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Pray for the Persecuted Church

Muslim extremists have sent text messages to at least 10 church leaders in Khartoum saying they are planning to target Christian leaders, buildings and institutions, Christian sources in Khartoum tell the Compass Direct news service.

“We want this country to be purely an Islamic state, so we must kill the infidels and destroy their churches all over Sudan,” said one text message circulating in Khartoum last month.

Predominantly non-Muslim Southern Sudan formed its own nation earlier this year. Many Christians in the north have fled to the new nation, fearing increased Muslim extremism in their former hometowns. Those remaining in northern Sudan said they fear persecution as they and become targets of local Islamists, reported Compass Direct, which monitors and reports on Christian issues around the globe.

Large groups of Muslim extremists are being trained in the north, then are sent to Christian areas to preach Islam and demolish church buildings, according to a Christian source in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital — who said increasing numbers are from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

Such a group attacked the home of Anglican Church of Sudan Bishop Andudu Adam Elnail in an attempt to kill him and two other pastors, Luka Bulus and Thomas Youhana.

Compass Direct reports:

Bulus is a supporter of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement, a southern Sudan militant group long locked in battle with northern government forces, further making him a target of Islamic extremists. Bishop Elnail, whose church building the Sudanese military burned in June in war-torn Kadugli of South Kordofan region, oversees Nuba Mountain Episcopal churches as head of the Kadugli Episcopal Diocese.

All three were elsewhere and no one was hurt, but the assailants left a threatening letter warning them to leave Sudan. The letter left on the gate of the bishop’s house asserted that Sudan is an Islamic land.

Christian sources in Khartoum said they take the threats seriously. “These people are not joking – they can kill any Christian,” said a church leader who requested anonymity for security reasons. Islamic courts apply shari’ah law, which permits the killing of anyone who leaves Islam or refuses to convert.

“We are aware of your anti-Islamic activities,” warned the letter left on Bishop Elnail’s gate. “We have been monitoring the evangelization that you carry out these days, and therefore we declare Jihad against you in order to protect Muslims from your infidel influence, because you are the enemy of Islam.”

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