Republic of Sudan
Bombed but not beaten, forgotten victims of persecution in Sudan
By Baroness Caroline Cox
Persecution is escalating. Many are suffering for their faith, including Christians in the Middle East and parts of Africa. As Christians, we have a biblical mandate to speak for all who are oppressed. One of today’s most systematic and violent arenas of persecution is largely unreported and unknown: the Republic of Sudan.
The peoples of Sudan have suffered civil war for most of the years since Independence. War escalated in 1989 when an Islamist regime took power by military coup and declared military jihad against all who opposed it: Muslims, animists and Christians. That savage war resulted in two million dead, four million displaced, many thousands of women and children taken into slavery, and devastated infrastructure throughout South Sudan and the Nuba Mountains.
A Peace Agreement was eventually signed in 2005, resulting in independence for South Sudan in July 2011. But war and persecution persist in the Republic of Sudan, still ruled by President Al-Bashir, who has been indicted by the International Criminal Court. He has declared his intention to turn the Republic of Sudan into “a unified Arabic, Islamic nation.”
In Khartoum, his regime has perpetrated ruthless policies of displacement of South Sudanese, especially Christians, brutal suppression of protests and expulsion of Christian NGOs.
But the most brutal, large-scale suffering is inflicted in attempted ethnic and religious cleansing of the predominantly Black African people in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile. In urban areas such as Kadugli in the Nuba Mountains, civilians have been killed, churches destroyed and a reign of terror imposed. Further afield, military offensives and aerial bombardment have forced half-a-million civilians to flee their homes and seek shelter in caves, in hollows dug out of river beds, or under trees.
As already emphasized, as Christians, our aid and advocacy must be for all who are oppressed. Therefore, HART (Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust) works for all victims, whatever faiths and beliefs. However, St. Paul wrote in his letter to the Church in Corinth: “When one part of the Body of Christ suffers, we all suffer” (The Bible, 1 Corinthians 12:26).
Therefore, when we are with Christians suffering persecution, we assure them of our solidarity in faith and prayer. When we have the privilege of worshipping with the message from them, we are always humbled and inspired beyond words by the joy and grace with which they worship.
Baroness Cox is cross-bench member of the British House of Lords, and chief executive of Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust, an NGO which provides aid and advocacy for victims of oppression and persecution, often trapped behind closed borders, and generally ‘off the radar screen’ of international aid organizations for political and/or security reasons.
Reproduced by kind permission of The Catholic Universe newspaper. Read the full article here.
Pray against the ethnic cleansing in the south of Sudan, especially the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile. Pray for this targeting of civilians, schools, and markets to stop! (The Bible, Ephesians 6:12).
Pray against the brutal suppression in the north of Sudan. Pray for families who are being made to sign death certificates that their loved ones died of natural causes, when in fact they were shot and killed (The Bible, Psalm 72: 14).
Pray against the horrors happening in Darfur (large western region the size of Spain) which are off-radar (The Bible, Ezekiel 45: 9).
Pray that the ethnic cleansing and aerial bombardment in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile will receive widespread media attention and stops! (The Bible, Luke 12: 2-3).
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