SUDAN – Good news is getting hard to find. It just doesn’t seem to be sensational enough to make compelling headlines. Missions Box News is seeking to change that by reporting the good news that Christians should know. Some exceptionally good news has come out of Sudan over the last several days.
Sudan is currently ranked fourth on the Open Doors’ World Watch List of countries known for persecution of Christians. “The government of Sudan is an Islamic country under a dictatorship. Many Christians have suffered brutally.” Many evangelical churches have been forced to close and missionaries have been expelled.
A UN human rights commissioners noted in a 2017-2018 report that “the situation on the ground is serious enough to warrant regular attention from the HRC until there are sustained improvements in the human rights situation.”
Despite that, a Sudanese court recently ordered the government of Sudan to return 19 Sudanese Church of Christ church properties it had previously confiscated and to drop a case it had been conducting again five of the SCOC’s pastors. The properties were returned to the churches on September 24th.
In a separate but related matter, the government released a shipment of Arabic-language Bibles that had reportedly been held in port for six years, although senior church leaders have mourned the lack of Scriptures and teaching materials available since 2013.
The background of the story appears to be connected to the U.S. government threat to cease efforts to normalize relations with the government of Sudan because of the country’s evident lack of progress on human rights issues.
Sudan is also on the U.S. government’s list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. Officials of these countries have been warned that U.S. aid would cease unless dramatic changes occurred. Sudan needs financial help from the U.S. in order to survive. Apparently, some officials have recognized that the current administration is serious about not supporting countries that sponsor terrorism.
All of these activities are too closely related to suggest that they are isolated occurrences. It appears that advocacy is working, at least to some extent. Remember that there are other evangelical churches that have been closed.
There is still progress to be made, but the news today is good!
Mission Network News sagely summarized the situation,
“The outlook for religious freedom in Sudan may still seem grim, but it can’t overshadow the persistent faithfulness of the Church.
“Whether they have legal buildings or whether they are meeting in homes or in the darkness at night…we know the Kingdom of God is still going forward.
“People are still coming to Christ.
“People are still becoming strong followers of Jesus through discipleship.
“Those things still happen regardless of what the government does.”
Join us as we praise the Lord for what He has done and as we ask Him to soften the hearts of leaders in Sudan and around the world towards believers.
For more news on Sudan on Missions Box, go here.
- Mission Network News, Sudanese government ordered to return church property
- World Watch Monitor, Sudanese government gives back 19 properties to church body
- World Watch Monitor, Sudan releases shipment of Bibles held in port for six years
- Sudanese Church of Christ, Flickr, DigitalGlobe