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1/22/2024 Sudan (International Christian Concern) — Karbino Bla, a Christian Sudanese man, succumbed to his injuries on Jan. 5, five days after he was assaulted by members of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in Wad Medani.

One week later, Muslim extremists, also from the RSF, set fire to a church in the same city, destroying Bibles, hymnbooks, and church supplies.

“There are radical Muslims among RSF,” said the pastor of Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church in an online post. “I met some of them in Khartoum and Medani who badly harassed me when they learned that I was a pastor.”

This incident is one of many church bombings in Sudan, including one in early November that left to ruins the Church of Savior, which had stood for 81 years.

Since former president Bashir was removed from power in 2019, Sudan has been in a state of flux, which only increased in April when the two leading forces, the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), split power previously.

Christians in Sudan have faced persecution and oppression from a myriad of sources throughout the country’s history. Sudan was listed under the United States International Freedom Designation as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) for 19 years due to the government’s tolerance for “systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom.”

Under the rule of Omar al-Bashir, extremely strict practices of Islamic Sharia law were enforced, and it was only after he was ousted that apostasy became legal. Due to the change in government and apostasy laws specifically, Sudan was removed from the United States’ designated CPCs and the lower designation on the Special Watchlist.

During the current conflict in Sudan, however, churches have been repeatedly bombed and ransacked for the use of militia. According to the Egyptian news outlet, Mada, “The RSF on May 15 seized a central Khartoum cathedral after having evacuated the Coptic Orthodox Church of the Virgin Mary near the presidential palace on May 14, converting the latter into a military headquarters.”

Sudanese Christians face danger in their daily lives but are especially at risk when they attend worship services due to the high volume of church attacks. We pray that the Lord would do a mighty work in Sudan. We pray for the hearts of the Christians in Sudan to be fortified and for the hearts of the persecuted to be broken for what breaks the heart of the Lord. We praise God that he has not abandoned us or the people of Sudan and never will.

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