| · Darfur Population: perhaps 6,000,000
Horrible Torture, Death and Destruction in Darfur
Darfur, in the desert region of western Sudan, has been the scene of much horrible torture, death, and destruction in the past few years. For centuries the settled farmers and nomadic herder tribes in the area coexisted peacefully, both speaking Arabic as a trade language and with extensive ethnic intermarriage among the tribes. Recently, however, conflict has risen over access to water and grazing land between the more settled “African” farmers and some of the “Arab” herder tribes.
To Islamicise the Region of Darfur
The present crisis began in April 2003 when an armed group of Darfurian rebels, desiring autonomy for their region, attacked a Sudanese government force in Darfur, resulting in the death of over 100 soldiers. Afterwards the Sudanese government supported the Janjaweed (“armed men on horseback”) armed militia against the rebels. The militia is composed of people mainly from the nomadic and semi-nomadic Baggara tribe, also known as the Shuwa Arabs. The Sudanese government has given the Janjaweed logistical and military support, including air strikes against farmer villages. These activities seem to be part of an effort to more thoroughly Islamicise the region and crush any hopes of Darfurian autonomy.
Millions Could Perish in Darfur
In 2005 the United Nations estimated that 180,000 had died and over 1.8 million people had been displaced from their homes in this conflict. About 200,000 people have fled to neighboring Chad. Hundreds of villages with populations in the thousands have been burned to the ground. The systematic nature of this campaign has been confirmed by eyewitness accounts. The UN World Food Programme estimated that up to 3.5 million people faced famine in Darfur in the autumn of 2005. It is uncertain what the situation will be in 2007. Many of the refugees are asking why other Muslims are treating them so badly, ultimately even questioning Islam.
Few Darfurians have heard the gospel. Their only knowledge of Jesus is that he was a prophet like Mohammed. The practice of animism and witchcraft is common among the Darfurians. The region is one of the least evangelized areas on earth, with fewer than 50 known believers among all Darfur’s tribes (2005 figure), these few being the hope for the future of Darfur.
* Pray for peace in Darfur at all levels: international efforts, Sudanese efforts, and inter-tribal efforts.
* Ignorance and poverty are major problems for the Darfur, leading to tribal conflicts, banditry, and violence. Pray for laborers who can bring reconciliation, solutions to enduring problems, and salvation.
* Pray that the Spirit of God will inspire and motivate the people of Darfur and prepare them to receive the Word with humility.
* Pray that the works of the kingdom of darkness involving Islam, animism, and sorcery will be exposed, bringing freedom.
* Ministry is needed for the widows and orphans left destitute from the conflict. Pray for people and teams to work with them.
Video: Darfur, Sudan
A slideshow featuring footage from Darfur, Sudan, where the century’s first genocide is now taking place. Music: “No Bravery” by James Blunt.