(Worthy News) – Muslims and Christians in Sudan are unifying under the banner of democracy after a rare window of opportunity opened following the ousting of longtime military dictator Omar Al-Bashir.
“We invite you to raise your prayers and sing hymns for our country,” the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which consists of 15 Sudanese trade unions and is spearheading the protests, told Christians.
Rachid Said Yacoub, a Sudanese writer and journalist who has been living in France since the 1990s, distinguished the Sudanese democratic uprising from the earlier Arab Spring protests that deposed a series of Middle Eastern dictators beginning in 2010.
“In Sudan, we have a unique situation in which the revolution is against the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic movements,” he explained to Middle East Media Research Institute TV.
“The supporters of a secular state [here] are fighting an Islamic regime, and this is very different from the revolutions of the Arab Spring,” which he says saw earlier dictators replaced merely with more Muslim Brotherhood plants, such as Mohamed Morsi in Egypt.
Christians in Sudan, a country that ranks 6th on Open Doors U.S.A.’s World Watch List for Christian persecution, have been suffering military reprisals in the conflict between Bashir’s Islamist government and rebel forces, especially in the Nuba Mountains region, where it was reported last month that more than 30 churches had been torched and 40 more razed in the last year.
“We must make a covenant that we will not withdraw or accept anything less than a new Sudan ruled by humanity and citizenship,” said Rafaat Masaad, head of the Evangelical Synods in Sudan, one of the many official church groups encouraging Christians to participate in the pro-democracy protests as a means of ending the sectarian strife.
The Sudanese conflict, which led the International Criminal Court to charge Omar Al-Bashir with war crimes and issue an international warrant for his arrest in 2009 and 2010, produced what is commonly known as the 21st century’s first genocide in Darfur when the government attempted to suppress opposition forces there in 2003.