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Sudan ’s Vice-President meets US evangelical leader

ICC Note

During the meeting the Sudanese Vice President spoke about the forceful conversion of Christians to Islam during the civil war between the Islamist government of Sudan and the mainly animist and Christian South Sudanese.

01/07/2009 Sudan (Sudan Tribune) – A prominent U.S. evangelical Christian leader, Franklin Graham, received a visit from the President of Southern Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, on Wednesday in Boone , North Carolina .

President Kiir thanked Samaritan’s Purse for assistance during Sudan ’s second civil war and for rebuilding 227 churches that were destroyed during the conflict.

During the war (1983-2005), the northern government of Sudan declared jihad against the partly Christian south, prompting some sympathy from Christians in the United States .

“Samaritan’s Purse did not run away from us,” President Kiir said. “They did not abandon us. We will never forget about you.”

The Sudanese leader arrived to the town of Boone after spending Sunday through Tuesday in Washington, meeting with President Bush, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other officials. Kiir, who is himself a Catholic, thanked Franklin Graham and the ministry “for working to strengthen the faith of believers who endured horrible persecution,” said a statement from Samaritan’s Purse.

“Faith is important to the people to determine their destiny,” he said, then describing forced conversions to Islam during the war, in which some Christians renounced their faith.

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