Sudan (MNN) – Recent attacks on Sudanese churches provide a harsh reminder that Sudanese Christians still face persecution.
VOM Canada’s Greg Musselman explains that this is the second time these churches have been burned down. The original church buildings were burned down in late December and the replacement structures are now gone as well.
He says, “Although we don’t know exactly who was responsible, believers in that area are pointing their fingers at the Islamic Jihadists.”
Movement Towards Religious Freedom
World Magazine reports that former President of Sudan and Islamic dictator, Omar al-Bashir, was removed from office in April 2019.
Sudan is currently working to create a democratic government with more religious freedom for all religions. Musselman says, “The Sudanese government, they want the world to see that they are making an effort.”
A Sudanese human rights organization is stepping in to support churches as they ask for protection from the government.
“The thing we’re seeing is that even within the mostly Muslim culture there are people saying, look, we need to keep the constitutional rights for all citizens, not just the Muslims,” Musselman says.
Yet despite this movement towards progress, many Sudanese Christians are still facing persecution. Musselman says, “[The churches] did their due diligence. They filed reports with the police, but as often happens, the investigations don’t take place. They feel like they are sitting ducks and this is going to happen again.”
Persecution Remains for Sudanese Christians
For many Sudanese Christians, living under an Islamic dictatorship led to mistrust and fear as well as persecution.
“It’s a culture that has been under decades and decades of fear,” he says.
“There’s militant Islam that was taking place and fear in the culture. And that even spread to, unfortunately, the Christian community. Nobody trusts each other.”
VOM Canada is working to unite the Sudanese Christians by bringing them together as brothers and sisters in Christ. However, changing this culture of fear is going to take time.
Musselman adds, “This is a situation where I would say the majority of the people, they want a change there, they want a more free and open society. But of course, there’s those militant Islamic Jihadists, they’re hell-bent on making sure that doesn’t happen. And they will continue if they are not stopped, to harass the churches.”
How Can We Help?
Helping Sudan starts with prayer. VOM Canada is stepping in to spiritually support Sudanese Christians in Sudan and they ask for continued prayer.
“We need to continue to pray for Christians in Sudan, that they would have unity… and as they are strengthened that will strengthen the message of the Gospel and bring the hope of Christ to a pretty broken nation,” Musselman says.
Ask the Lord to protect the Sudanese and help them break through fear and mistrust. You can also pray for Sudan’s government. Pray that the change in leadership continues to bring religious freedom for Sudanese Christians.
Header photo courtesy of VOM Canada.