Sudan: Church leaders ask for prayer amid escalating violence and fears of return to Islamic extremist law

Monday, April 24, 2023 | Tag Cloud Tags: ,

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – Church leaders in Sudan are asking for prayer as the nation reels under yet another bout of deadly violence and instability that Islamic extremists may use to bring about the return of harsh Islamic law in the country, Christian Today reports. Hundreds of diplomats from countries including the US and the UK were evacuated Sunday amid fears the violence will continue and intensify.

Sudanese Christians had hoped to be allowed to exercise freedom of religion following the ouster of dictator Omar al-Bashir and the establishment of an interim government in 2019, but this hope has been short-lived. A military coup in November 2021 led to government collapse and to the current fighting between the Sudanese army led by Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) led by Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo.

In a statement, Fikiru Mehari, East Africa researcher for the Open Doors Christian advocacy and aid organization the current round of violence could lead to “untold suffering” for the people of Sudan as a whole, and to intense religious persecution for the country’s Christians at the hands of Islamic extremists, Christian Today reports.

“Many fear Sudan is vulnerable to collapse. From this chaos, Islamist extremists could rise and impose harsh Sharia law,” Mehari said. “This would prove deadly for Christians. Sudan’s Church leaders are urging us to pray that this will not happen, that Islamists will not exploit this uncertainty and instability.”

In a separate statement, the Christian Aid organization warned of a looming humanitarian crisis if the fighting does not stop. James Wani, Christian Aid South Sudan Country Director, said: “South Sudan is already facing a severe food emergency. There is a significant shortfall in humanitarian funding. If this conflict in Sudan doesn’t stop soon, and refugees start crossing the border in large numbers, then this will exacerbate an existing humanitarian crisis.”

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