SAT-7 MOBILISES ARAB CHRISTIANS IN PRAYER FOR SUDAN
SAT-7 has called on Christians across the Arab world to join in prayer for Sudan by airing prayers for peace from an interdenominational church service in Khartoum.
“We are all here to pray for Sudan, coming from different tribes and different political backgrounds,” evangelist Talal Nakoussy tells worshippers in one clip. “We are not here to discuss what is wrong and what is right,” he continues. “We are here to pray for mercy over our country and declare God’s power over Sudan and all those influencing Sudan.”
SAT-7 shared the week-long series of clips on social media, beginning 20 January. This followed street protests on 17 January in Khartoum and nearby Omdurman, resulting in the highest level of casualties since demonstrations began last October. The daily clips come from a service of prayer at North Khartoum Evangelical Church, where church leaders and congregation members cried out to God for peace in their land.
“SAT-7 was eager to schedule and promote these prayers on social media as we believe in giving a voice to the Church all over the region to engage and express itself,” shares SAT-7 Arabic Channels Director, George Makeen. He noted how Christians had suffered repression under Sudan’s previous dictator, President Al-Bashir.
In April 2019, on the Sunday after popular demonstrations forced him from power, protest organisers had invited Christian leaders to hold prayers for Sudan among the demonstrators camped out in front of army headquarters.
“As an agent for the liberating message of the Gospel, the Church naturally supports the desire for freedom and equality,” Makeen explains.
The reforms announced by the transitional government planted hope for an equal society for people of all faiths and races. Those hopes could now be dashed.
“Guide us to the shores of safety”
But hope has been echoed in the heartfelt prayers aired by SAT-7.
Pastor Hafiz Fassaha said he had been abroad when he learnt about the 17 January events from a tearful foreign pastor. He asked, “If this foreigner who never came to Sudan cried, what about you who drink from its water and live under its shade, and who grew up in it? Will you cry?” He encouraged them with the biblical example of Nehemiah.
Also taking part was Greek Melkite Catholic priest, Fr George Banna. He led the congregation in asking God to protect Sudan “from civil war and tribal conflicts, and to send His Holy Spirit over all those in power. Enlighten their minds and lead them in paths of peace and effective understanding to end this crisis. Guide the leaders to the shores of safety and to what is good for the country and the people.”
Conditions in Sudan are deteriorating
Egyptian TV director Andrew Gamal, who produced the clips for SAT-7, is in constant contact with churches in Sudan. In the current crisis, he says life in the country is deteriorating week by week.
“Electricity is cut off most of the time, and people have only two to three hours of internet a week. There are water shortages too. Demonstrations block the streets, and many have been injured in these. Amidst all of this, the Church is praying for peace.”
“After almost three years of the revolution, Sudanese are still trying to find their way,” Makeen states. “Our prayers are for them not to lose hope, to find support and understanding from the international community so that this country will peacefully find its way to a better future.”