The Persecuted Church: South Sudan

It’s been little noted in the American press that the UN has finally managed to obtain independence for South Sudan, the portion of Sudan occupied primarily by Christians. The remaining portion of the Sudan is occupied largely by Muslims. The goal of the partition of Sudan is to prevent the continuing genocide by the Muslims against the Christians.

Despite brutal persecution, the gospel is prevailing, according to The Voice of the Martyrs website

Persecution of the Church has been most intense since 1985. Deliberate attempts to eliminate a viable Christian presence are extreme and include bombing of Sunday church services; destruction of churches, hospitals, schools, mission bases and Christian villages; massacres and mutilation; and murder of pastors and leaders. Persecution has been especially severe in the Nuba Mountains. Whole areas have been laid waste and lands seized and given to Arabized northerners. Despite this, the number of Christians is growing—from 1.6 million in 1980 to 11 million in 2010.

The Christians who live in the north are fearful for their lives, and so many are fleeing to the relative safety of the south. But Ugandan and Sudanese forces continue to push into South Sudan to torture and kill Christians.

Grace Magazine reports,

Since 1983 alone, more than two million people have been killed and another 5 million displaced by the war and the famine in the south that has resulted from the Government’s scorched earth policy. The Government of Sudan is now receiving about $1 million a day in revenue from their oil fields and this has led to a doubling in military expenditure. Attacks from helicopter gunships on churches, schools and clinics are commonplace. Aerial bombing consists of massive shrapnel filled bombs being manually rolled out of the back of Antanov planes flying at high altitude. According to Amnesty International, “The civilian population living in oil fields and surrounding areas has been   deliberately targeted for massive human rights abuses – forced displacement, aerial bombardments, strafing villages from helicopter gunships, unlawful killings, torture including rape and abduction……Male villagers were killed in mass executions; women and children were nailed to trees with iron spikes…..soldiers slit the throats of children and male civilians who had been interrogated by hammering nails into their foreheads.”

And the result – a church that is growing fast and a people who are radiant in their faith and proving, again and again, the faithfulness of God to his people. It is probable that more Muslims are coming to faith in Christ in Sudan than anywhere else. Twenty years ago, Christians made up 5% of the total population – today the figure is around 20%. Twenty years ago, the Africa Inland Church had about a dozen churches, whereas today it numbers around 150.

Compass Direct News reports,

Christians in the area said they are still traumatized as result of the atrocities committed against them by Sudan security forces and militias loyal to the government military. Sources in Sudan said Christians are calling their brothers and sisters worldwide to pray for the crisis in South Kordofan.

“The situation is critical – we need other Christians to fast and pray for us,” said one source.


I know that to the Western mind prayer seems inadequate, but I can think of no other explanation for the rapid growth of Christianity in a land suffering such horrible persecution. Pray for the persecuted church everywhere, especially in the Sudan.


About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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3 Responses to The Persecuted Church: South Sudan

  1. David Guin says:

    Thank you for raising awareness about the continuing fallout from five decades of genocide, child trafficking and other atrocities in Sudan. It is so easy to get caught up in debates over fine points of doctrine or practice, but loving our neighbors should be beyond dispute.

    To learn more about Sudan and the work of very brave Christians who have stepped into the most war torn areas to rescue orphaned and trafficked children and spread the love of Christ, I encourage all to go to Even more, financially adopt a child (or several children).

  2. David Johnson says:

    “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.”


  3. Sam says:

    There is another work in South Darfur that comes from Rest. Mvmt. backgrounds. It’s overseen by a friend of mine, Tom Killian. Please check it out at

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