Civil war has caused the Sudan’s small Christian minority to decline drastically – but there are signs of new life in the Church.

Despite more than 13,900 deaths and 8.1 million having suffered displacement since the conflict broke out a year ago on 15th April 2023, local Church sources expressed hope for the survival of a Christian presence in the country. The source said: “Although it is true that the war continues, it cannot quench life. Sixteen new Christians were baptised in Port Sudan during the Easter Vigil and 34 adults were confirmed at Kosti.”

Kinga Schierstaedt, head of the Sudan section at Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) said that although many people have sought refuge in churches, this option is fast disappearing, as missionaries and religious communities have been forced to leave the country.

Mrs Schierstaedt said that the Church’s future in Sudan is increasingly uncertain, with many Christians living in displacement camps where survival is a daily battle.

She added: “Coming back from South Sudan, a country neighbouring Sudan and which shares the same bishops’ conference, I was amazed to see to what extent certain priests, who are refugees themselves, are using their energy to catechise in their new parish and to support other refugees.”

She concluded: “The Church in South Sudan is getting ready for the future by helping the Sudanese Christians to prepare for tomorrow’s peace.”

ACN has supported the Church’s work in South Sudan helping Sudanese refugees.

Sudan was plunged into chaos by heavy fighting between the RSF (Rapid Support Forces) – acting under the orders of Vice-President Mohammed Hamdan Daglo, alias Hemedti – and the Sudanese army, loyal to President General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

A source in the country told ACN: “It is one year since this senseless war started in the Sudan. It is still dragging on.

“We cannot still get out of the house due to sniper-fire and bombings. But again, God is protecting us always.

“Thanks a million for your prayers and loving concern about us here, in the Sudan. Of course, the war here has become a forgotten war for the world.

“You are all in my humble prayers and thoughts. May God bless us all. May his will and glory always prevail.”