Sudan (MNN) — Sudan’s future hangs in the balance. The international community wants Sudan’s military and civilian leaders to return to a power-sharing agreement dissolved by last week’s military coup.
Will General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan concede or maintain his current control?
Mediators say negotiations between the two parties continue and will “bear fruit” in the coming days. John*, a Gospel worker focused on Sudan, doesn’t think a “quick fix” is realistic.
“The (complex) background in Sudan doesn’t give a good foundation for quick movement into a new government, a new philosophy of society,” John says.
“Real change takes time.”
The October 25 military takeover is the latest episode in Sudan’s rocky transition to civilian rule. Massive protests in 2019 removed former dictator Omar al-Bashir from power. Bashir held Sudan under militant Islamic control for nearly 30 years.
Persecuted Christians saw Bashir’s departure as their chance for religious freedom, but that hope quickly faded. “When the change in government first took place, in Khartoum [believers were] marching in the streets with banners celebrating the birth of Christ,” John says.
At the same time, “in Darfur, leaders of house church movements [were] arrested and in Blue Nile state, churches were being burned,” he continues.
“There’s always a cosmetic change before any real change.”
Find your place in the story
Pray for unity among Sudanese believers, and pray they will stand firm in their faith.
“Pray they do the work of the Church, [and] pray they have the courage to challenge a government that is restricting their right to worship God as they choose,” John requests.
“The Church is called to be the Church in all circumstances. That means leaders – even broken ones, even persecuted ones – God is still calling them to lead the Church.”
Ask the Lord to help Sudanese Christians persevere. Sudan may follow the same rocky path to religious freedom as Egypt. “[It] took two other versions of the Arab Spring” to get Egypt where it is now, John says.
“They had the (first) Arab Spring, got rid of the previous leader. They thought they had a leader [who] was going to lead them toward democracy. It became an oppressive government. Then, there were 10 million people in the streets, and they have another change of government.”
Graphic used in header image courtesy of The Voice of the Martyrs USA.