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Barnabas Fund to rescue Christians in Sudan

28 September 2012

AN OPERATION to rescue 2000 Christian women and children, who have been trapped in Sudan, began last week.

The Barnabas Fund, which is carrying out the operation, reported on Thursday of last week that the first of 12 chartered flights departed the previous day from Khartoum, bound for Juba, the capital of South Sudan. Churches in South Sudan were ready to offer assistance to the refugees, it said.

The aid agency said that Christians of South Sudanese origin in Sudan were "extremely vulnerable", having been stripped of their citizenship when the South voted to secede, and given a deadline by which to leave.

In Sudan, the vulnerability of Christians had "intensified" as a result of "violent Islamic protests" against the film Innocence of Muslims (News, 21 September), the agency said. Several Western embassies in Khartoum had been attacked, and threats had been made against Christians.

The international director of the Barnabas Fund, Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, said: "We are extremely thankful to the Lord that this rescue mission is now under way. . . These vulnerable Christian women and children, who have endured so much hardship and suffering, can now look forward to beginning a new life in South Sudan."

The President of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, and the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, met for talks this week in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. There has been persistent conflict between the two countries since South Sudan became independent last year. The Archbishop of Sudan, Dr Daniel Deng, has appealed to the two countries not to go to war (News, 27 April).

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