Sudan (MNN) — On Monday, armed forces in Sudan detained the prime minister and dissolved the civilian government. A high-ranking general says a new government will oversee the country until promised elections in 2023. He blamed political factions for creating an unstable environment in the country.
Military officials kidnapped Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and his wife before pressuring him to release a pro-coup statement. According to the information ministry, he refused and has since been moved to a secret location.
The coup represents a blow to an already fragile situation in Sudan. Long-time dictator Omar Hassan al-Bashir was overthrown in 2019. Since then, the country has been trying to transition to democracy.
These changes brought more freedoms for Christians in society. But Floyd Brobbel with The Voice of the Martyrs Canada says, “The concern is that if this government falls, then what has been gained could fall apart. Because, again, there’s a power vacuum in place, and that creates insecurity and instability. It plays on people’s fears. We could see civil liberties falling by the wayside. We could see freedom of religion, one of the things that was gained, falling by the wayside.”
Pray the Church in Sudan would be a source of peace and hope. Sudan’s people continue to suffer high unemployment, poverty, and hunger. Brobbel says, “I think for those churches that are seeking to reach out to their neighbors in love, seeking to fulfill the Great Commission, bringing the Gospel, and being salt and light in their communities, this could bond them closer together.”
Sudan has always suffered sharp divisions and tribalism. Muslims make up most of the population, but Brobbel says, “Even within that population, there are different groups. Seventy percent of that would be what we would call Arab Sudanese, as opposed to African Sudanese. And that causes fractures as well within the group.”
Churches haven’t been immune to these divisions either. Ask God to unite them around Jesus.
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)