While much media attention has been given recently to the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, Sudan--a tragedy caused by war between a radical Arab Muslim regime in Khartoum and moderate black Muslims in western Sudan--the media has provided little coverage to the recent atrocities radical Muslims have committed against Christians and Animists in South Sudan.
On Friday, July 23, Brad Phillips, president of the Persecution Project Foundation (PPF), announced the release of a list giving the names and ages of 222 Christians who were among 234 civilians killed in Sudanese government-sponsored attacks last May near Akobo, the headquarters of the Presbyterian Church of Sudan. During a recent visit to the region in southern Sudan, Phillips met with representatives of the Presbyterian Church of Sudan to hear firsthand accounts of atrocities committed by militia groups.
"Most of the dead are women and children," Phillips said. "Ninety-three of the victims were children 12 years old or younger." Another 78 people were wounded, and the raiders also stole 6,000 cattle. Such attacks threaten to disrupt the peace process in Sudan that has endured more than 20 years of civil war.
Last year PPF and its partner, Voice of the Martyrs, were the first non-government organizations to assist the displaced Christians in Akobo by delivering tons of Bibles, food, medicine and crisis relief "Life Pack" supplies. This followed Akobo's return to control by the rebel group, Sudan People's Liberation Movement, in March 2003.
Now, while the Khartoum regime is close to signing a final peace deal to end its war with southern Sudanese Christians, it is continuing its jihad against them, especially in the oil-rich region of the Upper Blue Nile, reported the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN).
A Shilluk man explained to CBN what happened when militiamen, accompanied by government troops, attacked his village in the middle of the night.
"When they started shooting, we just ran into the river," the man said. "We just jumped into the river and some of the kids did not know how to swim, and some of them just drowned."
Sudanese president Omar el-Bashir promised Secretary of State Colin Powell last month that he would take action to stop the Janjaweed militia from committing murders, rapes and other atrocities against the people of Darfur. However, Powell says Khartoum has not done enough and that possible global action may be necessary to help the more than 1 million refugees.
While in Washington, Powell also said the international community was completely dissatisfied with the security situation in Darfur, however he made no mention the recent massacre of Christians in the Upper Blue Nile.
Some Christians in South Sudan say atrocities against them are continuing, despite numerous cease-fire agreements. They say broken promises on Darfur are more of the same, and only prove what they have known for 21 years: "that the radical Islamic regime in Khartoum cannot be trusted. And they say if Washington continues to dance with devil, it is likely to eventually get burned."
To tell the untold story of modern day persecution of Christians by the forces of radical Islam, the Persecution Project Foundation released "Sudan: The Hidden Holocaust," a shocking documentary revealing the unknown struggle of the African Christian tribes of central and southern Sudan, who have been specifically targeted because of their faith. The hour-long broadcast is available through their website (www.persecutionproject.org).