Sudanese Pastor Appeals to Bush to Intervene in Sudanese Government Attacks Against Churches
MORULAND, SUDAN (February 5, 2001) -- A Sudanese pastor has appealed to US President George W. Bush to intervene against Sudanese government bombing of churches, hospitals and schools by declaring Southern Sudan a no-fly zone for military aircraft.
The move comes as the result of renewed and intensified bombing of civilian centers in Southern Sudan in recent months.
A Frontline Fellowship mission team, just returned from ministering in Sudan, reports that the terror bombings of civilian centers in Southern Sudan intensified towards the end of last year. Numerous churches were bombed -- including on Christmas Day.
An FF spokesman reported that the Moruland region of Southern Sudan has been the worst hit in this renewed bombing campaign. The areas of Lui, Kotobi, Mundri, Jambo, Tali and Lanyii, have all been repeatedly subjected to aerial bombardments by the government of Sudan Air Force. Churches, schools, the only hospital in Moruland and the few medical clinics appear to be the primary targets.
CHURCHES BOMBED ON SUNDAY MORNING
The spokesman said that on one day, Sunday, January 7, five separate communities in Moruland were bombed. Forty-six bombs were dropped on Kotobi, Mundri, Jambo, Singo and Kediba during Sunday morning worship services.
CHURCHES BOMBED ON CHRISTMAS DAY
The spokesman said: "On Christmas Day, during the Christmas services, the congregations in Jambo and Tapari were subjected to aerial bombardments by the Sudan Air Force. Back in November, a Frontline Fellowship and Evangelism Explosion mission team were bombed on Sunday morning at the same church that was also bombed on Christmas Day.
He added:" In the last year, the Director of Frontline Fellowship, Dr. Peter Hammond, has been bombed twice whilst preaching in a church. Both these churches were also bombed on Christmas Day."
The FF spokesman stated that on December 29, the Fraser Cathedral in Lui was hit and severely damaged by bombs dropped by a Sudan Air Force Antonov. "Lui had been attacked on December 26 with seven bombs. Then on December 29 another 10 bombs were dropped on Lui. Five of those bombs landed close to the Episcopal Church of Sudan cathedral.
"A huge hole was blown into the West wall of the church building flinging parts of the corrugated iron roof far into the sky. Most of the West wall is pockmarked with holes from hundreds of pieces of shrapnel. All the windows on all sides of the church were blown out. Most of the doors were splintered. Almost every wooden beam in the roof of the church has cracked. Much of the structure is now unstable and would need to be torn down before rebuilding of the cathedral could begin," the spokesman said.
He continued: "Bishop Bullen Dolli condemned this senseless violence and reign of terror against civilian populations and declared that those committing such atrocities must be treated with the contempt they deserve and their perpetrators condemned in the strongest possible terms. Bishop Bullen emphasized that Lui has always been and still is, a civilian population center best known for its religions and education life. He expressed outrage at the callous disregard for life and senseless terrorism of the government of Sudan."
Pastor Jeffrey of the Diocese of Lui appealed to President of the United States, George W. Bush, to intervene by declaring Southern Sudan a no-fly zone for military aircraft. Using the air exclusion zones in Iraq designed to protect the Kurds and Shiite Muslims, as an example, Pastor Jeffrey requested urgent action to protect the Black Christians of Sudan from the terror bombing campaign of the National Islamic Front government of Sudan, the spokesman explained.
SCHOOLS AND MISSIONS BOMBED
The Frontline Fellowship team gathered details from eyewitnesses of 55 bombings. In just over two months over 458 bombs had been dropped on churches, schools, medical clinics and homes -- mostly in Eguatoria. Casualties have included at least 41 dead and over 100 injured, the FF spokesman said.
"The community which includes the Frontline Fellowship mission station and Christian Liberty High School has now been bombed eight times in the last year, by MiGs and Antonovs of the Sudan Air Force," he said.
BIBLES DELIVERED, LEADERS TRAINED
The spokesman added: "By God's grace, despite the disruptions, the Frontline mission team, led by Dr. Peter Hammond, were able to deliver over 3,500 Bibles and other vital supplies -- often across rivers and through burning fields. Peter also conducted services in many of the communities that have recently been bombed, including in the shattered remains of the Fraser Cathedral in Lui. He also conducted a leadership training seminar for chaplains."
The spokesman asked Western Christians to continue to pray for the Frontline mission team who remain in Sudan repairing the Christian Liberty High School and chapel.
For further information, charts on the recent bombing campaigns, updates or photographs, please visit the Frontline Fellowship web site: www.frontline.org.za