Transforming The 10/40 Window Nations Through The Power of Prayer

Sudan, North Africa

Political Leader: President Umar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir
Predominant Religions: Islam 65%, Christianity 23.2%, Traditional 10.6%
Persecution Ranking: 35th
Number of Terrorist Groups: 8
Acts of Terrorism: 41; Casualties: 91
Percent of Corruption: 80%
% of People in Poverty: 40% (2004 est.)

Location:
Sudan was the largest country on the African continent. For decades it has been divided into an Arab/Muslim North and a black African/Christian South. In 2011, however, the South voted to secede from the North. North Sudan’s leader, President Umar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, is considered one of the worst dictators in the world. Terrorist elements of al-Qaeda, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and the Lord’s Resistance Army are active in the nation. And the infamous Janjaweed (literally “devils on horseback”), a government-backed militia, has continued to carry out a brutal genocide in the Darfur region.

Religion:
Sudan’s recent civil war resulted in peace for the south, bringing an opportunity to rebuild its devastated infrastructure. Christians need major help in rebuilding this region, such as support for schooling for refugees, medical assistance, training, rebuilding, and aid for those in strife-torn Darfur.

North Sudan is predominantly Islamic and residents are ruled by Sharia law, where converting from Islam to another religion is considered apostasy. Conversion is punishable by death, although that penalty is rarely carried out. Instead, converts are generally regarded as outcasts by their families and face severe social pressure to recant, and southern Christians who reside in the North suffer from social, educational, and job discrimination. The Constitution, which was implemented in early 1999, does provide freedom of religion for the Sudanese.  In practice, however, the Government severely restricts this right and treats Islam as not only the state religion but also the inspiration for the country's laws, institutions, and policies.

Terrorism:
Sudan has been on the State Department’s list of states that sponsor terrorism since 1993. The Islamist Arab government that controls the northern two-thirds of the country has provided sanctuary to terrorists and has allowed terrorist groups to plan and carry out operations from within its borders.

Violence in Darfur is devastating. The conflict began when rebels rose against the Khartoum government, complaining of economic and political marginalization. The government provided arms to small militias, now known as the Janjaweed, to crush the rebellion. The Janjaweed are a militia that have become notorious for racist rhetoric, massacre, rape, and forced displacement. At least tens of thousands have died; international figures project hundreds of thousands. There are more than 3.5 million people in Darfur who are completely reliant on international aid.  Tragically, over two million more have been displaced as a result of the fighting and are now living in sprawling camps in Darfur and in neighboring Chad.

Prayer Points:

  • the government to keep its promises to South Sudan. Pray for peace between these two nations. (The Bible, Proverbs 5:22)
  • the tearing down of the strongholds of Islam. Plead with the Lord for the souls of the Muslims in Sudan. (The Bible, II Corinthians 10:4)
  • the salvation of Umar al-Bashir and other key leaders in the government. Ask the Lord to raise Christians to positions of influence. (The Bible, Daniel 2:21)

SOURCES:

Open Doors, CSW, Arab World Ministries, Middle East Concern, Barnabas Fund, The World Factbook

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