In a landmark move, Sudanese Christian and Muslim leaders have signed a declaration to work together on promoting religious freedom in a country that has long been ruled by oppressive Islamic law.
You may have joined with us in celebrating the recent news from Sudan – that the transitional government in Sudan removed the death penalty for leaving Islam, then later committed to the total removal of Islamic law. Thank you for praying faithfully for Sudan for so many years. There’s still a long way to go, but these changes are likely to make life much easier for Sudanese believers.
Your prayers for Sudanese Christians are making an enormous difference
Now there’s more good news, praise God! Christian and Muslim religious leaders in Sudan have agreed to join forces to promote religious freedom, in a landmark move. “Religious leaders signed a declaration to promote peace and freedom of worship among all Sudanese communities and to encourage community dialogue among people of different faiths,” reports VOA.
The declaration is intended to help increase religious freedom as the country transitions from three decades of oppression of Christians and other non-Muslims.
Open Doors sees this as a very positive development Jo Newhouse, Open Doors
“In principle, Open Doors sees this as a very positive development,” says Jo Newhouse, an Open Doors spokesperson for sub-Saharan Africa. “It is a crucial step forward for the church which, for years, has been denied space in society to live out Christianity in freedom.
“While the recent legal changes to protect freedom of religion or belief are very important, strong voices of support from both Muslim and Christian religious leaders are crucial in bringing lasting change - because much of the persecution in Sudan happens on the social level. This initiative should be applauded and given all the support it may need.”
Of course, as Newhouse says, a great deal of the persecution faced by Sudanese Christians comes from stigma and local oppression, not just laws. Ex-President Omar Hassan al-Bashir’s strict enforcement of ‘one religion, one culture, one language’ has permeated through Sudan’s culture, and your prayers for protection and integration for Christians are still vital.
Most believers in the country will have kept their faith secret, out of fear, and it will take time and prayer to change engrained prejudices. This is particularly true for Christians from a Muslim background. Even though they no longer face the death penalty for converting, many fear being rejected or attacked by their families and communities.
You can ask your MP to attend the World Watch List launch on 13 January 2021. It's a crucial opportunity for decision makers to hear first-hand from the persecuted church - you can make a real difference by getting in touch.
Your support helps persecuted Christians continue to courageously follow Jesus.
Together, we can reach those where persecution hits hardest.