The situation facing pastors in Sudan is difficult, to say the least. With extreme levels of persecution against Christians in the Muslim-dominate country, many Sudanese pastors have been killed, fled the country, or suffered imprisonment.
James* is a pastor in Sudan and has witnessed the depleting pool of fellow clergy. “Some foreigners were deported from Khartoum. And pastors from South Sudan, they went to South Sudan. Those who remain in Sudan are few. The pastors who shared the Bible and teach the Bible, they are few.”
Because of this, James has to wear many spiritual hats. He pastors a Baptist church, serves as chairman of a council of Baptist churches, preaches the Bible at conferences, and has even taught the New Testament in some Christian schools.
As he puts it, being a pastor in a country like Sudan can be lonely and he has even suffered persecution himself. “In these situations, the person looks at himself [thinking] maybe he is alone. Of course, we get discouraged. But I believe that God is involved.”
On Open Doors’ World Watch List, Sudan has consistently ranked in the top 20 countries with the hardest persecution against Christians since 1993. This year, Sudan is listed as the fifth worst country for treatment of believers.
James chalks a lot of it up to the government’s agenda to make Sudan a one-religion nation under Islam. “Sudan itself as a society and community, people as Muslims or Christians, we share together and we live together. But what happened I think is just from the government. How this situation will be changed, maybe it will change [in] the government itself or something will happen with the government to change the way they deal with the Church.”
As there are fewer and fewer pastors in Sudan, the challenge to be bold for Christ is a dangerous one.
“Those who face the persecution are the pastors who are active — those who have relationships with missionaries or organizations, they’re able to go out and travel here and there and have activities inside as preaching — they’re the ones who face the persecution,” James explains. However, he adds faithfully, “I’m in the Church, I serve the Church, I do my duty.”
SOURCE: Lyndsey Koh
Mission News Network