The survival of the Church is threatened in Sudan after a year of war – Flama Agency

The survival of the Church is threatened in Sudan after a year of war – Flama Agency

Most missionaries and religious congregations were forced to leave the country

A year after the outbreak of war in Sudan. Churches can no longer accommodate thousands of people Who have sought refuge there since the first months of the conflict in search of a safe haven.

And he confirms that Help a church in need (ACN, for its abbreviation in English) after I realized this Most missionaries and religious congregations were forced to leave the country Parishes, hospitals and schools stopped working.

In this context as well The religious institute in Khartoum was forced to close its doorsThis forced the seminarians who managed to flee the war to continue their formation in the Diocese of Malakal in the neighboring country of South Sudan.

On the other hand, the Archbishop of Khartoum said, Mons. Michael DiddyWho was in Port Sudan (on the Red Sea coast) when the war broke out, and was unable to return to his city; Bishop of the Diocese of Obaid, Msgr. Exciting tomby gameHe had to move to the cathedral after his house was partially destroyed.

As for the Christian sects, their members were forced to flee on foot or across the Nile River, to settle in refugee camps where they tried to Survive in the middle of a bloody war Causing one of the largest humanitarian and displacement crises in the world.

Salesian nuns' home in Khartoum after the attack. | ACN

More than eight million displaced people

The conflict began on 15 April 2023 with clashes between the Sudanese Armed Forces led by General Abdulfatah al-BurhanAnd the general public Mohamed Hamdan Dagalocommander of the paramilitary group Rapid Support Forces (FAR) and quickly spread throughout the African country.

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According to the latest official figures, more than 13,900 people have died since April 15, 2023. 8.1 million fled their homesAmong them, about 1.8 million have taken refuge in neighboring countries such as South Sudan, Chad, the Central African Republic, Egypt and Ethiopia.

Among these countries, Chat is the country that received the largest influx of Sudanese refugees. There are, according to Médecins Sans Frontières, in recent months more than 16,000 cases of severe acute malnutrition among children under five years of age And more than 30,000 cases of moderate acute malnutrition.

He pointed out in statements to ACN, “In the face of the ferocity of this war, many people here wonder how the two sides possess such a large number of weapons after a year of fighting, and therefore, who is financing them.” Kinga ScherstadtResponsible for the projects of the Pontifical Foundation in Sudan.

A group of refugees from Sudan during the exodus. | UNHCR – Insa Wawa Diatta

Baptisms and new confirmations

“Before, the church represented only 5% of the population, but it was tolerated and could run some hospitals and schools,” explains Kenja Scherstadt, who understands how today this church has become more tolerant. The very existence of the institution is at risk In the country despite everything, according to ACN, 16 people were baptized in Port Sudan during Easter Eve and 34 adults were confirmed baptized in the city of Kosti.

The church too It is still active in South SudanIt is a country that shares the Episcopal Conference with Sudan. There, in addition to ensuring the formation of seminarians, the Foundation helps refugees from the North.

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“I have just returned from South Sudan, and I was amazed to see the extent to which some priests, and the refugees themselves, They put their energy into Christian education for their new flock And in supporting other refugees. Scherstadt says the church in South Sudan is helping Sudanese Christians prepare for tomorrow's peace.

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