Sudan (MNN) – Sudan is an African country directly below Egypt and just west of the Red Sea. The country provides unique challenges for life as a Christian, especially if that Christian comes from a Muslim background. Recently, Mission Network News had the opportunity to connect with Angelo, a Sudanese Christian, and get an inside look at life as a Christian in Sudan.
Angelo says he is thankful for the opportunity to share with the global Church the unique challenges and obstacles Christians face in Sudan.
Sudan is ranked #4 on the Open Doors USA’s World Watch List. The World Watch list ranks the top 50 countries where Christians face the most severe religious persecution. In Sudan, the main religion is Islam, and Christians face pressures for their faith in most areas of their life.
Open Doors says Christian leaders are regularly arrested and intimidated by authorities. Sometimes, churches are confiscated. Open Doors also reports that Christians in Sudan need to be careful when mentioning their faith to non-Christians for the risk of being accused of an “act that encourages apostasy against Islam.”
The Reality in Sudan
Angelo says when people in Sudan become Christians, something in them changes. They lose their sense of fear and gain an insatiable passion for Christ. Many new Christians immediately want to share the good news of their new faith. However, Angelo says it is wise for them to wait until they have matured in Christ.
“In some cases…you want to hide yourself a little bit, to grow in the faith because if…you announce that I am [a] Christian…the government will say that if you [were] a Muslim, [then] you neglect Islam, and it will persecute you. [Sometimes they] put you in jail to frighten you to go back to Islam. But, if you are not a Muslim, it is easier to become a Christian,” Angelo explains.
The Cost of Faith
However, for some Christians with a Muslim background, converting to Christianity can mean losing a job, a spouse or family, or property, and it can even lead to penalization by authorities.
“I advise that whenever a Muslim became Christian, do not announce it openly…Act wisely because the faith is in your heart. No one can see your faith; you have to practice Christianity hidden. When you [are] strong enough, have faith enough, then you can proclaim it. [Then] you can announce that you became a Christian,” Angelo says.
Angelo also says Christians in Sudan grow in their faith by studying God’s Word. But, it also guides them in how to share about Christ with non-Christians. However, Christians in Sudan need better access to the Bible. This is where you can help.
Pray for Bibles to become available where they are needed. Pray for the protection of the Sudanese Church and the encouragement of the Christians there. Also, pray for the creative ways the Sudanese Church can grow, learn, and share about Christ. Finally, pray for open hearts to the Gospel in Sudan.
Header photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.