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Lenten Focus: Sudanese Christians

For more on my Lenten Focus, see my Ash Wednesday post. A quick summary is that I am spending Lent fasting and praying for the Persecuted Church, and I invite you to join me.

Meriam Ibrahim with her son and the daughter she bore in prison.

The plight of many Sudanese Christians gained greater awareness when the case of Meriam Ibrahim became well-known. Ibrahim was raised a Christian, but because the father who abandoned her family was a Muslim, she was legally a Muslim for whom conversion is illegal. The pregnant woman was sentenced to death and forced to give birth to her daughter while in chains. Fortunately, international pressure led to her release from prison, and she was eventually able to leave the country.

According to Voice of the Martyrs.

In Sudan, Christians face poverty, war and genocide. Arab-Sudanese are trying to eradicate black Sudanese in the Nuba Mountains, where Christian villages face daily bombings by the Sudanese military. The government is trying to eliminate all Christian villages, churches, hospitals and schools in an effort to Islamize the country. The National Intelligence Security Services (NISS) has raided, occupied or bulldozed churches, and continues to arrest and deport Nuba and South Sudanese Christians. Although the constitution guarantees religious freedom, Islam remains the de facto state religion, and apostasy is punishable by death under the government’s Sharia law. This law came under fire when courts sentenced a Christian woman to death for apostasy because she had married a Christian man. After international outcry, Meriam Ibrahim was released in July 2014. Muslims are given preferential treatment, and non-Islamic proselytism is prohibited. It is difficult for Christians to obtain permission to build churches. Converts face social pressure and harassment from security services. They typically do not stay in Sudan.

Prayer Points from Open Doors:

  • That the apostasy laws will be abolished
  • For a halt to the closing of churches by the government
  • That Christians around the Nuba mountains will be kept safe from bombings and find enough food

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Today is also the Saint Day in the Catholic Church of Perpetua and Felicity, two Christian women who were martyred in North Africa in the year 203 A.D.


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