Saturday, June 25, 2011
We as the global church have both a great responsibility and incomparable privilege in partnership with the power of the Holy Spirit to intercede for the growth of our Lord Jesus' upside-down Kingdom. We know the ways by which God draws people and entire nations to Himself often is foolish to the world, but proves to be transformative and brings wisdom and true life in the end (1 Corinthians 1:27).
However, sometimes the battle rages much more in certain areas and places where the forces of evil have been given authority, and we as the Church must really take time to listen and intercede in speaking out Christ's hope and life in the face of terror and certain death.
We are in such a time as this right now in joining together in prayer to see change in a highly persecuted and violent part of the world, where the Church has faced numerous obstacles over the centuries and yet still stands and draws people in by Jesus' presence. I am talking about the Nuba Mountains, a disputed region between north and South Sudan. Although not historically part of southern Sudan, the Nuba Mountains has long been marginalized by more dominant tribes, and for more than two decades have been special target of the northern Government of Sudan military. The Nuba are not a single tribe, but a grouping of many African sub-tribes with distinct cultural differences and at least fifty distinct dialects. A proud and ancient grouping of peoples, the Nuba peoples have gradually been squeezed into more inhospitable terrain or forced to eke out a living in the slums surrounding Khartoum.
You may have heard of the escalation of fighting between north and south on the disputed border regions of Sudan leading up to the South's official declaration of independence July 9th, butnot about Nuba mountains (which are actually in the north and have undergoneimmense persecution and forced Muslim conversion throughout the war before)being targeted once again as churches are burned down and people fleeing violence. During the last phase of war (roughly 1983-2005) the Nuba peoples were heavily persecuted and about half turned to Islam while the other half stayed strong in Christ in the midst of unspeakable persecution. Now the North is making it clear it desires to fully subjugate them as apart of the official North...Please take time to read this letter from the Bishop of Episcopal Church of Sudan in Kaduguli, Nuba Mountains:
THE TIME IS NOW TO TURN AROUND THIS TIDE OF KILLING AND TERROR, AND EXPECT TO SEE A CHANGE IN THE REPORTS COMING FROM THIS LAND OF PROMISE!!!!
From the office ofthe Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Kadugli, Sudan: A Call To Prayer and Fasting to End the Nuba Genocide, and for the Peace of all Sudan!
To all my brothersand sisters in Christ, On behalf of my people in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan weare asking all Sudanese Christians wherever they are, and the Church throughoutthe world to join with us in a day of prayer and fasting on June 26,2011.
Once again we arefacing the nightmare of genocide of our people in a final attempt to erase ourc ulture and society from the face of the earth. It is not a war between armiesthat is being fought in our land, but the utter destruction of our way of lifeand our history, as demonstrated by the genocide of our neighbors and relativesin Darfur. This is a war of domination and eradication, at it's core it is awar of terror by the government of Sudan against their people.
As we approach the July 9 day of independence for the new South Sudan, President Bashir has declared for all the world to hear that Sharia (Islamic law) will be the law of the land for the North, refusing to recognize the legitimate presence of the Christian minority. It is a declaration of their determination to also end theremembrance of our Christian heritage that dates back two thousand years to thestory of the Ethiopian eunuch (who was from modern day Sudan).
At this moment,there is a meeting in Ethiopia with the different parties of Sudan, the African Union and other international parties seeking to find a true path of peace thatrecognizes our right to survive and thrive as a people, both Muslim andChristian alike, with equality and justice for all. Please pray and fast withus as you are able for a solution to this crisis.
Rt.Revd Andudu AdamElnail Bishop Of the Episcopal Diocese of Kadugli, Sudan
Below are a few recent articles that shed some light on what has happened lately: