Intense division in Sudan following coup attempt

By September 29, 2021

Sudan (MNN) — Sudan’s difficult transition to civilian rule continues. Civilian and military members of the transitional government are at odds following last week’s attempted military coup.

Analysts say political and military leaders have long been divided, but recent events made the opposition public for the first time in two years. It could derail the fragile transition process. More about the civilian-military division here.

Until the end of Omar al-Bashir’s dictatorship in 2019, hardline Islamic authorities posed the biggest threat to Christians. Now, the challenges look a little different.

“The Church has been in conflict and greatly immobilized. Not so much from without, but from within,” says John*, a Gospel worker partnering with unfoldingWord in Sudan.

“God is moving, and it’s evident. But the evangelical Church in Sudan deeply needs prayer, and they deeply need a spiritual renewal.”

Denominational division

Several years ago, the Sudanese government set up committees to oversee churches. “Now, in this version of Sudan’s Arab Spring, those committees are being dismantled,” John says.

He adds that Sudanese believers are deeply divided along denominational lines, explaining that many Christians fled to South Sudan when it became a nation ten years ago. “That left believers [who] came out of Islam with control of the Church, but there were different groups in several other denominations,” John says.

“From that time to now, they’re still in conflict over who’s in charge.”

Ongoing division makes the path toward harmony both complicated and challenging.

“The traditional, denominational Church is fairly immobilized at the moment. But there is a movement of God at a grassroots level among Muslims who are coming to Christ, who are not connected to denominations,” John says.

(Photo courtesy of Prayercast)

You can be part of Sudan’s spiritual revolution.

First and foremost, “prayer is essential,” John says. Use the prompts listed alongside this report to guide your intercession, or use this free resource from our sister ministry, Prayercast.

Additionally, “if churches have contact with indigenous organizations inside Sudan, I would encourage them to strengthen those contacts because the parts of the country where God is doing the most are generally not available to Westerners,” John says.

“They’re the places where genocide [occurred], and the border [area] with South Sudan. That is where the Gospel is moving right now.”


*Name withheld for security purposes



In the header image, the Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok delivers a speech during the [2019] alternative media forum in Khartoum, Sudan. (Wikimedia Commons)