Christians are gearing up for a flood of refugees back to Sudan

By May 24, 2005

Sudan (MNN) — There are hundreds of thousands of Sudanese refugees living outside of Sudan. They’ve been displaced by years of civil war between rebel soldiers in the south and government troops the north. The violence is on the decline thanks to the most recent peace accord signed by both sides earlier this year. However, that may mean another problem.

The Evangelical Free Church of America’s Director of Compassion Ministries, Jim Snyder says repatriation, thousands returning home at the same could be disastrous. Snyder says, “We have decided to work with our national church partners there to set up five key points where refugees that we anticipate will be repatriating into Southern Sudan out of refugee camps in Kenya and Uganda.”

These point will allow EFCA to meet the refugees physical needs, but also their spiritual needs. Snyder says, “People who have been involved in animism, Islam, they’ve turned around and started attending our churches, they’ve come to Christ and all of this because of Compassion outreach.”

These five centers will serve as ‘half-way’ points for these refugees. With no food, water and health care system in place to support the population explosion it could be a major human catastrophe. Snyder says, “What we’re hoping to do is to be able to be prepared by the time the United Nations says it’s time and they will probably begin to encourage people to go back or even force people to go back.”

Funding is needed to support this effect which is expected by the end of the year. “We’ve looked into the possibility of even having European Free churches adopt one center, Canadian adopt another and then churches throughout the United Sates coming on board to adopt the other three centers.”

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