Today ends our series about unreached people groups, or UPGs, in the Greater Middle East, North Africa, and Pakistan. See the full series here.
Ken*, a Gospel worker focused on Sudan, says believers in this north African nation were severely persecuted for decades. Now, “the Church [and] believers in Sudan have been invited to the table to have conversations about the future,” Ken says.
“December 2022 is the next election and, for the next year and a half or more, we have an opportunity where the country of Sudan is saying, ‘Come help us’.”
Sudan: a summary
Former dictator Omar al-Bashir ruled Sudan with an iron fist for thirty years. When he was ousted last year, “windows [of opportunity] opened up that surprised everybody,” Ken says. Church leaders were invited into planning discussions by their former persecutors. In March, officials dissolved committees that were used by Bashir’s Islamist regime to confiscate church properties and proposed a bill to remove the death penalty for apostasy.
Ken says many of the ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC)’s latest moves have an underlying motive. “Politically, they want to gain favor in the world’s eyes and, quite frankly, they need the help,” he explains.
“They (Sudanese) have not had the entrepreneurial ‘see-what-needs-to-happen-and-go-create-it’ mindset for decades now. They need what is oftentimes referred to as the western world’s influence: ‘Don’t do this for us, but show us how to do it.’ Politically, that provides an opportunity.”
This political openness creates Gospel opportunities. In an unexpected twist, the coronavirus pandemic creates opportunity, too.
“The UPGs in Sudan tend not to have good jobs or steady jobs. Now, they can’t go out, they can’t get income, and they’re hungry. They’re scared, they don’t know what to do. Believers can provide food packs and reach out to UPGs in a brand new way,” Ken says.
A new collaborative effort is underway to reach five “language clusters” in Sudan. Language clusters are groups of UPGs who speak a common language. The Sudanese Arabic language cluster includes 27 people groups.
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SOURCE; Mission Network News, Katey Hearth
CALL TO ACTION
- Pray that all unreached people groups across Sudan would have access to the truth, the life, the hope, and the joy that are only available through Jesus Christ.