According World Watch Monitor, two churches have been destroyed in Sudan in the last few weeks.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide reported on 17th October, that a Lutheran church building was burned down in Gadaref, East Sudan. The building was completely destroyed, including the furniture and Bibles inside, and the apparent case of arson was reported to the police.
Then, on 22nd October, Sudanese authorities demolished the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sudan (LCS) in Omdurman, citing re-development reasons. They had given the church just 72 hours notice of the demolition.
According to local sources, young men set fire to the building before officials ordered bulldozers to tear down the rest of it.
The church has been on the same site for over three decades, but local authorities claimed that it was built on land allocated for a proposed marketplace.
However, church members noted that a nearby mosque on the same land was not destroyed.
“Destroying the church building made us feel we have lost everything,” a local leader in the Lutheran church said, adding that: “Chairs, seats, etc., have also been taken by the local authorities.”
“The LCS was founded in this area in 1975. The mosque was not there when the church was established.”
“The strange thing is that the church was destroyed but the mosque was still standing in its place! This shows us many things…We were asking them, ‘Where are our rights?’ But their answers were, ‘No place for Christianity after Southern Sudan separated.’ ”
Sudan lost the majority of its Christian population when the South became independent in July 2011, following an overwhelming vote in favour of secession from the predominantly Arab and Muslim North.
Not surprisingly, the Christians left in the North have been finding life in the Islamic nation less than easy.
- Pray for Christians in Sudan, many of whom face persecution and oppression. Pray that their faith will stand strong, and they will have the courage to witness to God’s grace to their Muslim neighbours.
- Pray for protection on Christians in Sudan, and on their churches, as the government seeks to crack down on non-Islamic practices. Pray that they will have the right and freedom to worship without fear.
- Pray for the Sudan government, for a willingness to allow Christians to live and practice their faith in freedom. Pray for this nation, as Islamic fundamentalism threatens it’s identity and future.
John 1 vs 5: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.“