Franklin Graham Heads to Sudan for Peace Mission
The visit by Franklin Graham to Sudan came at a very critical time. Christians in South Sudan face real danger of persecution unless the international community holds the Islamic government of Sudan accountable for implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. The agreement that was signed in 2005 brought the war between North and South Sudan to an end.
By Michelle A. Vu
02/28/2009 Sudan (Christian Post)-The president of relief organization Samaritan’s Purse began his trip to Sudan on Saturday to visit humanitarian projects and meet with high-level government officials to discuss a faltering peace agreement that affects Sudanese Christians.
Franklin Graham, who is also president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), is taking with him leadership teams from both Samaritan’s Purse and BGEA with the aim of finding new ways for the organizations to partner and help the people of Sudan .
The North African country has been wracked with violence and insecurity for decades. Most of the media coverage has focused on the Darfur genocide, which has resulted in some 200,000 deaths and the displacement of more than 2.5 million people since 2003.
But Sudan has also been torn by another conflict – a civil war that has lasted over two decades – the longest in Africa . The fighting is between the mainly Muslim north and the majority Christian and animist south and has left some 1.5 million Sudanese killed and more than 4 million displaced.
Although the civil war officially ended in 2005 with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, there have been worrying signs that the pact is unraveling. As part of the agreement, Sudan is split between a northern state ruled by Islamic law and a southern, semiautonomous secular state.
For years, Graham has been actively engaged through Samaritan’s Purse with the rebuilding of the South and assisting Sudanese Christians. Graham has vowed to rebuild the estimated 500 churches that were destroyed during the civil war. Nearly 250 churches have been completed thus far and another 22 are currently under construction.