Increased persecution of Southern Sudanese Christians in recent weeks.

By September 12, 2005

Sudan (MNN) — An international team of investigators are examining wreckage from the late July crash that killed Sudan’s Christian Vice-President Dr. John Garang.

Persecution Project Foundation’s Brad Phillips just returned from three months in and around Sudan. He says, “There are a lot of questions about the crash, about whether it was an accident or not an accident. But what we know is that following the helicopter crash, there was a lot of violence that erupted in Sudan. There was rioting that took place. And following the announcement of his death and following some of the riots, there were also some attacks against Christians that were orchestrated by the government of Sudan.”

Since Garang’s death, the increased persecution has resulted in attacks, arrests, killings and homes destroyed. Phillips says thinks that although the media really played down the numbers and reported only 130 deaths, some of the local reports “…indicated that there were perhaps more than 1000 people that were southern Sudanese Christians who were killed by attacks orchestrated from the mosque and the from the government.”

Millions of Southern Sudanese Christians who have been displaced by the years of genocide and have settled on the outskirts of Khartoum. And in addition to the killings, Phillips reports, “There were hundreds of homes of Christians that were demolished on the outskirts of Khartoum.”

The increased government-orchestrated attacks against Christians have placed the peace agreement, that Dr Garang helped establish, on shaky ground. Phillips says, “It seems very clearly that this was a provocation by the government, an attempt to incite violence between Muslim and Christian, and perhaps to try to unravel the comprehensive peace agreement.”

Sudanese Christians are showing resolve to keep the peace, but the situation is tenuous, and if the attacks on Christians continue, the situation could deteriorate. Dr Garang’s successor, Salva Kiir Mayardi, is also a self-professing Christian, and the hope is that he will maintain the steady resolve toward peace that Dr Garang showed.

Phillips urges prayer: “We need to pray that peace will really take hold in Sudan, and that this time of peace will be used as an opportunity for Sudan to build on the foundation of Jesus Christ and that Christians will be involved in helping establish the infrastructure that’s really needed to develop the country, but especially the spiritual foundation that’s needed.”

Persecution Project’s focus in Sudan has been humanitarian relief, discipleship and advocacy work for Sudanese Christians and displaced people. If you’d like to help support their ongoing relief work in Sudan, click here for contact information.

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