By Open Doors 29 May 2024 4 MIN

Sudan | “We feel forgotten”

“We feel forgotten,” say church leaders in Sudan.

More than a year of fighting in Sudan has caused the displacement of millions of people, with aid agencies warning of mass famine. It is time the international community wakes up and intervenes, say Open Doors’ analysts.

“Sudan is home to the world’s largest displacement with nearly 9 million people on the run and is facing the world’s largest hunger crisis, but it is not getting the attention and the response it should compared to other crises,” says Illia Djadi, Open Doors’ Senior Analyst for Freedom of Religion or Belief in Sub-Saharan Africa.

In April 2023, Sudan descended into a civil war between the Sudan Armed Forces and the Rapid Support. When Djadi visited the region earlier this month, he found church leaders who “feel forgotten”. “The situation is deteriorating every day and there is no response from the world. There is a strong feeling of abandonment,” he said.

Added Pressure for Christians

The situation is particularly dire for Sudanese Christians. Living in a majority-Muslim country that is ranked number 8 on the Open Doors World Watch List is difficult enough, but the violence has added extra pressure. “There is no security, no protection. Not from the warring parties or from opportunists who will use this situation to further their own agenda’s,” said Djadi. “Christians, churches have been attacked with impunity.”

So far more than 150 churches have been damaged or destroyed, either being targeted or due to ongoing violence. Christians, forced from their homes, often must flee multiple times and lose contact with other members of the small Christian community.

The majority of those displaced have fled to other areas in Sudan. For these internally displaced people (IDPs), the risk “remains high”, says Rachel Morley, Open Doors’ researcher. “While refugees move away from the immediate danger and find refuge in places where they receive a level of (international) protection, IDPs do not have that. They are less protected and still at a higher risk because they remain in a similar environment.”

For Christians, their faith is an added vulnerability. Where they find shelter, they might face discrimination from those around them, as well as in aid distribution. As a result, a large part of the Church is on the run and unable to provide for its people.

Pray for Sudan:

  • Pray for suffering church leaders. They are overwhelmed by the need and struggle to take care of their own families. Please pray for God’s provision for the shepherds in the words of Psalm 23, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
  • Pray for Christians in the country who are especially vulnerable because of their faith. Pray that God will provide safe sheltering and hiding places for them and miraculously provide their basic needs. Pray the words of Psalm 18:2-3 over them.
  • Pray that relief aid will reach people and that Christians will be able to benefit from these distributions.

Stay updated with the latest prayer requests from the persecuted church.

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