Sudan (MNN/Compass Direct News) — Christians are mourning
the loss of yet more believers who paid the ultimate price for the Gospel.
President of Open Doors USA Carl Moeller says, "An Egyptian
and three Sudanese Christians were actually killed when they came under
gunfire. We suspect (it) was because they were doing an evangelistic outreach
in the Nuba Mountain region in Sudan."
The team was attacked after showing the Jesus Film in the
area. Egyptian Daniel Girgis, 37, and local Sudanese Christians Markous Tiya,
Rihab Kafi Jadeen, and an unidentified young boy were killed in th incident
At least five others–two foreigners and three Sudanese–were injured in the attack that began when the truck driver refused to stop at
a makeshift roadblock of large rocks.
The vehicle was returning to the town of Torogi, 70
kilometers south of Kadugli, at around 10:30 p.m. carrying 14 foreign
Christians, as well as several local Sudanese believers. Organized by the Bahry
Evangelical Church in Khartoum North, the evangelism team had spent the
previous week in central Sudan's Nuba Mountains on one of the church's
bi-annual outreach projects.
"When they finished [showing] the Jesus film [in the
village of Gnaya] they were going back to the town they were visiting,"
Barnaba Timothous, evangelism coordinator at the Bahry Evangelical Church, told
Compass. "On their way there, someone behind the mountain fired at them.
It was night, they saw just two men."
Open Doors supports Christians in South Sudan, but also in
the Muslim north. Moeller says that's where this team was from. "And, this
team from Behry Evangelical Church is one of those teams of really bold evangelists
that go out and evangelize even when Sudan is one of the worst Muslim persecutors
of Christians anywhere in the world."
Timothous said he
suspects it was caused by Muslims who were unhappy that Christians were doing
evangelism in the area.
"The main thing is that there are some chiefs there who
are Muslims, who are against the church," Timothous said. "They don't
want the church to be built there. They don't want Christianity to grow up
Some claim the attacks was simply a robbery gone bad. However,
Moeller doesn't think so. "Particularly in this area, this type of attack
that these men went through indicates it was more than robbery. It wasn't a
situation where someone just got assaulted and maybe one got killed as they tried
to flee. This was an organized attack."
Timothous said that the government in South Kordofan State
had formed a committee to investigate the attack. The committee has yet to
report its findings.
Moeller says Open Doors supports one
training center in Southern Sudan that he says will be a light to all of
Africa. "It is training pastors and church leaders to stand strong in
the midst of persecution, teaching them how to grow their churches despite and in some
cases because of the persecution that's going on around them."
With all the violence, is the church growing? Moeller says, "Yes, the church is still
growing. Yes, it continues to grow. And, as we like to say, not despite persecution but because persecution has purified and refined the church in a
fire. It then becomes a powerful force against darkness."