Sentence of Amputation Moves Khartoum Closer to a Sharia State

February 20, 2013 by Open Doors in General

Sentence of Amputation Moves Khartoum Closer to a Sharia State

“The Standing Strong Through the Storm (SSTS) seminar and a seminar on discipling new believers (DOTA) was a good thing. God must have put it in your heart to conduct those seminars as preparation for many different church denominations for a time such as this. In addition to this, we have the books with us to teach the church how to stand firm in this situation. Your timing was perfect; just before all this trouble started”.

These are the words of a church leader who attended two recent Open Doors seminars for church leaders from 13 different denominations. The seminars’ purpose was not only to prepare the Sudanese church for the persecution and troubled times that were looming, but also to foster church unity.

Little did they suspect how timely these seminars would prove to be.  Last year, there were disturbing reports of almost daily bombing of civilian targets in the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan, where the largest concentration of Northern Christians live; now, the recent situation unfolding farther north in Khartoum has sparked increasing concern.

President Omar al-Bashir has made it clear that he intends to create a Sharia state in Sudan. Many Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) and churches have been closed. Over the past few weeks, Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) have ordered more than 100 expatriate workers, suspected of being involved with Christian activities, to leave the country or face deportation.

During a recent flight a partner of an SSTS seminar had an opportunity to share with the cabin manager that he had recently been to Khartoum. The person replied with moist eyes, “The saddest flights I have done recently are the flights carrying [expatriate workers] expelled from Khartoum. Many, after giving years of service to the people, are leaving on 24 hours’ notice with just a suitcase. Some cry for most of the flight. It is very sad.”

Warnings of future persecution came on February 18, when All Africa News Service reported that doctors at al-Ribat University Hospital have carried out a sentence of amputation on a man convicted in 2006 of banditry. The sentence was carried out after he had exhausted all appeal stages in his case. While it is not a case regarding religious freedom, it is the first time in 30 years that this penalty has been implemented in Sudan, making this a momentous display of the government’s intent to strictly enforce Sharia law.

Father, today we lift before Your throne Your church in Sudan, that she would be strengthened by Your Spirit to withstand the current onslaught against her. We pray for church leaders as they meet with government officials and seek ways to continue Your work in the midst of what appears to be a move toward Sharia law. Strengthen and protect believers and build unity between the denominations that they might encourage and support one another, and work together to seek new ways to accomplish Your work, united in their commitment to Christ. Thank You for the timely Open Doors SSTS seminars that have prepared them for just such a time as this. Thank You, too, for the many expatriate workers who have poured out their lives for Your people in Sudan over the years. Comfort them as they leave and show them where You would have them serve now, and raise up strong local workers to lead Your church. In the name of Jesus who leads and strengthens His church, Amen.

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