Will Sudan’s tension turn into conflict?

By April 14, 2023

APRIL 16 UPDATE: The United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) has halted all operations in Sudan after clashes between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) killed three of its employees. A WFP spokesperson told Reuters the three dead were all Sudanese.

Sudan (MNN) — Tensions flare as Sudan’s army accused the country’s most powerful militia of threatening national security by deploying troops without the army’s permission. Analysts fear armed conflict between the two groups.

Sudan’s current chaos began when a 2021 military coup removed a Western-backed, power-sharing administration. “[The] military is running everything now,” says Rafat Samir, head of the Sudan Evangelical Community Council.

“Past regime members [are] ruling every part of the government and stop any movement toward freedom and improvement of our country.”

(Graphic courtesy of Voice of the Martyrs USA)

Sudanese believers saw a brief window of opportunity in 2019. Western advocates and Christian leaders inside the country pushed for reform that would solidify religious freedom, “but the civil (transitional) government didn’t work for the right of belief (religious freedom) in the country,” Samir says.

Nonetheless, hope remains. Sudan’s young people demand change and a better future. “[These young people are] the same who [started] the revolution [in] 2019,” Samir says.

“It’s a revolution of thinking. They (young people) know their rights and what their country is supposed to look like.”

Young people are taking charge in the Body of Christ, too. “[In] every church now, you’ll find [young people] leading churches. Even the new missionaries now in Sudan are all [from the] young generation,” Samir says.

Pray for unity among Sudanese churches and their leaders. Pray for a spiritual harvest as believers sow Gospel seeds despite the ever-present risk of persecution.

“We have many Sudanese missionaries who go out and reach the unreached [people] groups, even [though] they are not funded by the churches,” Samir says.

“[Young people] are wearing courage; they are very determined [to take] Jesus’s name to everyone in the country.”




Header image is a representative stock photo courtesy of smahel/Pixabay.

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