Category Archives: Sudan

Sudan: Christians appeal for prayers on eve of referendum

Independent Catholic News

Sudanese Christians have appealed for prayers on the eve of the referendum due to start on Sunday, 9 January on whether Sudan will remain united or divide into two, North and South. Voting is restricted to Southern Sudan. It is almost universally expected that there will be a vote for Southern independence, leading to the establishment of a new state on 9 July. Continue reading Sudan: Christians appeal for prayers on eve of referendum

South Sudan Independence: Who Wants it and Why

Bahati Jacques, Policy Analyst

“How can my country be Arab-Islamic when I am not Arab or Muslim? What am I? How can I belong?” said Pagan Amum, Secretary General of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in an interview with Voice of America. In Sudan, the issue of identity is one of the core problems for which on January 9th, 2011 a referendum on South Sudan will be held. In general terms, January 9th is an opportunity for self-determination for the black Sudanese who are originally from South Sudan and have been considered second class citizens by the ruling Arab minority in the North. Continue reading South Sudan Independence: Who Wants it and Why

101 days of prayer with the people of Sudan

Together with Africa

Sudan is entering a critical period as the January 2011 referendum approaches.

Mandated by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the referendum gives the people of Southern Sudan the right to determine their future status – one of unity with the North or independence. (Read a recent NewsNotes article on this issue here.)  Monumental challenges remain in the way of a free and fair referendum. Continue reading 101 days of prayer with the people of Sudan

Who Can Mock This Church?

New York Times

Nicholas Kristof addresses reader feedback and posts short takes from his travels.

Nicholas D. Kristof
On the Ground

Nicholas D. Kristof/The New York Times

Maybe the Catholic Church should be turned upside down.

Jesus wasn’t known for pontificating from palaces, covering up scandals, or issuing Paleolithic edicts on social issues. Does anyone think he would have protected clergymen who raped children?

Yet if the top of the church has strayed from its roots, much of its base is still deeply inspiring. I came here to impoverished southern Sudan to write about Sudanese problems, not the Catholic Church’s. Yet once again, I am awed that so many of the selfless people serving the world’s neediest are lowly nuns and priests — notable not for the grandeur of their vestments but for the grandness of their compassion.

Sister Cathy Arata, a nun from New Jersey who now works with a Catholic project called Solidarity With Southern Sudan.

As I’ve noted before, there seem to be two Catholic Churches, the old boys’ club of the Vatican and the grass-roots network of humble priests, nuns and laity in places like Sudan. The Vatican certainly supports many charitable efforts, and some bishops and cardinals are exemplary, but overwhelmingly it’s at the grass roots that I find the great soul of the Catholic Church.

The Vatican believes that this newspaper and other news organizations have been unfair and overzealous in excavating the church’s cover-ups of child rape. I see the opposite. No organization has done more to elevate the moral stature of the Catholic Church in the United States than The Boston Globe. Its groundbreaking 2002 coverage of abuse by priests led to reforms and by most accounts a significant reduction in abuse. Catholic kids are safer today not because of the cardinals’ leadership, but because of The Boston Globe’s. Continue reading Who Can Mock This Church?