Implications for the Church in Sudan of the Referendum on Independence for the South
This brief report has been written in response to a request by a Sudanese Christian leader to facilitate informed prayer concerning the possible implications for the church of the referendum on independence for southern Sudan. The referendum, scheduled for 9th January 2011, was a key part of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of 2005 which was intended to end a long-running conflict between North and South. Sudan is a large, diverse and complex country. There have been political, ethnic, racial, economic, cultural and religious factors behind the numerous conflicts within the country.
Chapter 1 presents four possible post referendum scenarios derived from the answers to the following questions: 1. Will the referendum result in a vote for or against independence? 2. Will the result be accepted and implemented peacefully or violently?
Much is being written about the state of implementation of the CPA, with the common theme of warning that difficulties lie ahead. Will the referendum happen as scheduled? If so, will the result be accepted by all key participants?

The implications for the Church are profound, with the threat of serious challenges for Christians and Churches. In the North, we need to distinguish between those of Southern and Northern origin. They have a shared Christian faith but are ethnically, linguistically and racially different, and can expect different challenges following the referendum.

The major concerns of Sudanese Christian leaders are a changed legal status for the church in the North and the potential forced migration of Christians of Southern origin living in the North leading to a crisis of leadership for Churches and Christian ministries in the North and a large influx of people in the South.
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Posted : 2012-04-16 11:47:00 GMT
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