Wednesday, August 31, 2011

North Sudan church still too fearful to rebuild

More than seven months after Muslim extremists burned its church building, a Presbyterian Church of the Sudan (PCOS) congregation is still afraid to meet for worship, according to Christian sources.

The Rev Maubark Hamad said his church in Wad Madani, 138 kilometers (85 miles) southeast of Khartoum, has not been able to rebuild since the January 15 devastation due to the congregation’s meager resources.

“Nothing has been done for the burned church building; so far it has not been rebuilt,” he told Compass.

Christian sources said they are increasingly fearful as Muslim extremists pose more threats against Christians in an attempt to rid what they call Dar al Islam, the “Land of Islam”, of Christianity.

According to Rev Hamad, another church leader who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “The increased challenges now faced by many Christians in North Sudan are something for which we need to pray very hard for the Lord to intervene."

The PCOS building in Wad Madani was burned after a series of threats against its members by Muslims extremists, sources said.

“These anti-Christian activities continue to be growing these days, aiming to cause fear among the believers in North Sudan,” said the church leader.

Property damages to the church building were estimated at 2,000 Sudanese pounds (about £400). 

Destroyed items included Christian literature, Bibles in local languages, chairs, tables and a pulpit.

“Muslims target our church because they don’t want anything that is related to the church,” one church member said.

Christians in North Sudan are living beneath a blanket of fear since South Sudan seceded on July 9.

Just one month after the South voted for independence from the predominantly Islamic North, pressures on churches and Christians have increased, with Muslim groups threatening to destroy churches, kill Christians and purge the country of Christianity.
 

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