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Prayer meeting for Sudan to be held

First published on: 3rd July 2023

As the crisis in Sudan continues, one of our Bradford area churches is holding a prayer vigil.

St Peter’s Shipley will be hosting a Sudan prayer meeting on Wednesday, July 12 at 7.30pm.

All are welcome to come, hear more about the situation in Sudan, and pray for an end to the violence.

A full report on what is happening in the country from the Church Association for Sudan can be found below.

The report says: “The war in Sudan between the regular Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitaries (RSF) continues almost without pause.  Occasional ceasefires have been announced, but have been largely ignored.  The RSF seems to have the upper hand, controlling the airport, the palace, refinery, radio, and multiple bridges over the Nile, and have captured a munitions factory which was a key supply point for SAF to fuel and ammunition.  They are said to have detained hundreds of Islamist leaders and former members of the intelligence service, in a wave of repression targeting their political opponents.
 “In the capital, fighting is now focussed on control of military areas in central Omdurman and central Khartoum, plus the SAF-controlled military airfield north of Omdurman.  This week, Yacub Meister, the deputy principal at the Shukai Bible College in Omdurman messaged that that day was a fearfully bad one, the bombardment and firing being heavy.

“To dislodge RSF forces which are hidden in residential areas, SAF seems to rely on indiscriminate bombing.  Mayo is a township in southern Khartoum which has several active church centres.  Recently a SAF strike killed 17 civilians there.  For Sudan, the overall statistic is that 2.5 million people have now fled for safety – one in twenty of the population – but the majority of that is just from the capital and Darfur in the west.  

“In Darfur, after the fierce battles and massacres 20 years ago, the region collapsed into anarchy.  The head of the UN mission called it "a war of all against all".  This was the lawless political ground in which the RSF thrived, using cash and violence to build a power base.  Considering the future, there is an all-too-real scenario now in which the whole of Sudan, like Yemen and Somalia, falls into that pit.

“Nabil Abdulla, head of the ECS Bible Translation centre, has arrived in Port Sudan with part of his family.  He writes “The Translation Department, the Khartoum Diocesan Offices, and the other church property are looted and destroyed.  Everything is gone or damaged.  The car, the cash money in the cash boxes were taken and 6 laptops, Jesus Film equipment and all valuable things. The 16 offices, including the library, hall and kitchen are all damaged.  I and my family have managed to get out.  The rest of the team and staff and their families are scattered.  Some families are separated.  We pray that God will bring them together.  It is difficult to start over again as the situation has worsened. We thank God that we are safe but in great need to keep ourselves and our families.  Thank you for your prayer and encouragement."  

“Archbishop Ezekiel managed to connect live via WhatsApp with a Church Association meeting.  He described the situation in similar terms and said in the trashing of his office he has lost 30 years of work.  He has sent two projects, one for immediate assistance of ECS staff in need and the other for equipping the new Provincial Office.  These are under discussion with him, but are thought to be fully funded as far as they go.  Relay Trust have generously de-restricted funding they gave before the war, in order to support current action planned in Sudan.

“A photo has been received from Wad Medani showing aid distribution in the grounds of the cathedral.  The staff have been distributing help not just there but also in centres up to 80 miles away, all of which are receiving people seeking a place of safety.  They have received funding from the Diocese of Leeds and from the Australian Brotherhood of St Laurence, and UNHCR workers supplied baskets, plastics, mosquito nets and kitchen utensils.  World Food Programme say they will supply food only to people in the large camps they’ve organised.   

“Bishop Fajak, who is still convalescing, writes “Regarding my health, my mouth is better:  my mouth and throat get dry most of the time so I must have water with me.  I have an appetite for food but am still physically weak.  If I walk, I feel tired quickly."  He is due to travel to Egypt in August for assessment following the treatment he had for cancer.  One can travel from Port Sudan to Cairo, but getting a visa is very difficult.  The cost of his treatment is being covered by a grant from Lambeth.

“El Obeid town, centre for the diocese that includes Darfur, is described as under siege.  SAF has control of the town but it is encircled by RSF forces, and a major offensive is feared.  It is a strategic location, the centre of roads connecting western and southern Sudan, the largest trading centre for Sudan’s agricultural exports, and has an airport used by SAF.  Bishop Ismail writes, “our situation of Sudan remains the same but we have hope that it will be alright.  Killing has become normal, and hunger.  No place is secure within the cities, cars are being looted, by force by lawless forces.  We continue our prayers at home, sometimes in the church when we are allowed by the soldiers.  The church congregation are peacefully praying, except when there is fighting within the city.  Of other cities, Zalingi is said to be controlled by the RSF, so no clear news, but most people fled to camps in Chad.  Nyala is under fighting too, and El Fashir, but pastors remain there.  El Geneina, the situation is worse as the fighting turned to be more tribal than political.  In fact, there is no news of my people there who were in the school.  Surely they fled to camps in either Central Africa or Chad, so let us pray for Pastors Ismail Ibrahim, Obed Hassan and Deacon Osman and their families.”

“Relief funding from Leeds Diocese is now reaching El Obeid via bank transfer to Port Sudan where it is changed into electronic funds in a Sudanese banking app.  

“In the Nuba Mountains, the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement, (SPLM) one of the old, freedom armies, has mobilised and taken control of SAF camps around Kadugli town, which is cut off from the rest of Sudan, beyond reach of aid. It’s hoped there won’t be full-fledged confrontation with the army, but there’s much fear in Kadugli.  Bishop Hassan writes “The situation has become seriously more dangerous now.  The SPLM is very close to us, so we ask for your prayers and support.”  The SPLM is concerned to prevent RSF recruiting among local communities, and to establish the right for the Nuba people to have a place at the table in any negotiated peace settlement.”


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