Why Did Christianity Die Out in Northern Sudan?

For one thousand years Christianity predominated in Northern Sudan. From the sixth century to the fifteenth century Christianity was the official religion of the three Sudanese kingdoms of Nubia, Alwa, and Makuria (later Dotawo). For nine hundred years the Christians of Sudan successfully resisted the southward expansion of Islam.

Yet by the late fifteenth century the weakened Christian kingdoms reeled from waves of Arab attacks. Towns were burned and confusion spread. Nubia fell. The fall of the Christian kingdom of Dotawo in 1484 and the fall of the southern most kingdom of Alwa in 1530 heralded the demise of Christian faith in Northern Sudan. Today Sudan is an officially Islamic state. The National Islamic Front (NIF) regime has declared Jihad (holy war) against the Christian South and against the Arabic speaking Nuba Christians in central Sudan.

Article 1 of Sudan's Constitutional Decree (October 16, 1993) states: “Islam is the guiding religion . . . it is a binding code that directs the laws, regulations and policies of the State”. The government of Sudan's leaders regularly proclaim their goal of transforming Sudan into an Islamic state with one language, Arabic, and one religion, Islam. Nearly two million people mostly Christians have died so far (most from a man-made famine) in the scorched earth and bombing campaign launched by the Muslim North.

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Under Siege

It was hot. Extremely hot. Already 45º Celcius (110ºF) in the shade and we weren't in the shade! The palm trees and occasional camels reminded me that we were in North Africa – at the Southernmost edge of the vast Sahara Desert. The steep rocky mountain slopes that we had repeatedly traversed are part of the Nuba Mountains of Central Sudan. Our GPS (Global Positioning System) confirmed that we were inside the famed 10-40 window – at 11º latitude in fact.

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Mission to Sudan Update

To view this article with pictures, click here.

Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow!

A quick update. Back in May we sent out a plea. We asked you to pray about helping us provide our brothers and sisters in South Sudan and the Nuba Mountains of Sudan with 10,000 Bibles.

40 Tonnes of Bibles

The Lord has heard our cry and we wanted to report that we just received word: the printing of 40,000 Bibles and 100,000 Creation to Christ 16 page picture books has begun! What's even more incredible is the container that will ship from Europe to Kenya and then into South Sudan is expected to arrive on schedule, in time for our Mission!

Read more: Mission to Sudan Update

Through Faith and Flood in Sudan

Nightfall in the Nuba Mountains always comes as a welcome relief from the oppressive heat. Much of our ministry in Sudan had been carried out in stifling heat which sometimes reached 58ºC (136ºF). Hiking up and down the Nuba Mountains, with 35 kgs (77 pounds) of kit, for hours on end in the heat of the day tests one's endurance. 

During the day our eyes continually scanned the skies, the horizons, the bushes and the paths for any signs of danger. There was the very real danger of an air attack or ambush and landmines had been sown throughout the area. At night time the danger of an air attack subsides, but the possibility of stepping on a landmine or walking into an ambush remains. We strained our senses to try to recognise shapes and sounds in the darkness. Our pace had to slow down as we carefully negotiated jagged rocks and precipitous slopes.

Unless one has experienced the heightened alertness and intense concentration of anticipating an attack, realising that every step could be your last – it is impossible to imagine or explain the fear and thrill of excitement, dread, exhileration and adrenaline rush – nor how prayerful and thoughtful one can become.

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The Red Cross, The Bible and War-Wounded Sudanese

This article is in FF News 2009 edition 4 and is available here

During a recent visit to the International Committee of the Red Cross Museum in Geneva, I was intrigued to see the Bible of ICRC Founder, Henry Dunant, on display. In the first exhibit at the ICRC Museum, they quote from the Gospels that we are to love our enemies, love our neighbour, do unto others, as we would want them to do unto us, and other principles and parables of Christ, including the parable of the Good Samaritan.

Bibles Banned

This was most interesting to me, because I have been ordered to leave the Red Cross Hospital at Lokichoggio, for distributing Bibles to war-wounded Sudanese patients.

On one of my first missions to Sudan in 1995, I requested permission to distribute Bibles to war-wounded Sudanese patients at the Red Cross Hospital in Lokichoggio, Kenya.

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