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Machar says church’s future in northern Sudan needs to be established

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October 9, 2010 (JUBA) – The Vice President of the semi-autonomous region of Southern Sudan, Riek Machar, has stressed the importance of establishing the future of the church in northern Sudan in the event of the south voting for independence in the upcoming referendum on 9 January 2011.

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US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice meets Riek Machar Vice President of Government of Southern Government - in Juba capital of south Sudan Oct 2010 (ST)

A conference on human rights and religious freedom involving leaders from Christian and Islamic faiths was organized at the US Consulate in Juba by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, to which Machar was invited as the key speaker.

Also addressing the closing session of the dialogue between the Sudan Council of Churches (SCC) and the government he said there were concerns about the future of the church in northern Sudan should the south secede.

He said it was important to reach an understanding with the north on the future of the Christian faith, the churches including their physical infrastructures.

He told the conference attendees that Sudan has never established a permanent constitution since its creation because of the failure by successive regimes in the north to accommodate the country’s religious and cultural diversity.

Religion and state, he said, have not been separated in Sudan where Islamic Sharia is the religion from which national laws are drawn.

Islamic Sharia law was adopted under the Presidency of Gaafar Nimeiry in 1983 and was one of the triggers of the north-south civil war that ended in a 2005 peace deal.

The north had been running a theocratic state while the South has been calling for a secular state, which it has currently established in the semi-autonomous Southern Sudan. “NCP is a theocracy…while we in SPLM are secularists,” he said.

The Vice President explained that the South had already established the policy of tolerating all religions with all the freedoms provided for constitutionally.

He expressed the need to tolerate religious diversity in the north and allow the freedom to worship, preach and proselytize even after secession of the South.

During the 21 years of North-South war churches in the north experienced mistreatment including confiscation of their buildings by the government.

The US commission for religious freedom has stepped up its mission to advocate for religious freedom in the country as well as in other parts of the globe.

(ST)

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  • 10 October 2010 03:04, by David Glenn

    No Mr.Machar,that is pure propaganda and indeed incitment,it is unnecessary Sir,first of all which Church are you referring to?
    The Orthodox Church,the Catholic Church,the Protestant Church?Which Church do you mean Sir?
    No to this extent Sir,you very well know and you are too educated to go so irresponsible,and make a laughing stock of yourself,ask the Ethiopians Christians where do they worship and ask the Catholic Priests who studied in Comboni School>

    repondre message

    • 10 October 2010 04:15, by Ahmed Chol

      Glenn,

      Leave Machar alone. He is right on that topic, religion and state have never been separate in Sudan and this is were all our problems are rooted. Muslims in Sudan think that they are on earth rescue God but God is powerful enough to safeguard himself. They don’t know how many gods are there in heaven.

      Ahmed Chol

      repondre message

      • 10 October 2010 04:46, by MIMAMA

        Ahmed Chol,

        Your work as your name suggest is to spread lies and nothing more.
        Riek machar know nothing about churches since his only lord is Ngundeng- a stick idol.

        repondre message

        • 10 October 2010 06:19, by James Nyol

          Chol is right. Why are you folks try to put him down when he is trying to defense the right statements by a right man. Was it not the reason we in the SPLM called for secular Sudan, not a Sudan runs by stupid Islamic laws so- called Sharia laws? Is it not true that churches were burned and conficated in 1997 by Khartoum government simply because they did not fall under hypocretic Islam mentally? Machar, is right. A fate of the church in the north need to be look into should Southern Sudan secede. J. Nyol

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          • 10 October 2010 06:46, by Gatwech

            MIMAMA and Glenn,

            I suspect that you are Muslims somewhere in the West enjoying the freedom of religion. But that does not give you the right to deny facts.

            Now, what is Sharia law in Sudan? Is it not based on islamic religion alone? If that is so, then why did you ignorantly criticize Dr. Riek Machar?

            The whole world knows that Sudan has been misruled on islamic religious law called Sharia and that the churches in north Sudan have been mistreated, some of their buildings were confiscated. This is a fact that no sincere human being can dare to deny!

            We need to always check on you guys because your Arab cultures do not understand the meaning of the word free, fair and justice to all.

            repondre message

            • 10 October 2010 07:14, by David Glenn

              Because your hatred blinds you to reality,all you want is to serve Musevini agenda,you know nothing about the Catholic Church,with it cathedrals in Khartoum,Elobeid and it’s schools.Comboni schools all over the North.
              You know nothing about the Orthodox Church of Alexandria,in Khartoum,Khartoum North and Omdurman and all over the North.
              You know nothing about the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Khartoum.
              You are a pathetic blood thirsty character.

              repondre message

    • 10 October 2010 11:36, by Michel Fleury

      I am a religious Brother of the Roman Catholic Church and I lived in Khartoum for a very long time.
      The Islamic government wanted Sudan to be the door for the islamization of all Africa.
      It is the opposite which occurred.
      There are now young, strong and dynamic Churches in the North. These Churches did not wait that the government gives them freedom: they took it. For example, they make religious processions in all the streets of Khartoum, even in front of the presidential palace!
      If the legislation changes: it will be better. But if it does not change, that will not prevent them from evangelizing and from growing.
      Because the Christians in the North are well trained to defend their faith.

      repondre message

  • 11 October 2010 12:20, by Angelo Achuil

    I like the comment made by Fleury about Church’s growth in the North. To me, it is interesting to notice that Christianity since the Roman Empire tend to grow more rapidly during prosecution. The more it’s restricted the more it spread. In fact, in countries where door to door witnessing is allowed, there is usually little harvest, but where it is strongly fought against, that’s where it grow. It amazing! Surely if the Church’s work is a human idea, it wouldn’t prevail, but if it is God’s, no one need to worry about it future, God himself will defend his work.

    repondre message

  • 21 March 2013 14:09, by dennishobson

    nnleR7hX5KWmRSDJ7n0DZldwz2Ieafssangyong madeira plastica plastic lumber Your place is valueble for me. Thanks!…

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