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[Today’s Prayer] More than 150 churches damaged and destroyed after Sudan war


More than 150 churches have been damaged or destroyed since war began in Sudan in April, according to a report by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.


“Religious sites have been targeted and traces of destruction remain,” the report said, adding, “Thousands of people have lost their lives and religious communities have been devastated in clashes between the Sudanese military and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.”


According to USCIRF, the ongoing conflict is estimated to have killed more than 13,000 people, with armed fighters targeting houses of worship and other religious sites.

“International humanitarian law considers places of worship and religious sites sacred even during armed conflict,” Mohamed Magid said in a statement. “Despite the protection of Article 53, places of worship and religious sites are continuing to be damaged and destroyed beyond recognition,” he said.

(omitted)


According to Morningstar News, a significant incident occurred in January when RSF militants set fire to an evangelical church in Wad Madani. Built in 1939, this church was the largest religious building in Gezira Governorate.

RSF also attacked a Coptic Christian monastery in Wad Madani and converted it into a military base.

The violence was not limited to structures. In May 2023, armed assailants entered the church, shot four people, including a priest and his son, stabbed a church security guard, and ransacked the building.


During the raid on Omdurman, they killed Hidar Al Amin, a member of the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church. Al-Amin's relatives said RSF militants killed him after looting his property.


La Croix International reported earlier this month that evangelical pastor Kowa Shamal narrowly escaped death after being ordered by RSF militants to renounce his faith. When Pastor Shamal refused, it led to a fight, which ultimately resulted in the murder of his 23-year-old nephew. The RSF murdered him because he refused to remove the cross he wore around his neck.


Tom Perriello, the U.S. special envoy to Sudan, and Isobel Coleman, USAID deputy director, attended the International Humanitarian Conference on Sudan earlier this month to mark the first anniversary of the war. Deputy Director Coleman announced $100 million in additional humanitarian assistance for the Sudanese people, increasing the U.S. Government's humanitarian assistance to the Sudanese people to more than $1 billion after October 2023.


“In recent months, there has been a marked increase in the destruction of religious sites due to armed conflict,” USCIRF said, citing a publication on religious freedom in the Sahel and the protection of religious sites under international law. “We must comply with international law to protect,” he urged.


The conflict has deeply affected Sudan's Christian minority, estimated at around 2 million, or 4.5% of Sudan's 43 million population.


Sudan ranked 8th on Open Doors' 2024 list of countries persecuting Christians. Sudan has not enacted a national religious freedom law, and attacks by anti-state actors have continued to increase.


In Sudan, violence has driven millions of refugees and forced civilians to bear the brunt of a power struggle between the government forces (SAF) and the militia Rapid Support Forces (RSF). As the civil war continues, religious minorities are concerned that persecution will continue even after the conflict ends. Fears of Islamic law have reignited, especially after the 2021 military coup.


The deep state, which triggered the conflict by staging a coup on October 25, 2021, is seen as a threat to religious minorities. The transitional government established after former dictator Omar al-Bashir was ousted in 2019 made progress in reducing religious discrimination, including outlawing apostasy laws, but a subsequent military coup reversed this progress, leaving Sudan's religious community placed in jeopardy.



When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:17-18)

Since the war began in Sudan in April last year, we have heard the sad news that 150 churches have been damaged or destroyed and the lives of pastors and believers are being threatened.


Additionally, this war has resulted in millions of refugees. Lord, would you protect the Sudanese Christians who fear that persecution will continue even after this war.

The Lord who hears their cries, we believe that the only one who will deliver them from all troubles is Jesus Christ.


May you visit your people whose hearts are broken by war and persecution and help them realize the heart of God the Father who loves the people of Sudan.


Let them arise as faithful disciples of the Lord who repent and bow down on behalf of the nation's sins, and would remember the blood of martyrdom sprinkled on this land and allow for such great revival and fruits in Sudan that cannot be expressed in words.


Therefore, may true peace come to Sudan through the power of the gospel, so that the souls of people suffering from war in Africa and other countries can see God answering through the Sudanese church.

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