Until a peace treaty was signed on January 9, 2005, the Episcopal Church of the Province of the Sudan suffered from persecution and devastation through twenty-two years of civil war. Two and a half million people were killed, half of whom were members of this church. Many clergy and lay leaders were singled out because of their religious leadership in their communities. No buildings, including churches and schools, are left standing in an area the size of Alaska. Four million people are internally displaced, and a million are scattered around Africa and beyond in the Sudanese Diaspora. Twenty-two of the twenty-four dioceses exist in exile in Uganda or Kenya, and the majority of the clergy are unpaid.
Only 5% of the population of Southern Sudan was Christian in 1983. Today over 85% of that region of six million is now mostly Anglican or Roman Catholic. A faith rooted deeply in the mercy of God has renewed their spirits throughout the years of strife and sorrow.
The Martyrs of Sudan - 15 May
O Almighty God, by whose grace and power thy holy martyrs of Sudan triumphed over suffering and were faithful even unto death: Grant us, who now remember them with thanksgiving, to be so faithful in our witness to thee in this world, that we may receive with them the crown of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Lesson - Wisdom 3:1-9
The Holy Gospel - St. Matthew 24:9-14