NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS) — An attack on a Coptic Christian church during Mass on Sunday (May 14) in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum is drawing attention to the plight of Christians in the northeastern African country, where a raging civil war is forcing out Christian clerics.The attack on the Coptic Mar Girgis (St. George) Church in Omdurman, across the Nile River from the capital, came as church leaders in neighboring South Sudan are urging dioceses and parishes to open their doors to priests, nuns and other religious people fleeing the deadly violence.
“Many of our people and some clergy and religious have arrived at border points,” wrote Roman Catholic Archbishop Stephen Ameyu Martin Mulla of Juba, the capital of South Sudan, in a May 5 letter to all clergy, monks and nuns in Sudan. “It is also clearer now that some of the church structures in Sudan have been vandalized and destroyed.” He appealed to Catholics in his own country “to open your houses to receive your brother priests and religious.”
The Sudan Armed Forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, both headed by rival generals looking to gain control over the country, have engaged in fierce battles since April 15.
The power struggle between the army chief …
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