From: Sudan Evangelical Alliance (SEA)
Date: 9th April 2010
*** For Immediate Release ***
Church Leaders Call for Prayer for Sudanese Elections CHURCH leaders from across Sudan are calling on Christians throughout the world to pray for the upcoming elections. The elections, which are the country’s first in 24 years, are being held from Sunday 11th April 2010 to Tuesday 13th April 2010.
These elections are crucial to the fulfilment of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which was signed in 2005 between the predominantly Islamic North and the Christian and Animist South, which brought an end to civil war that first begun in 1955.
The build up to the elections has been marred by allegations of vote rigging by the Northern Government and continued unrest in the Darfur region. This has resulted in many opposition parties withdrawing for the election in protest and the European Union has removed its Election Monitors from Darfur due to safety concerns. These problems have led many to say that next week’s elections will not be free and fair.
Christians in the South took up arms to protect their freedom to worship and to ensure they protect their identity as African Christians in the midst of attempts to impose an Islamic regime in the South by the Northern Government. Salva Kiir, President of Southern Sudan, recently announced that the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), which has led the fight for freedom since 1955, is in favour of an independent Sudan. Southern Sudan is expected to vote in an independence referendum in January 2011 and many analysts expect the South to vote to secede.
Bishop Elias Taban, of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Sudan, and The President of Sudan Evangelical Alliance [ SEA ] said “As Church Leaders in the South, we are calling on evangelicals throughout the world to commit to praying for our nation. We have spent many years fighting for our right to freedom of worship and to protect us from the spread of Islam and now we need the prayers of the world to help us in these elections.”
Bishop Elias continued, “I was born when war first broke out in Sudan in 1955 and all my life, I have known war. We in the South are tired of war and we pray that these elections next week and the referendum scheduled for next January will be free and fair. But the people of the South value freedom greater than peace and there is a willingness to secure that freedom, even if it means returning to war. We have been telling our people that prayer needs to be our weapon but we also need the prayers of those around the world to help us win this battle.”
World Evangelical Alliance (WEA): World Evangelical Alliance is made up of 128 national evangelical alliances located in 7 regions and 104 associate member organizations. The vision of WEA is to extend the Kingdom of God by making disciples of all nations and by Christ-centered transformation within society. WEA exists to foster Christian unity, to provide an identity, voice and platform for the 420 million evangelical Christians worldwide.