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Sudan Facts

Score: 87 / 100
Region: Africa
Persecution Type: Islamic Oppression
Persecution Level: Extreme
Population: 41,512,000
Christians: 1,910,000
Main Religion: Islam
Government: Presidential Republic
Leader: President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir

Profile of Persecution

Violence 63%
Church Life 96%
National Life 93%
Community Life 87%
Family Life 89%
Private Life 88%

A dictator propping up one religion

Sudan has been ruled by the authoritarian government of President al-Bashir since 1989. Under his charge, the country has been ruled as an Islamic state with limited rights for religious minorities. The state places heavy restrictions on freedom of speech or press. Christians face constant discrimination and pressure—additionally, multiple church buildings were demolished in 2017 and 2018, leaving some Christians without a place to worship. Christians converts from Islam are especially targeted for persecution.

How Christians are suffering

The 2019 World Watch List reporting period has been difficult for Sudanese Christians in many ways. They have lost church buildings used for worship for years. And the government has arrested or intimidated many Christian leaders. All Christian communities in Sudan are afraid of having conversations about their faith with Sudanese Muslims because that could put them at risk for arrest or intimidation. The level of persecution that converts and ethnic Africans face is enormous. There have been arrests; many churches have been demolished with others on an official list awaiting demolition. In areas like the Nuba Mountains where there is an ongoing conflict between government forces and rebel groups, many Christians are attacked indiscriminately.

So as not to be discovered, converts will often refrain from raising their children as Christians because this might lead to Christian persecution and attract the attention of the government and community leaders (since children might inadvertently reveal the faith of their parents). This fear even extends to funerals, where Christians with a Muslim background are often buried according to Islamic rites in Muslim cemeteries (even though Christian and Muslim cemeteries are separate).

Examples

The government has demolished and closed down churches.

Christian converts with a Muslim background are particularly at risk because conversion from Islam to another religion is legally punishable by death. Believers usually refrain from owning Christian materials or accessing Christian TV or websites. which, if discovered, could be used as evidence against them by family or officials.

Christian children are often harassed in school or playgrounds due to their parents’ faith.

A very high level of violence against Christians is evident, particularly in the Nuba Mountains region where government security forces target Christians indiscriminately.

 

Pray for Sudan

  • Pray for opportunities for Christians to have places of worship without fear of destruction.
  • Pray for converts to Christianity, that they would be able to stand strong in the face of accusations of betrayal.
  • Ask God to work in the hearts of Sudanese government leaders—convicting them to seek justice and peace through the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • Pray for wisdom and courage for church leaders as they interact with the government and their agencies. Pray these church leaders will have the grace to balance the Lord’s command to make disciples with respect for human authority.
  • Thank the Lord with us for the ceasefire in South Kordofan State in 2018, which has allowed communities in the Nuba Mountains containing large number of Christians to plant and harvest more than they were able to in the past few years. Pray for timely rain and that these communities will regain stability.

Stories from Sudan

May 22, 2019

A Good Time to Pray

How can we make our news watching a regular time of prayer for our brothers and sisters?

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May 21, 2019

In Africa, Christians Are in the Flames of Persecution—and On Fire for Jesus

Throughout sub-Saharan Africa, Christians are being held, feet to the flames, and told to deny Christ.

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April 11, 2019

Anti-Christian dictator forced out in Sudan: Pray with us

A dictator known for brutal policies against Christians has been forced to step down in Sudan.

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