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Bishop warns of threat of war in Sudan

Catholic World News - October 05, 2010

A bishop from southern Sudan is traveling to the United Kingdom to warn that the prospects of war there are increasing.

“We have been witnesses of acts of unimaginable violence and contempt for mankind,” said Bishop Eduardo Kussala of Tombura Yambio, referring to President Omar al Bashir’s Islamist regime. “How can we talk about a peaceful referendum without recalling with concern the persistent persecution of Christians which the Sudan has experienced? Have not the brutal facts not crushed any commitment to voting for a united Sudan?”

Two million lost their lives in the long Sudanese civil war (1983-2005) between the Muslim north and the largely animist and Christian south, which has the opportunity to vote for independence in a January referendum. The civil war ended when President Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir granted the south limited autonomy and promised the referendum vote.

Since 2005, the nation’s five million Catholics have fallen under two sets of religion laws. In the north, all schools-- even Christian schools-- must offer instruction in Islam, and converts from Islam to Christianity face not only criminal charges but also death at the hands of their families. In the south, Christians enjoy religious freedom.

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