Sudan: of deadly protests, elections, and Christians

By June 5, 2019
Pixabay, Sudan

Sudan (MNN) — Protestors in Sudan gathered over the slow pace toward civilian-led elections, in the wake of Omar al Bashir stepping down in April. On Monday, Sudan’s military abandoned the talks, and security forces opened fire on protestors, killing 35.

Sudan in Conflict

Once Bashir stepped down, the Transitional Military Control gained rule over Sudan. However, civilians are eager for a new election and demand a civilian-led interim body.

“The protesters who are saying no, we want elections, we want the military out of there. We want a democracy. I mean, they’re really going for it at this point in time. And now we’re seeing the kickback,” a spokesman for the Voice of the Martyrs Canada, Greg Musselman says.

Shell casings litter the ground in the Nuba Mountains, one of the conflict areas targeted by Bashir’s military.
(Photo, caption courtesy of VOM USA)

The catch—the military council is on a three-year transition schedule towards democracy. Which means there is a long road ahead for civilians demanding democracy today. And the military is not taking to an accelerated time-chart. The military troops burned tents and attacked civilians with sticks as they marched Monday on the protesters’ camps.

“They fanned out all around Khartoum, shooting on protesters, you know, [a] video has been emerging of people that have been killed, the wounded. The situation has gone really sideways, and it’s very discouraging for those that were hoping for Sudan to, you know, finally get out from under that terrible dictatorship,” Musselman says.

On Tuesday, the ruling military council’s leader, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan called for elections in nine months. Despite the announcement, the horrors of Monday’s events are already giving way to disillusionment.

Impacts on Christian Minority

Currently, Sudan is ranked* as the sixth most difficult country to live as a Christian. Much of the persecution Christians face comes from Islamic oppression in the form of violence and pressures against the church life, family life, national life, community life, and private life.

How do this protest and military response connect to the Persecuted Church?

For Christians, says Musselman, the revolution initially brought the hope of more religious freedom. The events of this week instead brought keen disappointment.

“If there is more of a democracy there, hopefully, prayerfully will be more freedom to be able to evangelize, and to share the message of Jesus’ love. What can we do? We need to be praying for the situation in Sudan,” Musselman says.

Pray for definitive peace and stability between the people and military commanders who continue to vie for power. Ask God for government leaders to rule with integrity and justice. Pray for the church to grow spiritually strong despite intense suffering and persecution.

To find more ways to get involved through Voice of the Martyrs Canada, click here.

*The World Watch List, by Open Doors USA, is a ranking of the top 50 countries where it is most difficult to live as a Christian.

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