Appeal for support as Christians leave Sudan

Barnabas Fund has launched an emergency appeal as Christians continue to pour into South Sudan.

The organisation, which supports persecuted Christians, is providing emergency supplies to Christian families “effectively forced to leave Sudan”.

The predominantly Christian South Sudan gained independence from the largely Muslim Sudan in July last year, a move that prompted the Sudanese government to remove the citizenship rights of South Sudanese.

Thousands of Christians have returned to the South since then. In February, the Sudanese government warned that any Southerners remaining in the country after 8 April would be treated as foreigners.

Camps have been set up to receive those returning from the north but Barnabas Fund said that the church in South Sudan had been “overwhelmed by the need”.

Barnabas is providing food and other essential items to the neediest Christian families in the Hai Salam camp.

It described conditions in the camp as “desperate”. Women must walk four hours every day to collect water and bring it back to the camp. There is little medical provision, children cannot go to school, and adults are unable to find work.

There are fears that malaria will spread through the camp when the wet season begins in June.

Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, international director of Barnabas Fund, said: “South Sudan is completely overwhelmed by the influx of people effectively forced out of Sudan.

“The church in the South is doing all it can to extend Christian love and practical support to the thousands of families entering the country, but it is struggling to cope.

“Working with trusted church partners, Barnabas Fund is taking some of the strain. But the need is great, so please help us to increase our support by giving whatever you can for our brothers and sisters in South Sudan.”