Monday, November 14, 2016

RLPB 384. Sudan: Khartoum's jihad to eliminate opposition

Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin | RLPB 384 | Wed 16 Nov 2016

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SUDAN: KHARTOUM'S JIHAD TO ELIMINATE OPPOSITION 
by Elizabeth Kendal

The Islamist and Arabist Government of Sudan (GoS) is waging a jihad to eliminate opposition to its Islamist and Arabist policies. The GoS's policy of racial and religious genocide is rooted in an April 1993 fatwa which labelled the marginalised non-Arab Muslims rebelling against the state as 'apostates'. Describing the long-persecuted non-Muslims (mostly Christians) as 'kaffirs (infidels) standing in the way of Islam', it decreed that 'Islam has justified the fighting and the killing of both,' (citing Qur’an, Sura 5:54). Because the US is hungry for Sudanese intelligence on Islamic militant organisations and the EU is desperate for Sudanese co-operation to stem the flow of migrants, the GoS can commit its crimes against humanity with almost total impunity.

The Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) has suspended peace talks with the GoS in response to Amnesty International's 29 September report on the GoS' use of chemical weapons in Darfur. As this Prayer Bulletin has reported previously, the GoS has also used chemical weapons in the Nuba Mountains. The SPLM-N has long maintained that the GoS only engages in peace talks so it can prolong humanitarian crises. Today, with roads becoming passable again now the wet season is over, the SPLM-N warns that Khartoum 'is building up military forces from its militias and army, preparing for a dry-season offensive in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile.' As we prepare for Christmas, the Christians of the Nuba Mountains are preparing for another season of aerial bombardment and genocidal jihad.

click on map to enlarge
Meanwhile, Christian schools and churches operated and attended by ethnic Nuba and other 'southerners' are coming under increased pressure. In Wad Madani, the capital of Al Jazirah state, a Christian school belonging to the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church has endured more than two months of intense harassment, intimidation and pressure. Established in Wad Madani (188km south-east of Khartoum) by the American Mission in 1901, the Evangelical Basic School has 1000 students aged 3 to 18 yrs. In September the GoS accused the community of providing material support to the SPLM-N, a charge the school denies. The school was raided three times in two months. The principal, a dozen teachers and another pastor were arrested, questioned and bailed (at great expense). Furthermore, the National Ministry of Guidance and Endowments attempted to take over the school. On 14 November, in response to parent protests, Wad Madani's Appeal Court for Administrative Affairs cancelled the order to close the highly regarded school. This does not mean the battle is over! Meanwhile in Khartoum, five churches have received notifications that their buildings will be demolished -- three belonging to the Sudan Church of Christ (SCOC), one to the Presbyterian Church and the other to the Episcopal Church in Sudan.

Petr Jasek (Voice of the Martyrs)
On Trial for their lives.
"[The defendants] stand accused of several
crimes against the State; but their only
 'crime' is standing in solidarity
with the persecuted church in Sudan."
Persecution Project Foundation
Also in Khartoum, the trial of Nuba pastors Rev. Hassan Abdelrahim and Rev. Kuwa Shemaal, Darfuri student and convert Abdelmoneim Abdelmoula, and Christian aid worker Petr Jasek (a Czech national) continues. [For background, see RLPB 372 (23 Aug 2016)].  On 3 November investigator Abdelrahman concluded the argument for the prosecution. Jasek stands accused of giving money to 'some individuals' (ethnic Nuba) which the prosecutor maintains amounts to support for the war against the state. For investigating and reporting persecution, Jasek stands accused of 'espionage' and 'tarnishing Sudan's image internationally'. For speaking at an international conference about the plight of Sudan's persecuted Church, the Reverends Hassan and Kuwa stand accused of 'inciting hatred against the state'. Darfuri convert Abdelmunim Abdelmoula is accused of being an accomplice in these 'subversive activities'. Cross-examination commenced on Monday 7 November and continued on 14 November. The case for the defence has now begun. Doubtless the GoS would like to use this trial as a warning to others, so as to silence all talk of persecution and genocide.

PLEASE PRAY SPECIFICALLY THAT: 

* the Spirit of God will fortify all Sudan's pastors, evangelists, teachers and other Christian leaders, providing them with all the wisdom and grace they need to lead Christ's flock through dark and stormy times.

* God, who rules over heaven and earth, will intervene in the trial of the Reverends Hassan and Kuwa, Abdelmunim Abdelmoula and Petr Jasek, comforting, sustaining and equipping the believers, and gracing Khartoum's judges with insight and the courage to deliver justice.

* the Lord of Hosts will deliver Sudan from this evil regime. 'Arise, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand; forget not the afflicted. Break the arm [action and power] of the wicked and evildoer; call his wickedness to account till you find none' (Psalm 10:12, 15 ESV).

Prayer for Sudan: Psalm 10 

'O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.' (Psalm 10:17-18 ESV)


SUMMARY FOR BULLETINS UNABLE TO RUN THE WHOLE ARTICLE
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KHARTOUM'S JIHAD TO ELIMINATE OPPOSITION IN SUDAN

The Islamist and Arabist Government of Sudan (GoS) is waging a jihad of ethnic and religious genocide as it seeks to eliminate all opposition to its Islamist and Arabist policies. The African Christians of the Nuba Mountains are preparing for another season of aerial bombardment and genocidal jihad. In the cities, Christian schools and churches operated and attended by Nuba and other 'southerners' are facing increased pressure. Five churches in Khartoum have been slated for demolition, while the trial of the Reverends Hassan and Kuwa (both Nuba), Darfuri convert Abdelmunim Abdelmoula and Czech aid worker Petr Jasek has resumed. For investigating and reporting persecution and supporting the persecuted church, the men stand accused of serious national security offences. Please pray for Sudan and its Church.

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Elizabeth Kendal is the author of Turn Back the Battle: Isaiah Speaks to Christians Today (Deror Books, Melbourne, Australia, Dec 2012) which offers a Biblical response to persecution and existential threat; and, After Saturday Comes Sunday: Understanding the Christian Crisis in the Middle East (Wipf and Stock, Eugene, OR, USA, June 2016).

See www.ElizabethKendal.com