Let’s remember about Sudan
Fr. Antoni Tatara
‘There is no church of silence any more and I’m going to be the voice of those who haven’t got any right of speech’. These words of Blessed John Paul II are certainly fulfilled by the Association ‘Help to the Church in need’, which has been organizing, among the others, the Day of Solidarity with the persecuted church for years. This day is on the second Sunday of November. On the 13th of November this year we support the Christians in Sudan and the South Sudan by our prayer and material help.
During a referendum carried out in January this year on the African continent – the South Sudan (the capital in Juba) separated from Sudan (the capital in Khartoum). It appeared officially as the newest country in the world map on 9 July. Its population is nearly over 8 million of inhabitants who are animists or Christians. Both Sudan and the South Sudan are poor countries where is the lack of food, medicaments and water. The following generations of Sudanese people are brought up in provisional mud huts and the primitive surroundings. Whereas thousands people are in camps for refugees. First of all, it is a result of two civil wars lasting with breaks since 1955, and formally ended in 2005. They had, among the others a religious implied meaning because the believers of Allah from the North Sudan persecute the Christians who must constantly fight for their faith, possessed land and life.
It is worth knowing that over 11 million of Sudanese people are suffering from hunger and have no access to drinking water. As a result of wars, over 4 million of people were simply displaced from their homes in a cruel way. The definite majority are the Christians. Therefore, we must help them. We can do it, for example, by sending a message with the word ‘ I HELP’ to the number 72405 (the cost: 2 zloties + VAT=2,46 zloties). We support the camp for the refugees in Khartoum in this way which has been managed by Salesian Sisters since 1989, who help those in need; first of all, homeless children, whose parents died. Thanks to our support Sudanese children will have something to eat and somewhere to learn. Messages can be sent from 1 November till 31 December 2011.
In Sudan there is still no peace. Innocent people are still dying. On the first days of September new fights started in one part of the diocese of Bishop Daniel Adwok (...) . It is very and very bad. Many women and children died. Many people are running away towards Kostia, they are hungry, soaking wet and sick. Now it is rainy period on these areas. Bishop Daniel is experiencing it very much; he is simply helpless – as one of the Salesian Sisters writes to the Association - ‘Help to the Church in Need’.
Referring to medicaments, they would be very useful but there is a big problem here. I am sure that they (the government of the North Sudan) will not give them to us. And at the moment in the North there are bigger difficulties from the government than in the previous years. And in every sphere; it is an enough reason that we belong to the Church and new Sudan - as the aforementioned sister ends.
The situation of children and women
Sudanese children, in a great majority, do not have a normal childhood. It is them who are the biggest victims of civil wars. They cannot defend themselves. They are workers in mines or refineries very often. That is not all. They serve in the army as fighters. They often kill their contemporaries instead of having fun with them. Those children do not have any possibility of learning. Then as uneducated adults, they simply often become slaves.
The situation of women is not better at all. They are also used as a cheap labour force. The beauty of women in Sudan is reduced only to their physical part. Therefore many of them are concubines in harems for Islam fighters. They are also hurt by compulsory circumcision.
The Christians in Sudan have been suffering from persecutions practically since the very beginning when Islam appeared on these areas. Believers of Allah reached to these areas in XVI century. And Islam developed for good in XVII century. At present the Christians are slaves and physical workers. Whereas children are forced to be warriors, girls and women forced to be concubines and prostitutes of Muslim men and Arabian policemen, as it was mentioned before. Therefore, we cannot be indifferent to their sufferings. Let’s remember about Christ’s words: ‘Everything you have not done to one of the littlest brothers of mine, you have not done to me’ (Mt 25,45).
A prayer for the persecuted Church
God, through the mysterious decree of Your Love,
You allowed your Church to participate in the suffering of Your Son,
Strengthen our Sisters and Brothers who are persecuted because of their faith.
Give them your power and patience, so that they would entrust you completely at the time of oppression and testify about you faithfully in their suffering.
Give them joy of their participation in the sacrifice of Christ and give them certainty that their names are inscribed in the Book of Life.
Give them strength to follow Christ which will support them in carrying the Cross and guard their Christian faith in their troubles.
Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
The text above was created on the basis of the website of the ‘Help to the Church in Need: www.pkwp.org/.