Makeshift buildings, erected after three church buildings were destroyed by fire on December 28th, were burned down on January 16th. While those responsible are still unknown, local Christians believe it is the work of Islamic jihadists.
The Sudan Interior Church, Roman Catholic Church and Orthodox Church were all located in the village of Bout in Blue Nile State. After the buildings were destroyed, the church members quickly erected replacement structures so they could continue to meet. Even though a case was filed with the police, church members report that there has been no investigation nor has any protection been provided by the authorities. A Sudanese human rights organization, HUDO, has expressed concern and is calling on the government to take "urgent action in safeguarding the constitutional rights of the affected citizens."
In recent months, some positive signs have been seen, as the government is transitioning away from the authoritarian rule of Omar al-Bashir. The current minister of religious affairs has publicly apologized to Christians for the "unjust and clumsy policies." Even so, the opposition of militants remains in many areas in this predominantly Muslim country. To learn more about the country of Sudan, visit our country report.
Please lift up these Sudanese Christians in your prayers, as they seek God's direction in the days to come. Pray that He will provide them the necessary resources to rebuild; this time, without any threat of opposition or destruction of their places of worship. May the authorities ensure these believers receive needed protection, and that investigations will take place so the perpetrators responsible for the attacks will be found. Pray that many of the country's inhabitants will come to faith in Christ throughout Sudan.