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5/9/2023 Sudan (International Christian Concern)Amid the escalating violence currently wracking Sudan, priests in violent hotspots have kept church doors open. They continue to minister and provide shelter despite increased dangers. 

“I want to stay until the last minute, I do not want to leave the people here alone,” one missionary priest told Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). “A lot of our Catholics came [to the church]. You know, here, the Church is their hope. But we face the same problems as the rest of the people.”  

At least 600 people have been killed since the conflict began on April 15, when fighting broke out between military units loyal to General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the paramilitary Rapid Support (RSF) headed by Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo. According to the UN, the number of displaced people inside Sudan has more than doubled this past week, now reaching more than 700,000. 

ACN was told that a church in Bahri, northern Khartoum, was hit by a bomb, “but those on site managed to put out the fire after it took hold of the roof. Armed fighters also forced their way into the cathedral in Khartoum, and a chapel belonging to a religious congregation was bombed.”  

One project partner told ACN: “Will the conflict end soon? It is our prayer. But neither side is ready. Internationally, people push for dialogue, but there is still shooting.” 

After regularly being included among the worst countries in the world for Christian persecution, Sudan was removed from the U.S. Dept. of State’s list of Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) in December 2019. The CPC list designates nations that tolerate or engage in egregious violations of religious freedom. Advances in religious freedom lasted for only two years, however, until a military coup in October 2021.  

The coup brought back fears of repression and harsh implementation of Islamic law. An Islamist “deep state” rooted in former President al-Bashir’s 30 years of power remains influential. The recent violence follows weeks of rising tensions between the two forces over security force reform during negotiations for a new transitional government.   

Please join International Christian Concern (ICC) in praying for those suffering from the violence in Sudan. 

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