of threats or attacks by Buddhist or Hindu extremists. The participants heard teaching on the Biblical basis for persecution and took part in group discussions; they came away refreshed and encouraged, and for many the camp was a time of great spiritual renewal. Give thanks to the Lord for the peace He has brought to these persecuted believers, and ask that the weekend will continue to bear much fruit in their lives. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Apr 2014 00:00

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