Christians in the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan have been targeted by deadly air strikes and ground attacks. Muslim militia shouting “Allah Akbar” opened fire at congregations gathered for worship.
Shot in Cold Blood
At Kadugli, on 8 June, Nimeri Philip Kalo, a Theological student, was accused of being a Christian and shot dead in front of horrified bystanders. This took place close to the gate of the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), which is meant to be ensuring “a peaceful transition” after South Sudanese voted to secede. In January the people of South Sudan voted overwhelmingly for independence.
On 8 June, Muslim militia set fire to the Episcopal Church of Sudan and Sudanese Church of Christ buildings in the capital of South Kordofan, Kadugli.
On the same day, Adeeb Gismalla Aksam, a 33 year old bus driver, whose father is an elder of the Evangelical Church in Kadugli, was murdered by a Muslim mob shouting “Allah Akbar!”
Tortured for Christ
Another Christian was arrested by government of Sudan forces and accused of being against Islam. He was tortured and severely beaten in his own home.
Church Property Looted
Bishop Andudu Adam Elnail of the Episcopal Church of Sudan Diocese of Kadugli reported that the church guest house was looted by government forces and Muslim militia. They took the church’s public address system, projector, motorbikes and furniture.
On Sunday, 12 June the governor of North Kordofan, Mutasim Mirghani Zaki Eldeen, declared Jihad (holy war), on the people of the Nuba Mountains. Most of the Nuba are Christians. Hundreds of military vehicles have converged on Kadugli, indicating that a major offensive is imminent. Refugees are claiming that Arab militias are “killing anyone who is Black”. As one aid worker described it: “The government thinks that all Black people are opposition supporters and are therefore targets.”
Reportedly churches are being directly targeted by aerial bombardments; tens-of-thousands of civilians have apparently been displaced, fleeing the bombardments and terror attacks. The UN estimates that 60,000 civilians have been displaced fleeing the latest upsurge in violence.
Conflict in Abyei
South West of the Nuba Mountains, in the contested border region of oil-rich Abyei, fighting has erupted between the military forces of the North and South. Many farmers have been displaced and forced to flee to the South. The National Islamic Front government of Sudan has insisted that oil-rich Abyei have a separate Referendum as to whether they are to remain part of the North or South. However, after Northern orchestrated violence, the government insisted that the separate Referendum for Abyei be indefinitely postponed! As the rest of Southern Sudan prepares for independence, 9 July, fighting is escalating in and around the strategic oil-rich province of Abyei and the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan.
Mission and church contacts are describing the situation as “ethnic cleaning” and “absolute carnage.” Egyptian UN“peacekeepers” have been accused by many Nuba as biased towards their Arab tormentors and complicit in targeted assassinations within UN Displace camps.
Pray for Christians Suffering in Sudan
Please join with us in fervent prayer that the sufferings of our Christian brethren in South Sudan and the Nuba Mountains become known to the church worldwide and that the persecutors be exposed and opposed. Let us pray that peace with justice be firmly established in an independent South Sudan.
“Cush will submit itself to God.” Psalm 68:31
Dr. Peter Hammond is the author of Faith Under Fire in Sudan. Dr. Hammond has travelled throughout the war devastated Nuba Mountains, an island of Christianity in a sea of Islam, showing the Jesus film in Arabic, proclaiming the Gospel, training pastors and evading enemy patrols.
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