It all started with a phone call late in the day. An unfamiliar voice on the other side instructed him to report to the office of the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) first thing in the morning. The next thing he knew, he was sharing a prison cell, unsanitary restrooms and a few pest-infested blankets with several other men. Philip’s crime: he is a Christian from a Southern Sudanese origin, working hard to bring hope to countless Sudanese through a ministry providing health services. Khartoum is the only home he has ever known, but the government deemed him a foreigner and thus unwelcome.
Circumstances for Christians in Sudan are deteriorating fast. In 2011 the country was listed 35th on the Open Doors World Watch List. In 2012 it moved up to number 16. In January 2013 Sudan moved up even further on this list, now filling the 12th position.
Since the secession of Southern Sudan in 2011, Sudan has made clear their intention to turn the country into a sharia state, in the process rooting out anyone who may delay them in reaching their goal.
On December 24, 2012, the pro-government newspaper, Akhir Lahza, announced a crackdown on non-governmental organizations following the listing of all who allegedly received funds from the USA.
These events highlighting the government’s political paranoia, received much publicity from the media. However, suffering almost silently at the same time is the Church. Open Doors is aware of several churches that have been demolished and ministries that were closed down as part of the government’s paranoia. Among those affected are two Presbyterian churches, an Episcopal Church, a Catholic Church and a ministry providing health services.
Ready for this week’s challenge?