During the first week of November, the church in Sudan was caught in the crossfire of the two warring parties as bombs destroyed two sanctuaries.
It’s been seven months since the conflict in Sudan started
. What began as a power struggle between two rival factions has devolved into what the U.S. Institute of Peace has called a “civil war.”
And Christians in this East African nation are caught in the middle.
Nuns bravely remain despite bombing
On November 3, a bomb fell on the mission house of the Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, had been providing shelter and care for both Christians and non-Christians. It left 23 people injured, including children, nuns and the
headmaster of a school in the church compound.
These sisters have been the hands of feet of Jesus in the midst of the violence. “[The nuns] provide water from the well, because in many places, wells have run dry since the war started,” explains one of our field contacts in the region. “One of the
nuns told me that she believes they were sent as missionaries, not just messengers: ‘That’s why we live with the Sudanese whether they are Christian or not, in joyful times and sorrowful times.’”
“As long as you are there; we have hope. Do not abandon us!”
Despite the incident and the ongoing danger, the nuns are determined to remain at the house to serve those in need. “As long as you are there; we have hope. Do not abandon us!” they are repeatedly told by people.
Another bomb attack
Then on November 4, the church building used by both the Evangelical and Episcopal Church in Omdurman, another city in Sudan, was also bombed. The explosion not only damaged the church, but also the house for orphaned boys located in the church compound,
killing at least six children who died following the bombing.
A partner on the ground in Khartoum says that there is no way to know for certain if the church buildings in Omdurman and Khartoum were bombed intentionally.
The power and urgency of your prayers
“We are immensely grateful to members of the Body of Christ like the Salesian nuns who have remained in Khartoum to be Jesus’ hands and feet serving marginalised people,” says Fikiru*, an Open Doors persecution expert in East Africa.
"If it were not for your continued prayers, many more would have died in those attacks.”
“It is devastating to receive the news of church buildings being destroyed. It physically illustrates the pressure the Body of Christ is under in Sudan – clearly an unwanted minority. When I spoke to a Sudanese church leader after the attacks, he asked
me to tell brothers and sisters around the world praying for Sudan that, if it were not for their continued prayers, many more would have died in those attacks.”
In October, representatives of the warring factions in Sudan’s ongoing conflict agreed to meet in Saudi Arabia to resume negotiations, but they were unable to reach a ceasefire. So far, the fighting has killed more than 9,000 people and displaced some
5.6 million since April.
“Please do not forget Sudan in your prayers,” adds Fikiru. “Pray for Christians who are displaced, for church leaders serving in uncertain times and that God will bring good out of this difficult situation the church finds itself in.”
*Name changed for security reasons
- For a decisive and lasting breakthrough in negotiations between the warring parties
- That those affected by these two incidents will be comforted in their grief and healed of their trauma
- For the protection of all people, and that good will come from this awful time the country is experiencing.
WORLD WATCH LIST 2024
The latest World Watch List is released on 17 January, and findings from the report – together with first-hand stories from persecuted Christians. Mark your calendar and share with your church, so we can make a difference for our persecuted family together.
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