Archon News

Sudan: Christians who remain in the country face grave danger

Most Sudanese Christians are Roman Catholic or Protestant. There is a small number of Greek Orthodox Christians there. Click here for information about Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Khartoum.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in Sudan, see here.

“Christians who remain in Sudan face grave danger,” by Felipe d’Avillez and Maria Lozano, Aid to the Church In Need, July 27, 2023:

Many Christians who lived in Sudan have fled the country or have at least escaped the cities currently engulfed in violence, a Spanish Comboni missionary told Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).

Father Jorge Carlos Naranjo was on a biennial holiday in his native Spain when the civil war started, with the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), loyal to the vice president, attacking key structures of the government and battling the regular army, which answers to the president. The capital and other important cities immediately became war zones.

Most Catholic missionaries chose to stay in Sudan, to support their faithful. Many lay Christians, however, have gone to safer places, like South Sudan, where the majority of Catholics in Sudan come from. the priest said.

“Most local Sudanese Christians are from the Nuba mountains [in South Sudan]. Some of them went back there, and some remained in El-Obeid. Some also remained in Khartoum. And we have a big Nuba community in Port Sudan, which is peaceful,” said Father Naranjo.

The missionary explained that there is also a large community of Coptic Orthodox Christians. Their roots are in Egypt, but they have been present in Sudan for centuries, and their members are full Sudanese citizens. “Some churches have been attacked by Rapid Support Forces, including the Coptic cathedral of Khartoum, which was occupied and turned into a command centre. The Coptic cathedral of Omdurman was also attacked and looted. Assailants took several cars and threatened the bishop and one of the priests, trying to convert them to Islam.”

Many Coptic workers were also told to convert, but they all refused. Even though they have been in Sudan for at least 100 years, the Copts generally marry each other, and so their skin is lighter than that of most Sudanese people. And the RSF soldiers insulted them, telling them that they were not real Sudanese because of that.”

The priest continued, “The Episcopal Cathedral of All Saints in Khartoum was also attacked by RSF soldiers, and the bishop was sent away. Some of our churches were also looted.” He added that there are many Ethiopian and Eritrean refugees in Sudan, whose lives the war has complicated. Some Ethiopians have managed to return to their country, but others have not, and the Eritreans cannot go home at all….

Subscribe to our mailing list

More Posts