Sudan (MNN) — A Western coalition calls on the United Nations to formally investigate atrocities in Sudan. The decision comes one week after a Reuters report revealed the scope of genocide underway in Darfur since fighting began in April.
“People are killed in their homes and the streets; women and girls are raped; hundreds of thousands are fleeing Sudan, and Arab fighters are scorning ethnic Africans as slaves. That has been going on for over a decade, but [one thing is] different now,” says John*, a Gospel worker focused on Sudan.
“Because of the war, there’s no restraint. There’s no effort by the government to present itself to the world as a civilized country.”
More than 100 of Sudan’s 570 tribes call the Darfur region “home.” “The Masalit, the third largest tribe in Darfur, has suffered more than any other people group in the country from the current war,” John says.
“The devastation is horrific, and the stories cannot be repeated, or people reading this report would not sleep.”
Yet hope remains. We cannot name John or his organization for security reasons, but he says, “By God’s grace, we’ve seen Masalit come to the Lord in the last three years, and they’ve started a house church among the Masalit refugees.”
Although the Masalit are primarily Muslim, the Gospel is making inroads.
John says Masalit believers are “in the tens, not in the hundreds, but they are positioned with their people” as witnesses during this uncertain time.
“We know them (Masalit believers) personally; we train them. They have translated passages of Scripture and the JESUS Film in Masalit.”
As The Voice of the Martyrs USA explains, Sudan is one of the world’s most challenging places to know and follow Jesus. Yet the current crisis is giving believers unprecedented opportunities to share their faith.
“Because they (displaced Masalit people) are on the border, they’re away from the normal restraints” governing Sudan, John says.
“The Gospel is a message of hope, and people are willing to listen as never before.”
Pray for healing and Gospel growth as the Masalit encounter the God of the Bible. Ask the Lord to comfort Masalit believers and give them strength to endure devastating loss.
“They’ve just lost everything. Their homes were burned, their families have been killed, and yet they stand in the middle of this [crisis] proclaiming and living out Christ Jesus. What a powerful thing,” John says.
Header image is a 2009 photo depicting Masalit men at a refugee camp near Darfur. (Wikimedia Commons)