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Historyof Christianity in the lands of My Toil

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY<br />

IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL<br />

PROF.M.M.NINAN<br />

NORMAL, IL<br />

MAY, 2018


TABLE OF CONTENTS<br />

PREFACE<br />

CHAPTER ONE ANCIENT RIVER CIVILIZATIONS 1<br />

CHAPTER TWO EGYPT, NUBIA, SUDAN 14<br />

CHAPTER THREE THE HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN EGYPT 29<br />

CHAPTER FOUR CUSH, ETHIOPIA AND THE SOLOMON CONNECTION 37<br />

CHAPTER FIVE KING NEGUS NEGASTE EZANA OF AXUM<br />

THE FIRST ETHIOPIAN CHRISTIAN KING 51<br />

CHAPTER SIX THE CHRISTIANIZATION OF NUBIA 57<br />

CHAPTER SEVEN ENCROACHING ISLAM 64<br />

CHAPTER EIGHT BATTLE OF OMDURMAN 69<br />

CHAPTER NINE COPTIC CHRISTIANS OF SUDAN 75<br />

CHAPTER TEN CATHOLIC MISSIONS TO SUDAN 78<br />

CHAPTER ELEVEN ANGLICAN CHURCH MISSIONARY SOCIETY (C.M.S.) 85<br />

CHAPTER TWELVE SUDAN INTERIOR MISSION AND<br />

SUDAN INTERIOR CHURCH 94<br />

CHAPTER THIRTEEN CHRISTIANITY IN YEMEN 106<br />

CHAPTER FOURTEEN SOUTH SUDAN 115<br />

CHAPTER FIFTEEN ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSION 131<br />

CHAPTER SIXTEEN THE ANGLICAN CHURCH 142<br />

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN THE REVIVAL IN THE SOUTH SUDAN<br />

AND THE SUDAN PENTECOSTAL CHURCH 155


PREFACE<br />

This story is taken right out <strong>of</strong> my life <strong>in</strong> everyday liv<strong>in</strong>g as a teacher travell<strong>in</strong>g from country to country.<br />

Even though I did not realize it as it went, <strong>the</strong>re seems to be a sequence and a plan which I certa<strong>in</strong>ly<br />

did not make, but was evolved.<br />

I was born <strong>in</strong> a christian family and embedded <strong>in</strong> me was its doctr<strong>in</strong>e and social morality. Like every<br />

o<strong>the</strong>r rational be<strong>in</strong>g, I rebelled aga<strong>in</strong>st <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>stitutional church and <strong>the</strong> doctr<strong>in</strong>es only to relearn <strong>the</strong>m<br />

and be a defender <strong>of</strong> faith, as a process <strong>of</strong> growth. It was <strong>the</strong> beg<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> air travels as opposed to<br />

sea travel which openned up avenues <strong>of</strong> jobs <strong>in</strong> countries far from home. It took me to places like<br />

Ethiopia, Ghana, Jamaica, Sudan, Yemen and South Sudan - places where Christian missions<br />

treaded to enter. But it was <strong>the</strong>se places that joyfully received me. I found myself defend<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong><br />

faith <strong>of</strong> my fa<strong>the</strong>rs. To which was added my wife, who happened to be <strong>the</strong> great grand daughter <strong>of</strong> one<br />

<strong>of</strong> famous reformer <strong>of</strong> Mar Thoma Church. Invariably she started a Bible Study at home ga<strong>the</strong>r<strong>in</strong>g all<br />

those who are <strong>in</strong>terested <strong>in</strong> every place we happened to be. In <strong>the</strong> process we studied with <strong>the</strong><br />

London Bible College to equip ourselves.<br />

This book is an attempt to trace <strong>the</strong> history <strong>of</strong> <strong>Christianity</strong> <strong>of</strong> those countries where I was called <strong>in</strong>to<br />

and my place <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> history <strong>of</strong> <strong>Christianity</strong> <strong>in</strong> those countries. I acknowledge <strong>the</strong> love, care and<br />

hospitality <strong>of</strong> my hosts <strong>in</strong> every country.<br />

Pr<strong>of</strong>.M.M.N<strong>in</strong>an<br />

Normal, IL<br />

May 2018


HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

.<br />

CHAPTER ONE<br />

ANCIENT RIVER CIVILIZATIONS<br />

Early <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> beg<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> creation Elohim created men and women and placed <strong>the</strong>m all over <strong>the</strong> earth.<br />

They survived as hunters and ga<strong>the</strong>rers . Humans lived <strong>in</strong> small groups, band<strong>in</strong>g toge<strong>the</strong>r to survive<br />

by ga<strong>the</strong>r<strong>in</strong>g food, hunt<strong>in</strong>g and fish<strong>in</strong>g. Later as we come to <strong>the</strong> 4 th millenium BC we come across<br />

agricultural settlements which developed cultures <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir own , They developed communities <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

valleys <strong>of</strong> essentially four large rivers <strong>of</strong> Asia and Africa, widely separated from each o<strong>the</strong>r, took to<br />

grow<strong>in</strong>g crops systematically. Increased food production led to <strong>in</strong>crease <strong>in</strong> population, rise <strong>of</strong> cites and<br />

government, and development <strong>of</strong> writ<strong>in</strong>g and art.<br />

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These ancient civilizations are:<br />

HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

The Mesopotamian civilization <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Tigris-Euphrates valley (c. 3300 BC - c. 2000 BC),<br />

The Egyptian civilization <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Nile valley (c. 3200 BC - c. 1000 BC),<br />

The Harappan civilization <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Indus valley (c. 3200 BC - c. 1300 BC), and<br />

The Yellow River (Ch<strong>in</strong>ese) civilization <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Yellow River valley (c. 2000 BC - c. 200 BC).<br />

1. The Mesopotamian civilization<br />

The Mesopotamian civilization was <strong>the</strong> first to spr<strong>in</strong>g onto <strong>the</strong> historical scene. Situated <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Tigris-Euphrates valley, its history is broadly divided <strong>in</strong>to three phases –<br />

(a) <strong>the</strong> Sumerians<br />

(b) <strong>the</strong> Akkadian empire, and<br />

(c) <strong>the</strong> Third dynasty <strong>of</strong> Ur<br />

Ru<strong>in</strong>s <strong>of</strong> Mesopotamia.<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Sumerians<br />

The Sumerians were <strong>the</strong> first people to form a city-based civilization c. 3300 BC. Among <strong>the</strong> cities<br />

<strong>the</strong>y established were Ur, Uruk and Lagash. The Sumerians were based <strong>in</strong> south Mesopotamia. They<br />

developed <strong>the</strong> cuneiform script, <strong>the</strong> earliest known writ<strong>in</strong>g system <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> world.<br />

Akkadian Empire<br />

The Akkadians from north Mesopotamia, under Sargon, conquered <strong>the</strong> Sumerians around 2350 BC<br />

and established <strong>the</strong> world's first empire, <strong>the</strong> Akkadian empire<br />

Third Dynasty <strong>of</strong> Ur<br />

In 2100 BC, <strong>the</strong> Sumerians were back as <strong>the</strong> Third Dynasty <strong>of</strong> Ur. The most impressive monument <strong>of</strong><br />

this period is <strong>the</strong> Ziggurat <strong>of</strong> Ur, a type <strong>of</strong> stepped pyramid with successively reced<strong>in</strong>g levels. The<br />

dynasty lasted for only a hundred years before be<strong>in</strong>g overthrown by nomadic tribes, clear<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> way<br />

for <strong>the</strong> later emergence <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Babylonian Empire.<br />

Sumerian Achievements<br />

When we refer to <strong>the</strong> earliest Mesopotamian civilization, we are actually referr<strong>in</strong>g to <strong>the</strong> Sumerian<br />

civilization Sumerians were very <strong>in</strong>ventive…<strong>the</strong>y<br />

added 3 great achievements to early human<br />

history<br />

1. The Wheel<br />

Before people had to move objects by hand or<br />

logs<br />

Sumerian wheels were made by attach<strong>in</strong>g<br />

wooden planks toge<strong>the</strong>r <strong>in</strong> a circle Then <strong>the</strong>y<br />

could be added to carts<br />

2. Irrigation and Flood Control<br />

Sumerians needed a way to keep crops watered<br />

dur<strong>in</strong>g dry summers. Also needed protection from<br />

floods. Sumerians dug canals and built dams to<br />

water crops and to control flood<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

river<br />

3. Written Language Earliest writ<strong>in</strong>g used<br />

pictures to stand for words<br />

4. Number system based on 60<br />

5. They started <strong>the</strong> Lunar calendar based on <strong>the</strong> phases <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> moon Sail Plow<br />

6. The developed <strong>in</strong>to large City-States - 12 cities <strong>in</strong> Sumer<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

The City <strong>of</strong> Ur <strong>in</strong> 2500 BC had about 20,000 people and grew 10 times bigger by 2000 BC<br />

In <strong>the</strong> center <strong>of</strong> each city, was <strong>the</strong> Ziggurat. The Ziggurat was a temple which may have been <strong>the</strong><br />

"Tower <strong>of</strong> Babel" referred to <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Bible. The ancient Sumerians, believed that gods lived <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> sky<br />

<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> third heavens.<br />

Hammurabi was <strong>the</strong> sixth k<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> First Babylonian Dynasty,<br />

reign<strong>in</strong>g from 1792 BC to 1750 BC. Hammurabi <strong>of</strong> Babylon wrote <strong>the</strong><br />

Law Codes conta<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g over 280 laws<br />

first<br />

The Mesopotamian civilization around <strong>the</strong> Euphrates Tigris River<br />

city-based civilization c. 3300 BC<br />

4


2. The Egyptian civilization<br />

HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

K<strong>in</strong>g Menes (c. 3150 BC) is <strong>the</strong> legendary first k<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> Egypt who is thought to have united Upper and<br />

Lower Egypt through conquest and founded both <strong>the</strong> First Dynasty and <strong>the</strong> great city <strong>of</strong> Memphis.. By<br />

3000 BC, <strong>the</strong> Egyptians had developed a system <strong>of</strong> writ<strong>in</strong>g called hieroglyphics, based on pictures and<br />

symbols.<br />

The Old K<strong>in</strong>gdom<br />

The Old K<strong>in</strong>gdom lasted from c. 2700 BC to 2200 BC. The rule was centralized, with <strong>the</strong> title <strong>of</strong><br />

Pharaoh given to <strong>the</strong> monarch. The pharaoh was considered to be div<strong>in</strong>e orig<strong>in</strong>. Three pharaohs <strong>of</strong><br />

note are Kufu, Khafra and Menkaura.<br />

K<strong>in</strong>g Menes (c. 3150 BC)<br />

The Three pyramids <strong>of</strong> Giza are <strong>the</strong> tombs <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se three Pharaohs.<br />

The Pyramids<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

The Pyramids at Giza, Egypt.<br />

( Wikipedia, Egyptian pyramids)<br />

I remember to have refused go down<br />

<strong>the</strong>se steep steps which my wife<br />

dared to do.<br />

The pyramids – <strong>the</strong> most visible and magnificent symbols <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Egyptian civilization – were build<br />

dur<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> Old K<strong>in</strong>gdom. In Fig. 3 (show<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> pyramids at Giza), <strong>in</strong> among <strong>the</strong> three large pyramids<br />

at <strong>the</strong> back, <strong>the</strong> rightmost is <strong>the</strong> Great Pyramid <strong>of</strong> Khufu, <strong>the</strong> middle is <strong>the</strong> Pyramid <strong>of</strong> Khafra, and <strong>the</strong><br />

leftmost is <strong>the</strong> Pyramid <strong>of</strong> Menkaura.<br />

THE WONDER OF EGYPTIAN PYRAMIDS<br />

How <strong>the</strong> great pyramids <strong>of</strong> Egypt were built has been <strong>the</strong> subject <strong>of</strong> debate for millennia. The fact is, no<br />

one really knows for certa<strong>in</strong> exactly how <strong>the</strong>y were constructed. The current estimates <strong>of</strong> ma<strong>in</strong>stream<br />

science contends that it took a workforce <strong>of</strong> 4,000 to 5,000 men 20 years to build <strong>the</strong> Great Pyramid<br />

us<strong>in</strong>g ropes, pulleys, ramps, <strong>in</strong>genuity and brute force.<br />

The build<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> pyramids still rema<strong>in</strong> a paradox and a wonder.<br />

stones that high?<br />

How did <strong>the</strong>y move those large<br />

The 10th century Arab historian, Abul Hasan Ali Al-Masudi, known as <strong>the</strong> Herodotus <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Arabs<br />

mentions that <strong>the</strong>y moved it by resonance.<br />

A "magic papyrus" (paper) was placed under <strong>the</strong> stone to be moved. Then <strong>the</strong> stone was struck with a<br />

metal rod that caused <strong>the</strong> stone to levitate and move along a path paved with stones and fenced on<br />

ei<strong>the</strong>r side by metal poles. The stone would travel along <strong>the</strong> path for a distance <strong>of</strong> about 50 meters and<br />

<strong>the</strong>n settle to <strong>the</strong> ground. The process would <strong>the</strong>n be repeated. Or did some extraterrestrial help<br />

<strong>the</strong>m. May be <strong>the</strong> Nephilims were <strong>the</strong>re at that time who are mentioned <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Bible. There are o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

construction <strong>in</strong> which <strong>the</strong>se Nephilims were <strong>in</strong>volved.<br />

6


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++><br />

Here are a few.<br />

OTHER ASTONISHING MEGALITHS<br />

HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

The Egyptian pyramids are not <strong>the</strong> only ancient structures constructed <strong>of</strong> huge blocks <strong>of</strong> stone. Far<br />

from it. Great temples and monuments around <strong>the</strong> world conta<strong>in</strong> stone components <strong>of</strong> <strong>in</strong>credible size,<br />

yet little is known about <strong>the</strong>ir means <strong>of</strong> construction.<br />

The Temple <strong>of</strong> Jupiter at Baalbek, Lebanon<br />

This has a foundation that conta<strong>in</strong>s <strong>the</strong> three largest stone blocks ever used <strong>in</strong> a man-made structure.<br />

Each block is estimated to weigh as much as 1,000 tons! No super crane <strong>in</strong> existence today could lift<br />

one, yet <strong>the</strong>y are positioned toge<strong>the</strong>r with such precision that not even a needle could fit between <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

Nearby is an even bigger stone. Known as Hajar el Hibla -- <strong>the</strong> Stone <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Pregnant Woman -- it lies<br />

abandoned <strong>in</strong> its quarry, never used. But <strong>the</strong> giant rectangular block is <strong>the</strong> largest piece <strong>of</strong> stone ever<br />

cut by humans, weigh<strong>in</strong>g an <strong>in</strong>credible 1,200 tons. It is estimated that it would require <strong>the</strong> strength <strong>of</strong><br />

16,000 men to even budge it, and represents a formidable challenge to 20th century mach<strong>in</strong>es and<br />

technology.<br />

Puerta del Sol, or Sun Gate at Tiahuanaco, Bolivia<br />

On an isolated plateau at Tiahuanaco, Bolivia, 13,000 feet above sea level, stands an impressive<br />

monument called Puerta del Sol, or Sun Gate. The elaborately carved gate weighs an estimated 10<br />

tons, and how it arrived at its present location is a mystery.<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

The Machu Pichu <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Pacific <strong>of</strong> Micronesia<br />

Nan Madol, sometimes called "<strong>the</strong> Machu Pichu <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Pacific," is a great ru<strong>in</strong>s on <strong>the</strong> island <strong>of</strong><br />

Pohnpei, capital <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Federated States <strong>of</strong> Micronesia. This lost city, constructed around 200 B.C., is<br />

made up <strong>of</strong> hundreds <strong>of</strong> stacked stone logs, each about 18-feet-long and several feet <strong>in</strong> diameter. The<br />

logs, stacked like cordwood, constitute walls that are 40 feet high and 18 feet thick. Each stone log is<br />

estimated to weigh about 2.5 tons. How <strong>the</strong>y were moved and lifted <strong>in</strong>to position is unknown.<br />


HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

The Middle K<strong>in</strong>gdom<br />

The Middle K<strong>in</strong>gdom stretched from c. 2050 BC to 1650 BC. This period saw <strong>the</strong> beg<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong><br />

expansion <strong>of</strong> Egyptian empire through conquests. However, <strong>in</strong>vasions from western Asia by a warr<strong>in</strong>g<br />

group called Hyksos put an end to this k<strong>in</strong>gdom.<br />

The New K<strong>in</strong>gdom<br />

The New K<strong>in</strong>gdom covered <strong>the</strong> period from c. 1565 BC to 1085 BC. The Pharaohs expanded <strong>the</strong><br />

empire to make Egypt <strong>the</strong> most powerful state <strong>in</strong> south-west Asia. Hatshepsut, <strong>the</strong> first woman<br />

pharaoh, was <strong>of</strong> this k<strong>in</strong>gdom. O<strong>the</strong>r notable pharaohs were Akhenaton (whose wife was Queen<br />

Nefertiti), his son Tutankhamun (K<strong>in</strong>g Tut), and Ramses II. Magnificent build<strong>in</strong>gs and temples were<br />

constructed dur<strong>in</strong>g this period. Akhenaton <strong>in</strong>stituted <strong>the</strong> first mono<strong>the</strong>istic religion with<strong>in</strong> known history<br />

by mak<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> Sun as <strong>the</strong> symbol <strong>of</strong> God.<br />

The Egyptian pan<strong>the</strong>on <strong>of</strong> gods were <strong>in</strong> human or animal form or as part human part animal figures.<br />

The sun god Aten was one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se gods and had grown <strong>in</strong> importance dur<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> New K<strong>in</strong>gdom.<br />

Akhenaten raised Aten to <strong>the</strong> position <strong>of</strong> sole god, br<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g mono<strong>the</strong>ism to Egypt. He and his family<br />

are frequently shown worshipp<strong>in</strong>g Aten by reach<strong>in</strong>g out to him. Aten's rays radiate out resolv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>to<br />

hands hold<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> Ankh, <strong>the</strong> symbol for life.<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Depictions <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> royal family show <strong>the</strong>m <strong>in</strong>variably under <strong>the</strong> rays <strong>of</strong> Aten.<br />

The Date <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Exodus: 1446 BC<br />

Pharaoh who killed Hebrew children: Amunhotep I: 1532-1511 BC<br />

Pharaoh's Daughter who adopted Moses: Hatshepsut: 1526 BC<br />

Pharaoh <strong>of</strong> Moses' flight to Midian: Thutmoses II/Hatshepsut: 1498-1485 BC<br />

Pharaoh <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Exodus: Thutmoses III: 1485/1464 - 1431 BC<br />

Hereafter, <strong>the</strong> civilization lost its way as external powers dom<strong>in</strong>ated over Egypt, till, <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> 1st century<br />

BC, it became a prov<strong>in</strong>ce <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Roman empire.<br />

3. Indus Valley Civilization<br />

his civilization boasts <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> world's first planned cities and townships, conform<strong>in</strong>g to a regular grid<br />

pattern. This was a Dravidian Civilization. The bricks were <strong>of</strong> standard dimensions. The width <strong>of</strong><br />

ma<strong>in</strong> roads, streets and lanes were standardized too, and most run ei<strong>the</strong>r north-south or east-west.<br />

The housed followed <strong>the</strong> same plan, and <strong>the</strong> dra<strong>in</strong>age system was advanced. The Harappan<br />

civilization was also much more extensive than its contemporaries – Mesopotamia's Sumeria and<br />

Egypt's Old K<strong>in</strong>gdom. All this po<strong>in</strong>ts to a very high degree <strong>of</strong> organization, and centralization, <strong>of</strong><br />

governance.<br />

The Harappans were <strong>the</strong> world's pioneers <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> sp<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g and weav<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> cotton. They had trade<br />

relationships with <strong>the</strong> Mesopotamians. They used a form <strong>of</strong> pictographic script, which, unlike <strong>the</strong><br />

cuneiform script <strong>of</strong> Sumerians and <strong>the</strong> hieroglyphics <strong>of</strong> Egypt, has not yet been deciphered.<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

It appears that <strong>the</strong> Biblical patriarch Abraham orig<strong>in</strong>ated from here who later moved over to Ur <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Chaldees. Because <strong>of</strong> this when Sarah died, he took a second wife Keturah from this place.<br />

Accord<strong>in</strong>g to tradition she must have been a niece <strong>of</strong> Abraham. We are told that Abraham sent his<br />

children by Keturah to <strong>the</strong> east <strong>in</strong>to Mohenjodero-harappa <strong>of</strong> India. There is a tradition that <strong>the</strong>se<br />

became <strong>the</strong> Brahm<strong>in</strong>s Genesis 25 1 Braham<strong>in</strong> means worshippers <strong>of</strong> Brahma - God <strong>of</strong> Abram. Later<br />

<strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>vad<strong>in</strong>g Vedics took it over and called <strong>the</strong>mselved H<strong>in</strong>dus.<br />

The Austrian Carmelite Paul<strong>in</strong>us a Sancto Bartholomaeo <strong>in</strong> his book "Darstellung der<br />

Brahmanisch-Indischen Götterlehre, Religionsgebräuche und bürgerliche Verfassung" (1797) states<br />

that Epiphanius was <strong>the</strong> first writer to l<strong>in</strong>k <strong>the</strong> Brahm<strong>in</strong>s <strong>of</strong> India with <strong>the</strong> children <strong>of</strong> Abraham and his<br />

concub<strong>in</strong>e Keturah (Genesis 25:1-4; 1 Chronicles 1:32-33), an identification appears <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Zohar<br />

(13th century), Guillaime Postel (16th century), and Manasseh ben Israel (17th century) (as well as<br />

Newton, Voltaire and o<strong>the</strong>rs). Epiphanius has tied <strong>the</strong> magi <strong>of</strong> Mat<strong>the</strong>w 2 to <strong>the</strong> descendants <strong>of</strong><br />

Abraham through Keturah. And Indian traditions <strong>of</strong> Dravids claim three <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> magi from India. There is<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

one church which claims to have been built by one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>m <strong>in</strong> Kerala, India <strong>in</strong> a mounta<strong>in</strong> top called<br />

Piravam mean<strong>in</strong>g "birth"<br />

The Dravidian civilization was taken over by <strong>the</strong> Aryans who came from middle east Persian area<br />

probably by <strong>the</strong> Hittites who were displaced by <strong>the</strong> nomadic Israelites,<br />

A tomb <strong>in</strong> P<strong>in</strong>d Dadan Khan, Pakistan has been claimed by local residents to be <strong>the</strong> site <strong>of</strong> Ham's<br />

burial s<strong>in</strong>ce 1891, when Hafiz Sham-us-D<strong>in</strong> <strong>of</strong> Gulyana, Gujrat claimed Ham had revealed this to him<br />

<strong>in</strong> a dream. A plaque on <strong>the</strong> tomb s<strong>in</strong>ce erected over <strong>the</strong> 78 foot long grave site states that Ham,<br />

locally revered as a prophet, was buried <strong>the</strong>re after liv<strong>in</strong>g 536 years<br />

Dravidians are <strong>the</strong> children <strong>of</strong> Ham. In ancient times <strong>the</strong>re were known to be two types <strong>of</strong> Ethiopians,<br />

Western Ethiopians, <strong>in</strong> Africa, (who were black with woolly hair and f<strong>in</strong>e features) and <strong>the</strong>ir brethren,<br />

<strong>the</strong> Eastern Ethiopians, <strong>of</strong> India, who also were black with f<strong>in</strong>e features but possessed straight hair.<br />

Both Western and Eastern Ethiopians were descended from <strong>the</strong> biblical Cush, one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> sons <strong>of</strong> Ham.<br />

The Dravidians most likely emigrated from Africa to India and, later, many returned to Africa where<br />

<strong>the</strong>y claim to have developed <strong>the</strong> Egyptian culture and civilization.<br />

(http://www.h<strong>in</strong>duwisdom.<strong>in</strong>fo/India_and_Egypt.htm).<br />

Before <strong>the</strong> Aryans (a Caucasian race who were barbaric and illiterate) <strong>in</strong>vaded India, India was<br />

composed ma<strong>in</strong>ly <strong>of</strong> various black "races" (<strong>the</strong> Dravidians, <strong>the</strong> Veddoids, also known as Australoids,<br />

and <strong>the</strong> Negrito proples) who built <strong>the</strong> ancient Indus Valley civilization. Today, <strong>the</strong> majority <strong>of</strong> India's<br />

population is a mixture <strong>of</strong> both Indo-Aryan and Dravidian with pure Aryans ma<strong>in</strong>ly <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> extreme North<br />

and pure Dravidians ma<strong>in</strong>ly <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> extreme South. The Veddoids ma<strong>in</strong>ly live <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> hill regions <strong>of</strong> India<br />

and <strong>the</strong> Negritos ma<strong>in</strong>ly live <strong>of</strong>f coast <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Andaman and Nicobar is<strong>lands</strong>.<br />

http://www.bestsyndication.com/?q=20080812_history_<strong>of</strong>_egypt.htm<br />

4. Yellow River (Ch<strong>in</strong>ese) civilization<br />

Yellow River was <strong>the</strong> birthplace <strong>of</strong> ancient Ch<strong>in</strong>ese civilizations <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Xia (2100–1600 BC) and Shang<br />

(1600–1046 BC) eras — <strong>the</strong> most prosperous region <strong>in</strong> early Ch<strong>in</strong>ese history.<br />

The Ch<strong>in</strong>ese developed a unique system <strong>of</strong> writ<strong>in</strong>g, <strong>in</strong> which <strong>the</strong>re was no l<strong>in</strong>k between <strong>the</strong> written and<br />

spoken language. This meant that people <strong>in</strong> different regions could learn <strong>the</strong> same set <strong>of</strong> characters,<br />

yet speak <strong>in</strong> very different ways.<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

The Zhou dynasty carried on much <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> culture <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Shang dynasty. Cast iron production, for <strong>the</strong><br />

first time <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> world, was started <strong>in</strong> Ch<strong>in</strong>a, and <strong>the</strong> iron was used to create weapons and agricultural<br />

tools. Large scale water projects for irrigation were undertaken. Silk became <strong>the</strong> most important item<br />

<strong>of</strong> trade, and was traded with dom<strong>in</strong>ions as far away as Greece. Silk routes across <strong>the</strong> Asian strip was<br />

one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> major trade routes. Gunpowder, <strong>the</strong> compass, paper mak<strong>in</strong>g, and pr<strong>in</strong>t<strong>in</strong>g — all <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se<br />

<strong>in</strong>ventions not only promoted Ch<strong>in</strong>ese cultural development, but also spread to <strong>the</strong> rest <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> world,<br />

mak<strong>in</strong>g an important contribution to <strong>the</strong> development <strong>of</strong> humank<strong>in</strong>d.<br />

An <strong>in</strong>vasion by <strong>the</strong> north nomads <strong>in</strong> 771 BC broke this dynasty's back, and it never recovered, f<strong>in</strong>ally<br />

end<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> 256 BC<br />

.<br />

Yellow River Mo<strong>the</strong>r<br />

The sculpture was carved out <strong>of</strong> a huge piece <strong>of</strong> granite <strong>in</strong> 1986 <strong>in</strong> Beij<strong>in</strong>g. It is 6 meters long and 2.6 meters high.<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

CHAPTER TWO<br />

EGYPT, NUBIA, SUDAN<br />

https://dacb.org/histories/sudan-christianity/<br />

http://www.zehabesha.com/ethiopia-egypt-and-sudan-pick-two-firms-for-nile-dam-study/<br />

http://solarey.net/relief-female-ruler-candace-meroe-named-kandake-amanitore/<br />

The Nile River is an <strong>in</strong>ternational river that flows through 11 countries if we take <strong>in</strong>to consideration all its<br />

tributaries, that <strong>in</strong>clude Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda, Democratic Republic <strong>of</strong> Congo, Kenya, Ethiopia,<br />

Eritrea, South Sudan, Sudan and Egypt.<br />

The Nile has two major tributaries, <strong>the</strong> White Nile and Blue Nile. The White Nile is considered to be <strong>the</strong><br />

headwaters and primary stream <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Nile itself. The Blue Nile, however, is <strong>the</strong> source <strong>of</strong> most <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

water and silt. The White Nile is longer and rises <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Great Lakes region <strong>of</strong> central Africa, with <strong>the</strong><br />

most distant source still undeterm<strong>in</strong>ed but located <strong>in</strong> ei<strong>the</strong>r Rwanda or Burundi. It flows north through<br />

Tanzania, Lake Victoria, Uganda and South Sudan. The Blue Nile beg<strong>in</strong>s at Lake Tana <strong>in</strong> Ethiopia and<br />

flows <strong>in</strong>to Sudan from <strong>the</strong> sou<strong>the</strong>ast. The two rivers meet just north <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sudanese capital <strong>of</strong><br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Khartoum. South Sudan was part <strong>of</strong> Sudan until very recently though culturally <strong>the</strong>y were different to<br />

some extent. <strong>the</strong> borders <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> four countries were not well def<strong>in</strong>ed and historically a cont<strong>in</strong>uous<br />

struggle was go<strong>in</strong>g on for this.<br />

White Nile starts from Lake Victoria <strong>in</strong> Uganda and Blue Nile starts from Lake Tana <strong>in</strong> Ethiopia.<br />

Nubia, ancient region <strong>in</strong> nor<strong>the</strong>astern Africa, extend<strong>in</strong>g approximately from <strong>the</strong> Nile River valley (near<br />

<strong>the</strong> first cataract <strong>in</strong> Upper Egypt) eastward to <strong>the</strong> shores <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Red Sea, southward to about Khartoum<br />

(<strong>in</strong> what is now Sudan), and westward to <strong>the</strong> Libyan Desert. Nubia is traditionally divided <strong>in</strong>to two<br />

regions. The sou<strong>the</strong>rn portion, which extended north to <strong>the</strong> sou<strong>the</strong>rn end <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> second cataract <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Nile was known as Upper Nubia; this was called Kush (Cush) under <strong>the</strong> 18th-dynasty pharaohs <strong>of</strong><br />

ancient Egypt and was called Ethiopia by <strong>the</strong> ancient Greeks. Lower Nubia was <strong>the</strong> nor<strong>the</strong>rn part <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> region, located between <strong>the</strong> second and <strong>the</strong> first cataract <strong>of</strong> Aswān; this was called Wawat.<br />

Nubia <strong>in</strong> itself is today a history which was shared as part <strong>of</strong> Egypt and Sudan.<br />

Addis Ababa Feburary 21/2016 Leaders <strong>of</strong> Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan have held tripartite talks on <strong>the</strong> sidel<strong>in</strong>es <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Africa 2016 Forum <strong>in</strong> Sharm el Sheikh. Egypt.<br />

This is Butana Nubia, Nubian Landscape,<strong>the</strong> area <strong>of</strong> ancient Meroe,<br />

known today as Butana<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

View <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> chapel and pyramid from sou<strong>the</strong>ast with w<strong>in</strong>dow at top and chamber beh<strong>in</strong>d<br />

North Pyramid Group <strong>of</strong> Tarekeniwal at Meroe<br />

https://oi.uchicago.edu/museum-exhibits/history-ancient-nubia<br />

The pyramid culture extended all <strong>the</strong> way south even beyond Meroe.<br />

Nubia was home to some <strong>of</strong> Africa’s earliest k<strong>in</strong>gdoms. Known for rich deposits <strong>of</strong> gold, Nubia was<br />

also <strong>the</strong> gateway through which luxury products like <strong>in</strong>cense, ivory, and ebony traveled from <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

source <strong>in</strong> sub-Saharan Africa to <strong>the</strong> civilizations <strong>of</strong> Egypt and <strong>the</strong> Mediterranean. Archers <strong>of</strong><br />

exceptional skill provided <strong>the</strong> military strength for Nubian rulers. K<strong>in</strong>gs <strong>of</strong> Nubia ultimately conquered<br />

and ruled Egypt for about a century. Monuments still stand—<strong>in</strong> modern Egypt and Sudan—at <strong>the</strong> sites<br />

where Nubian rulers built cities, temples, and royal pyramids.<br />

Nubians Lived <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Central Nile Valley<br />

African people from what is now <strong>the</strong> Sahara began to move toward <strong>the</strong> Nile <strong>in</strong> Nubia by around 5000<br />

BC. They brought with <strong>the</strong>m <strong>the</strong> art <strong>of</strong> mak<strong>in</strong>g pottery.<br />

Hunt<strong>in</strong>g for <strong>the</strong> Elusive Nubian A-Group People<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

The people that lived <strong>in</strong> Lower Nubia--<strong>the</strong> region between <strong>the</strong> First and <strong>the</strong> Second Cataract <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Nile<br />

and <strong>the</strong> surround<strong>in</strong>g deserts--dur<strong>in</strong>g predynastic times are called <strong>the</strong> A-Group. (Cataract is a large<br />

waterfall) Their ma<strong>in</strong> activity along <strong>the</strong> Nile was agriculture, but <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> deserts <strong>the</strong>y herded cattle. Thus<br />

it provided for both <strong>the</strong> settled agricultural culure and <strong>the</strong> wander<strong>in</strong>g nomadic cattle culture. They also<br />

provided a highway water route all <strong>the</strong> way from all <strong>in</strong>terior countries. In fact Nile provides <strong>the</strong> major<br />

long distance transportation <strong>in</strong> those areas until <strong>the</strong> com<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> aircraft. Along <strong>the</strong> Nile <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

settlements and cemeteries are clustered <strong>in</strong> strategic areas, mostly <strong>in</strong> connection with transport routes<br />

through <strong>the</strong> desert. Surround<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> graves were cattle burials sites also <strong>in</strong>dicative <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> culture <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

area.<br />

Orig<strong>in</strong>ally herdsmen and hunters <strong>of</strong> large animals, eventually became fishermen and farmers. Over<br />

time, new people moved <strong>in</strong>to <strong>the</strong> region from <strong>the</strong> south, so that Nubia’s population was <strong>of</strong>ten a diverse<br />

mix <strong>of</strong> African people.<br />

The River Was <strong>the</strong> Lifel<strong>in</strong>e<br />

Many Nubians lived along <strong>the</strong> Nile. Farmers grew gra<strong>in</strong>s, peas, lentils, dates, and possibly melons. But<br />

especially important were <strong>the</strong>ir herds <strong>of</strong> cattle, a measure <strong>of</strong> wealth and social status. In <strong>the</strong> deserts,<br />

Nubians m<strong>in</strong>ed carnelian and gold, as well as o<strong>the</strong>r m<strong>in</strong>eral resources. Barter<strong>in</strong>g cattle, gold, carnelian,<br />

ivory, animal sk<strong>in</strong>s, hardwood, <strong>in</strong>cense, and dates, Nubians traded with <strong>the</strong> Egyptians, <strong>the</strong>ir neighbors<br />

to <strong>the</strong> north, for gra<strong>in</strong>, vegetable oils, w<strong>in</strong>e, beer, l<strong>in</strong>en, and o<strong>the</strong>r manufactured goods.<br />

https://oi.uchicago.edu/museum-exhibits/history-ancient-nubia<br />

Nubians developed alphabetic writ<strong>in</strong>g systems around 200 BC dur<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> Meroitic period. The Meroitic<br />

language is still not understood well enough to read more than words and phrases, but much<br />

documentation on Meroitic Nubia can be found <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> art and literature <strong>of</strong> Greece and Rome, whose<br />

empires touched on <strong>the</strong> borders <strong>of</strong> Nubia after 330 BC.<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Nubia<br />

The Name "Nubia" came <strong>in</strong>to use <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Roman period.<br />

The orig<strong>in</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> name Nubia is obscure. Some have l<strong>in</strong>ked it to nwb, <strong>the</strong> ancient Egyptian word for<br />

gold.<br />

O<strong>the</strong>rs connect it with <strong>the</strong> term Noubades, <strong>the</strong> Greek name for people who moved <strong>in</strong>to nor<strong>the</strong>rn Nubia<br />

sometime <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> 4th century AD.<br />

Kush<br />

Noah had three sons Ham, Shem, Japheth. The order <strong>of</strong> birth is not clearly def<strong>in</strong>ed but Ham<br />

probably was <strong>the</strong> youngest ( Genesis 5:32 ; comp Genesis 9:22 Genesis 9:24 ) One <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> most<br />

important facts recorded <strong>in</strong> Genesis 10 is <strong>the</strong> foundation <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> earliest monarchy <strong>in</strong> Babylonia by<br />

Nimrod <strong>the</strong> grandson <strong>of</strong> Ham (6,8,10). The primitive Babylonian empire was thus Hamitic, and <strong>of</strong> a<br />

cognate race with <strong>the</strong> primitive <strong>in</strong>habitants <strong>of</strong> Arabia and <strong>of</strong> Ethiopia.<br />

The names itself suggests <strong>the</strong> color.<br />

Shem means "dusky,"<br />

Japheth "fair,"<br />

Ham meant, "black."<br />

This is supported by <strong>the</strong> evidence <strong>of</strong> Hebrew and Arabic, <strong>in</strong> which <strong>the</strong> word "chamam" means "to be<br />

hot" or "burnt" and "to be black,"<br />

The name given, <strong>in</strong> Psalms 105:23,17; 106:22 (compare 78:51), to Egypt as a descendant <strong>of</strong> Ham,<br />

son <strong>of</strong> Noah.<br />

Kush was <strong>the</strong> eldest son <strong>of</strong> Ham,who was a son <strong>of</strong> Noah, probably <strong>the</strong> youngest <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>m. He was <strong>the</strong><br />

bro<strong>the</strong>r <strong>of</strong> Canaan (land <strong>of</strong> Canaan), Mizraim (Egypt) and Phut (land <strong>of</strong> Libya), and <strong>the</strong> fa<strong>the</strong>r <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Biblical Nimrod mentioned <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> "Table <strong>of</strong> Nations" <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Genesis 10:6 and I Chronicles 1:8.<br />

Biblical record def<strong>in</strong>es Egypt as <strong>the</strong> Land <strong>of</strong> Ham.<br />

-- Psalm 105: 23 "Israel also came <strong>in</strong>to Egypt...<strong>the</strong> land <strong>of</strong> Ham."<br />

Four Sons <strong>of</strong> Ham occupied <strong>the</strong> follow<strong>in</strong>g areas:<br />

1. Mizraim (Egypt)<br />

2. Cush (Sudan, Ethiopia)<br />

3. Put (Lybia)<br />

4. Canaan (Hivites, Jebusites, Arvadites, Girgashites, Amorites, Arkites, S<strong>in</strong>ites, Hittites,<br />

Sidonians, Perizzites, Zemarites)<br />

Dur<strong>in</strong>g dispersion soon after <strong>the</strong> Noah's flood Cush occupies <strong>the</strong>se areas <strong>in</strong> Africa. Cush is<br />

traditionally considered <strong>the</strong> eponymous ancestor <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> people <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> "land <strong>of</strong> Cush," an ancient<br />

territory that is believed to have been located on ei<strong>the</strong>r side or both sides <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Red Sea. As such,<br />

"Cush" is alternately identified <strong>in</strong> Scripture with <strong>the</strong> K<strong>in</strong>gdom <strong>of</strong> Kush, ancient Sudan, and/or <strong>the</strong><br />

Arabian Pen<strong>in</strong>sula. The region south <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> 1st cataract <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Nile was called from ancient <strong>of</strong> days<br />

called "Kush."<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Accord<strong>in</strong>g to Genesis, Cush's o<strong>the</strong>r sons were Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabtechah. The<br />

Book <strong>of</strong> Numbers 12:1 calls <strong>the</strong> wife <strong>of</strong> Moses "an Ethiopian woman", whereas Moses's wife Zipporah<br />

is usually described as hail<strong>in</strong>g from Midian.<br />

The rhetorical question "Can <strong>the</strong> Cushite change his sk<strong>in</strong>?" <strong>in</strong> Jeremiah 13:23 implies brown sk<strong>in</strong> color,<br />

<strong>of</strong> most likely a Nubian people; also, <strong>the</strong> Septuag<strong>in</strong>t uniformly translates Cush as Αἰθιοπία "Aithiopia."<br />

[Ano<strong>the</strong>r person named Cush <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Hebrew Bible is a Benjamite who is mentioned only <strong>in</strong> Psalm 7,<br />

and is believed to be a follower <strong>of</strong> Saul]<br />

Josephus gives an account <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> nation <strong>of</strong> Cush, son <strong>of</strong> Ham and grandson <strong>of</strong> Noah: "For <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> four<br />

sons <strong>of</strong> Ham, time has not at all hurt <strong>the</strong> name <strong>of</strong> Cush; for <strong>the</strong> Ethiopians, over whom he reigned, are<br />

even at this day, both by <strong>the</strong>mselves and by all men <strong>in</strong> Asia, called Cushites." (Antiquities <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Jews<br />

1.6).<br />

The name is found as far as India where <strong>the</strong> mounta<strong>in</strong>s <strong>of</strong> Himalaya region are called H<strong>in</strong>du-Kush.<br />

Explorer James Bruce, who visited <strong>the</strong> Ethiopian High<strong>lands</strong> c. 1770, wrote <strong>of</strong> "a tradition among <strong>the</strong><br />

Abyss<strong>in</strong>ians, which <strong>the</strong>y say <strong>the</strong>y have had s<strong>in</strong>ce time immemorial", that <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> days after <strong>the</strong> Deluge,<br />

Cush, <strong>the</strong> son <strong>of</strong> Ham, traveled with his family up <strong>the</strong> Nile until <strong>the</strong>y reached <strong>the</strong> Atbara pla<strong>in</strong>, <strong>the</strong>n still<br />

un<strong>in</strong>habited, from where <strong>the</strong>y could see <strong>the</strong> Ethiopian table-land. There <strong>the</strong>y ascended and built Axum,<br />

and sometime later returned to <strong>the</strong> lowland, build<strong>in</strong>g Meroë. He also states that European scholars <strong>of</strong><br />

his own day had summarily rejected this account on grounds <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir established <strong>the</strong>ory, that Cush<br />

must have arrived <strong>in</strong> Africa via Arabia and <strong>the</strong> Bab-el-Mandeb, a strait located between Yemen on <strong>the</strong><br />

Arabian Pen<strong>in</strong>sula, and Djibouti and Eritrea on <strong>the</strong> Horn <strong>of</strong> Africa. Fur<strong>the</strong>r, <strong>the</strong> great obelisk <strong>of</strong> Axum<br />

was said to have been erected by Cush <strong>in</strong> order to mark his allotted territory, and his son Ityopp'is was<br />

said to have been buried <strong>the</strong>re, accord<strong>in</strong>g to <strong>the</strong> Book <strong>of</strong> Aksum, which Bruce asserts was revered<br />

throughout Abyss<strong>in</strong>ia equally with <strong>the</strong> Kebra Nagast.<br />

Hebrew oral tradition says that Moses, <strong>in</strong> his younger years, led an Egyptian military expedition <strong>in</strong>to<br />

Sudan (Kush), as far as <strong>the</strong> city <strong>of</strong> Meroe, which was <strong>the</strong>n called Saba. The city was built near <strong>the</strong><br />

confluence <strong>of</strong> two great rivers and was encircled by a formidable wall, and governed by a renegade<br />

k<strong>in</strong>g. To ensure <strong>the</strong> safety <strong>of</strong> his men who traversed that desert country, Moses had <strong>in</strong>vented a<br />

stratagem whereby <strong>the</strong> Egyptian army would carry along with <strong>the</strong>m baskets <strong>of</strong> sedge, each conta<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g<br />

an ibis, only to be released when <strong>the</strong>y approached <strong>the</strong> enemy's country. The purpose <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> birds was<br />

to kill <strong>the</strong> deadly serpents that lay all about that country. Hav<strong>in</strong>g successfully laid siege to <strong>the</strong> city, <strong>the</strong><br />

city was eventually subdued by betrayal <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> k<strong>in</strong>g's daughter, who had agreed to deliver <strong>the</strong> city unto<br />

Moses on condition that he would consummate a marriage with her, under <strong>the</strong> solemn assurance <strong>of</strong> an<br />

oath.<br />

CURSE OF CANAAN<br />

1. Canaan was cursed, not Ham. (Gen. 9:25, "...cursed be Canaan...")<br />

2. Genesis 9:25-27 "...servitude to his bro<strong>the</strong>rs..."<br />

3. Exodus 20:5 --" A curse lasts three to four generations..."<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

4. Canaan does not exist as a nation today.<br />

O<strong>the</strong>r three nations exist -- Egypt, Ethiopia and Lybia.<br />

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++><br />

http://blogs.times<strong>of</strong>israel.com/moses-african-k<strong>in</strong>g/<br />

Simcha Jacobovici is a Canadian-Israeli filmmaker and journalist. He mentions that:<br />

"accord<strong>in</strong>g to Jewish sources (Yalkut Me’am Loez on Shemot 2:15), when Moses fled Egypt prior to<br />

<strong>the</strong> Biblical Exodus, he didn’t go directly to <strong>the</strong> S<strong>in</strong>ai desert. Ra<strong>the</strong>r, he fled to Kush (ancient Sudan),<br />

where he became a general and <strong>the</strong>n a k<strong>in</strong>g. In o<strong>the</strong>r words — and this is not known by <strong>the</strong> majority <strong>of</strong><br />

people, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g Jews — accord<strong>in</strong>g to Jewish tradition Moses was an African k<strong>in</strong>g for almost 40 years.<br />

After he left Sudan, he went to <strong>the</strong> S<strong>in</strong>ai, married Zipporah, daughter <strong>of</strong> a former Midianite priest, and<br />

<strong>the</strong>n returned to Egypt to lead <strong>the</strong> Exodus and climb Mount S<strong>in</strong>ai to receive <strong>the</strong> Ten Commandments.<br />

But take note, before all this, for decades, he was a k<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> Sudan.<br />

"Historically, <strong>the</strong> Jewish tradition makes sense. At least, it makes sense that a fugitive from Pharaoh<br />

would flee south <strong>in</strong>to Nubian-Kushite territory. The Kushites were forever at war with <strong>the</strong> Egyptians<br />

and, <strong>in</strong> fact, at one time Egypt was ruled by a Kushite Pharaoh named Taharqa who, centuries after<br />

Moses, showed up like <strong>the</strong> cavalry to save Jerusalem from <strong>the</strong> Assyrians (Isaiah, chapter 37, verse<br />

10-11, c. 687 BC). For his part, Moses was married to a<br />

Kushite (Numbers 12:1) by name Zipporah, <strong>the</strong> queen<br />

<strong>of</strong> Sudan."<br />


HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

The city <strong>of</strong> Meroe was on <strong>the</strong> edge <strong>of</strong> Butana and <strong>the</strong>re were two o<strong>the</strong>r Meroitic cities <strong>in</strong> Butana:<br />

Musawwarat es-Sufra and Naqa. The first <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se sites was given <strong>the</strong> name Meroe by <strong>the</strong> Persian<br />

k<strong>in</strong>g, Cambyses, <strong>in</strong> honor <strong>of</strong> his sister who was called by that name. The city had orig<strong>in</strong>ally borne <strong>the</strong><br />

ancient appellation Saba, named after <strong>the</strong> country's orig<strong>in</strong>al founder. The eponym Saba, or Seba, is<br />

named for one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> sons <strong>of</strong> Cush (see: Genesis 10:7). The presence <strong>of</strong> numerous Meroitic sites<br />

with<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> western Butana region and on <strong>the</strong> border <strong>of</strong> Butana proper is significant to <strong>the</strong> settlement <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> core <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> developed region. The orientation <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se settlements exhibit <strong>the</strong> exercise <strong>of</strong> state<br />

power over subsistence production.<br />

The site <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> city <strong>of</strong> Meroe is marked by more than two hundred pyramids <strong>in</strong> three groups, <strong>of</strong> which<br />

many are now <strong>in</strong> ru<strong>in</strong>s. They have <strong>the</strong> dist<strong>in</strong>ctive size and proportions <strong>of</strong> Nubian pyramids.<br />

Pyramids <strong>of</strong> Meroe - Nor<strong>the</strong>rn Cemetery<br />

As is easily seen, <strong>the</strong> Egyptian Pyramids have wide square base and have almost equal sides <strong>in</strong><br />

triangular structure. Nubian Pyramids stands on small squares and are taller than <strong>the</strong> Egyptian ones.<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

These were family burial places.<br />

presumably used at sunrise.<br />

They also had eastern-fac<strong>in</strong>g temples for <strong>of</strong>fer<strong>in</strong>gs, fac<strong>in</strong>g and<br />

Meroe was <strong>the</strong> south capital <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Napata/Meroitic K<strong>in</strong>gdom, that spanned <strong>the</strong> period c. 800 BC – c.<br />

350 CE. Accord<strong>in</strong>g to partially deciphered Meroitic texts, <strong>the</strong> name <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> city was Medewi or Bedewi.<br />

Excavations revealed evidence <strong>of</strong> important, high rank<strong>in</strong>g Kushite burials, from <strong>the</strong> Napatan Period (c.<br />

800 – c. 280 BC) <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> vic<strong>in</strong>ity <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> settlement called <strong>the</strong> Western cemetery. The culture <strong>of</strong> Meroe<br />

developed from <strong>the</strong> Twenty-fifth Dynasty <strong>of</strong> Ancient Egypt, which orig<strong>in</strong>ated <strong>in</strong> Kush. The importance<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> town gradually <strong>in</strong>creased from <strong>the</strong> beg<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Meroitic Period, especially from <strong>the</strong> reign <strong>of</strong><br />

Arakamani (c. 280 BC) when <strong>the</strong> royal burial ground was transferred to Meroe from Napata (Gebel<br />

Barkal). In <strong>the</strong> fifth century BC, Greek historian Herodotus described it as "a great city...said to be <strong>the</strong><br />

mo<strong>the</strong>r city <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r Ethiopians." The city <strong>of</strong> Meroe was located along <strong>the</strong> middle Nile which is <strong>of</strong><br />

much importance due to <strong>the</strong> annual flood<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Nile river valley and <strong>the</strong> connection to many major<br />

river systems such as <strong>the</strong> Niger which aided with <strong>the</strong> production <strong>of</strong> pottery and iron characteristic to <strong>the</strong><br />

Meroitic k<strong>in</strong>gdom that allowed for <strong>the</strong> rise <strong>in</strong> power <strong>of</strong> its people.<br />

Rome's conquest <strong>of</strong> Egypt led to border skirmishes and <strong>in</strong>cursions by Meroe beyond <strong>the</strong> Roman<br />

borders. In 23 BC <strong>the</strong> Roman governor <strong>of</strong> Egypt, Publius Petronius, to end <strong>the</strong> Meroitic raids, <strong>in</strong>vaded<br />

Nubia <strong>in</strong> response to a Nubian attack on sou<strong>the</strong>rn Egypt, pillag<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> north <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> region and sack<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Napata (22 BC) before return<strong>in</strong>g home. In retaliation, <strong>the</strong> Nubians crossed <strong>the</strong> lower border <strong>of</strong> Egypt<br />

and looted many statues (among o<strong>the</strong>r th<strong>in</strong>gs) from <strong>the</strong> Egyptian towns near <strong>the</strong> first cataract <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Nile at Aswan. Roman forces later reclaimed many <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> statues <strong>in</strong>tact, and o<strong>the</strong>rs were returned<br />

follow<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> peace treaty signed <strong>in</strong> 22 BC between Rome and Meroe. One looted head though, from a<br />

statue <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> emperor Augustus, was buried under <strong>the</strong> steps <strong>of</strong> a temple. It is now kept <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> British<br />

Museum.<br />

The next recorded contact between Rome and Meroe was <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> autumn <strong>of</strong> 61 AD. The Emperor Nero<br />

sent a party <strong>of</strong> Praetorian soldiers under <strong>the</strong> command <strong>of</strong> a tribune and two centurions <strong>in</strong>to this country,<br />

who reached <strong>the</strong> city <strong>of</strong> Meroe where <strong>the</strong>y were given an escort, <strong>the</strong>n proceeded up <strong>the</strong> White Nile<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

until <strong>the</strong>y encountered <strong>the</strong> swamps <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sudd. This marked <strong>the</strong> limit <strong>of</strong> Roman penetration <strong>in</strong>to<br />

Africa.<br />

The period follow<strong>in</strong>g Petronius' punitive expedition is marked by abundant trade f<strong>in</strong>ds at sites <strong>in</strong> Meroe.<br />

L.P. Kirwan provides a short list <strong>of</strong> f<strong>in</strong>ds from archeological sites <strong>in</strong> that country. However, <strong>the</strong> k<strong>in</strong>gdom<br />

<strong>of</strong> Meroe began to fade as a power by <strong>the</strong> 1st or 2nd century AD, sapped by <strong>the</strong> war with Roman Egypt<br />

and <strong>the</strong> decl<strong>in</strong>e <strong>of</strong> its traditional <strong>in</strong>dustries.<br />

Meroe is mentioned succ<strong>in</strong>ctly <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> 1st century AD Periplus <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Erythraean Sea:<br />

2. On <strong>the</strong> right-hand coast next below Berenice is <strong>the</strong> country <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Berbers. Along <strong>the</strong><br />

shore are <strong>the</strong> Fish-Eaters, liv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> scattered caves <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> narrow valleys. Far<strong>the</strong>r <strong>in</strong>land<br />

are <strong>the</strong> Berbers, and beyond <strong>the</strong>m <strong>the</strong> Wild-flesh-Eaters and Calf-Eaters, each tribe<br />

governed by its chief; and beh<strong>in</strong>d <strong>the</strong>m, far<strong>the</strong>r <strong>in</strong>land, <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> country towards <strong>the</strong> west,<br />

<strong>the</strong>re lies a city called Meroe. — Periplus <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Erythraean Sea, Chap.2<br />

The last period <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> city is marked by <strong>the</strong> victory stele <strong>of</strong> an unnamed ruler <strong>of</strong> Aksum (almost<br />

certa<strong>in</strong>ly Ezana) erected at <strong>the</strong> site <strong>of</strong> Meroe; from his description, <strong>in</strong> Greek, that he was "K<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Aksumites and <strong>the</strong> Omerites," (i.e. <strong>of</strong> Aksum and Himyar) it is likely this k<strong>in</strong>g ruled sometime around<br />

330.<br />

Meroitic script<br />

The Meroïtic alphabet was derived from ancient Egyptian writ<strong>in</strong>g sometime dur<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> 4th century BC<br />

<strong>in</strong> around 315 BC. A cursive form developed <strong>in</strong> 185 BC and <strong>the</strong> alphabet was used until about 440 AD.<br />

The alphabet was deciphered by <strong>the</strong> British Egyptologist Francis Llewellyn Griffith <strong>in</strong> 1909.<br />

There are two versions <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> alphabet - one based on <strong>the</strong> Egyptian hieroglyphic script, <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r a<br />

cursive version based on <strong>the</strong> Egyptian demotic script. The hieroglyphic form <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> alphabet was<br />

written <strong>in</strong> vertical columns from top to bottom and from right to left, while <strong>the</strong> cursive form was<br />

generally written <strong>in</strong> horizontal l<strong>in</strong>es runn<strong>in</strong>g from right to left.<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Stamp or thumb r<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> form <strong>of</strong> 3 cartouches (enclos<strong>in</strong>g dot pattern). Each topped with 2 plumes and sun disc. Faience.<br />

From Meroe. Meroitic period. Petrie Museum <strong>of</strong> Egyptian Archaeology<br />

Meroitic was <strong>the</strong> ma<strong>in</strong> language <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> k<strong>in</strong>gdom <strong>of</strong> Kush, <strong>in</strong> ancient Sudan. Although it appeared<br />

probably <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> 3rd millennium BC, it was endowed with a specific writ<strong>in</strong>g-system only <strong>in</strong> its late stage,<br />

namely <strong>the</strong> K<strong>in</strong>gdom <strong>of</strong> Meroe (3rd cent. BC / 4th cent. AD) and superseded Egyptian, which has been<br />

previously <strong>the</strong> only written language <strong>in</strong> Kush (25th Dynasty and K<strong>in</strong>gdom <strong>of</strong> Napata). Although <strong>the</strong><br />

signs were developed from <strong>the</strong>ir Egyptian counterparts (<strong>the</strong> cursive script from Demotic and <strong>the</strong><br />

hieroglyphic script from Egyptian hieroglyphs), <strong>the</strong> writ<strong>in</strong>g system was completely different. It was an<br />

24


HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

alpha-syllabary, such as <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Indian and Ethiopian scripts, and <strong>the</strong>refore, it comprised only signs with<br />

phonetic values, 23 <strong>in</strong> each set, cursive and hieroglyphic<br />

The Meroitic language was spoken <strong>in</strong> Meroe and <strong>the</strong> Sudan dur<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> Meroitic period (attested from<br />

300 BC). It became ext<strong>in</strong>ct about 400 AD. The language was written <strong>in</strong> two forms <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Meroitic<br />

alphabet: Meroitic Cursive, which was written with a stylus and was used for general record-keep<strong>in</strong>g;<br />

and Meroitic Hieroglyphic, which was carved <strong>in</strong> stone or used for royal or religious documents. It is not<br />

well understood due to <strong>the</strong> scarcity <strong>of</strong> bil<strong>in</strong>gual texts. The earliest <strong>in</strong>scription <strong>in</strong> Meroitic writ<strong>in</strong>g dates<br />

from between 180-170 BC. These hieroglyphics were found engraved on <strong>the</strong> temple <strong>of</strong> Queen<br />

Shanakdakhete. Meroitic Cursive is written horizontally, and reads from right to left like all Semitic<br />

orthographies.<br />

By <strong>the</strong> 3rd century BC, a new <strong>in</strong>digenous alphabet, <strong>the</strong> Meroitic, consist<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> twenty-three letters,<br />

replaced Egyptian script. The Meroitic script is an alphabetic script orig<strong>in</strong>ally derived from Egyptian<br />

hieroglyphs, used to write <strong>the</strong> Meroitic language <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> K<strong>in</strong>gdom <strong>of</strong> Meroe/Kush. It was developed <strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> Napatan Period (about 700 - 300 BC), and first appears <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> 2nd century BC. For a time, it was<br />

also possibly used to write <strong>the</strong> Nubian language <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> successor Nubian k<strong>in</strong>gdoms.<br />

It is uncerta<strong>in</strong> to which language family <strong>the</strong> Meroitic language is related. Claude Rilly has proposed<br />

that it, like <strong>the</strong> Nobi<strong>in</strong> language, belongs to <strong>the</strong> Eastern Sudanic branch <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Nilo-Saharan family.<br />

Kirsty Rowan suggests that Meroitic, like <strong>the</strong> Egyptian language, <strong>in</strong>stead belongs to <strong>the</strong> Afro-Asiatic<br />

family. She bases this on its sound <strong>in</strong>ventory and phonotactics, which are similar to those <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Afro-Asiatic languages and dissimilar from those <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Nilo-Saharan languages.<br />

Iron Industry<br />

Meroe was <strong>the</strong> base <strong>of</strong> a flourish<strong>in</strong>g k<strong>in</strong>gdom whose wealth was centered around a strong iron <strong>in</strong>dustry,<br />

as well as <strong>in</strong>ternational trade <strong>in</strong>volv<strong>in</strong>g India and Ch<strong>in</strong>a. At <strong>the</strong> time, iron was one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> most<br />

important metals worldwide, and Meroitic metalworkers were among <strong>the</strong> best <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> world. Meroe also<br />

exported textiles and jewelry. Their textiles were based on cotton and work<strong>in</strong>g on this product reached<br />

its highest achievement <strong>in</strong> Nubia around 400 BC. Fur<strong>the</strong>rmore, Nubia was very rich <strong>in</strong> gold. It is<br />

possible that <strong>the</strong> Egyptian word for gold, nub, was <strong>the</strong> source <strong>of</strong> name <strong>of</strong> Nubia. Trade <strong>in</strong> "exotic"<br />

animals from far<strong>the</strong>r south <strong>in</strong> Africa was ano<strong>the</strong>r feature <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir economy.<br />

Potteries<br />

Apart from <strong>the</strong> iron trade, pottery was a widespread and prom<strong>in</strong>ent <strong>in</strong>dustry <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Meroe k<strong>in</strong>gdom.<br />

One <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> a major craft <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> region was potteries. Nubian pottery from Meroe, SudanSuch<br />

productions carried considerable social significance and are believed to be <strong>in</strong>volved <strong>in</strong> mortuary rites.<br />

The K<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> Meroe was an autocratic ruler who shared his authority only with <strong>the</strong> Queen Mo<strong>the</strong>r, or<br />

Candace. People <strong>of</strong> Meroe worshiped ancient Egyptian gods Amun, Tefnut, Horus, Isis, Thoth and<br />

Satis, <strong>the</strong>y also had <strong>the</strong>ir own deities The collapse <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir external trade with o<strong>the</strong>r Nile Valley<br />

25


HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

states may be considered as one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> prime causes <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> decl<strong>in</strong>e <strong>of</strong> royal power and dis<strong>in</strong>tegration<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Meroitic state <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> 3rd and 4th centuries CE<br />

http://sudanembassyke.org/<strong>in</strong>dex.php/sudan/history-<strong>of</strong>-sudan/<br />

Kush was <strong>the</strong> most powerful state <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Nile valley around 1700 BC. Conflict between Egypt and<br />

Kush followed, culm<strong>in</strong>at<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> conquest <strong>of</strong> Kush by Thutmose I (1504–1492 BC). In <strong>the</strong> west and<br />

south, Neolithic cultures rema<strong>in</strong>ed as both areas were beyond <strong>the</strong> reach <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Egyptian rulers.<br />

Egypt withdrew <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> eleventh century BC and <strong>the</strong> Sudanese k<strong>in</strong>gs grew powerful. They <strong>in</strong>vaded<br />

Egypt and ruled as Pharaohs (about 747-656 BC). At its greatest, <strong>the</strong>ir empire united <strong>the</strong> Nile valley<br />

from Khartoum to <strong>the</strong> Mediterranean. K<strong>in</strong>g Taharqo’s sph<strong>in</strong>x rema<strong>in</strong>s a testament to Kushite power<br />

and authority.<br />

The Kushites were expelled from Egypt by <strong>the</strong> Assyrians, but <strong>the</strong>ir k<strong>in</strong>gdom flourished <strong>in</strong> Sudan for<br />

ano<strong>the</strong>r thousand years. Kush monuments and art display a rich comb<strong>in</strong>ation <strong>of</strong> Pharaonic,<br />

Greco-Roman and <strong>in</strong>digenous African traditions, and two are UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Meroe<br />

and Jebel Barkal. Tall pyramids, gigantic mud-brick build<strong>in</strong>gs, rock-cut pa<strong>in</strong>ted tombs, and ornately<br />

carved temples.<br />

The Lion Temple<br />

Pyramids <strong>of</strong> Meroe<br />

26


HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Kiosk show<strong>in</strong>g Phraonic, Kushite & Greco-Roman Influences – Naga, Sudan<br />

The Nubian Pharaohs: Black K<strong>in</strong>gs <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Nile<br />

27


HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Nubian Archers<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

CHAPTER THREE<br />

THE HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN EGYPT<br />

St.Mark Coptic Church Ca<strong>the</strong>dral <strong>in</strong> Cairo<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Eusebius, Bishop <strong>of</strong> Caesarea, <strong>in</strong> his Ecclesiastic History states that Sa<strong>in</strong>t Mark first came to Egypt<br />

between <strong>the</strong> first and third year <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> reign <strong>of</strong> Emperor Claudius, which would make it sometime<br />

between AD 41 and 44. The traditional date is 42 AD which is with<strong>in</strong> 10 years <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Pentecost and<br />

<strong>the</strong> great commission by Jesus to <strong>the</strong> Apostles.<br />

St. Mark heal<strong>in</strong>g Anianus <strong>the</strong> shoe maker.<br />

Sa<strong>in</strong>t Mark's first convert <strong>in</strong> Alexandria was Anianus, a shoemaker who<br />

later was consecrated a bishop and became <strong>the</strong> Patriarch <strong>of</strong> Alexandria<br />

after Sa<strong>in</strong>t Mark's martyrdom. He moved westward to Lybia, pass<strong>in</strong>g<br />

through <strong>the</strong> countries <strong>of</strong> Marmarcia, Pentapolis, and o<strong>the</strong>rs adjacent, and<br />

established <strong>the</strong> churches <strong>the</strong>re before return<strong>in</strong>g to Alexandria some<br />

twenty years later. The Coptic Church developed separately from o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

Eastern Churches. A patriarch, referred to as <strong>the</strong> pope, heads <strong>the</strong> church,<br />

and is traditionally based <strong>in</strong> Alexandria. A synod or council <strong>of</strong> senior<br />

priests is responsible for elect<strong>in</strong>g or remov<strong>in</strong>g popes.<br />

This succession <strong>of</strong> Patriarchs has rema<strong>in</strong>ed unbroken down to <strong>the</strong><br />

present day, mak<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> Egyptian Christian, or Coptic, Church one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

oldest Christian churches <strong>in</strong> existence. Evidence for this age comes <strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> form <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> oldest Biblical papyri discovered <strong>in</strong> remote regions <strong>of</strong><br />

Upper Egypt. These papyri are written <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Coptic script and are older<br />

than even <strong>the</strong> oldest Greek copies <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Bible ordered by Constant<strong>in</strong>e <strong>in</strong><br />

AD 312.<br />

The Egyptians before <strong>Christianity</strong> had always been a deeply religious people, and many readily<br />

embraced <strong>the</strong> young religion, hav<strong>in</strong>g had <strong>the</strong>ir old beliefs effectively destroyed by <strong>the</strong> com<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Roman Empire and <strong>the</strong> f<strong>in</strong>al dethron<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> god-k<strong>in</strong>g Pharaohs.<br />

Many <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> concepts <strong>of</strong> <strong>Christianity</strong> were already familiar to <strong>the</strong> Egyptians from <strong>the</strong>ir ancient religion,<br />

such as<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<strong>the</strong> death and resurrection <strong>of</strong> a god,<br />

<strong>the</strong> idea <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> judgement <strong>of</strong> souls and<br />

a paradisiacal afterlife for <strong>the</strong> faithful, and<br />

The ankh as <strong>the</strong> symbol <strong>of</strong> eternal life<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

The ankh too, <strong>the</strong> Egyptian symbol for eternal life, is very similar to that <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> cross revered by<br />

Christians (especially <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> form <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Coptic cross, seen at right), itself also a symbol for eternal<br />

life.The Ankh was one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> earliest forms <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Christian cross called <strong>the</strong> "Crux Ansata" or 'cross<br />

with a handle'. It was adopted by early Coptic Christians." Fur<strong>the</strong>rmore, <strong>the</strong> belief that God had chosen<br />

Egypt as a safe place for His <strong>in</strong>fant son to hide him from Herod was a great source <strong>of</strong> pride to <strong>the</strong><br />

Egyptian Christians. It was through <strong>Christianity</strong> that <strong>the</strong> Egyptian culture survived <strong>the</strong> Roman<br />

Dom<strong>in</strong>ion.<br />

For a large variations <strong>in</strong> crosses see http://www.seiyaku.com/customs/crosses/coptic.html<br />

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The Church Suffer<strong>in</strong>g and Victorious<br />

HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Yet <strong>the</strong>se formative years were not without problems. Throughout this time <strong>Christianity</strong> <strong>in</strong> Egypt was<br />

locked <strong>in</strong> an <strong>of</strong>ten deadly struggle aga<strong>in</strong>st <strong>the</strong> poly<strong>the</strong>istic religions <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Greco-Roman culture as well<br />

as <strong>the</strong> Hellenistic movement that began <strong>in</strong> Alexandria spread to o<strong>the</strong>r large cities. To counter<br />

Hellenistic philosophy that <strong>of</strong>ten criticized <strong>the</strong> young religion <strong>the</strong> Christian leaders <strong>in</strong> Egypt established<br />

a catechetical school <strong>in</strong> Alexandria, <strong>the</strong> Didascalia, founded <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> late second century AD.<br />

http://www.touregypt.net/chiste1.htm<br />

(Didascalia Apostolorum, -translated as Teach<strong>in</strong>gs <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Apostle - is a Christian treatise which belongs to <strong>the</strong><br />

genre <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Church Orders. It presents itself as be<strong>in</strong>g written by <strong>the</strong> Twelve Apostles at <strong>the</strong> time <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Council<br />

<strong>of</strong> Jerusalem; however, scholars agree that it was actually a composition <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> 3rd century, perhaps around<br />

230 AD)<br />

This school became <strong>the</strong> heart <strong>of</strong> what can only be called Christian philosophy, and great teachers and<br />

orators such as Clement and Origen were able to battle <strong>the</strong> Hellenistic philosophers on <strong>the</strong>ir own<br />

ground and advocate <strong>Christianity</strong> <strong>in</strong> an orderly and <strong>in</strong>tellectual manner.<br />

It was also <strong>in</strong> this great university <strong>of</strong> Christian learn<strong>in</strong>g that <strong>Christianity</strong> first underwent rigorous studies<br />

that created its first <strong>the</strong>ology and dogma, as well as mak<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> new faith accessible to all. Pantaenus,<br />

<strong>the</strong> founder and first dean <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Didascalia, helped <strong>the</strong> Egyptian people bridge <strong>the</strong> gap between<br />

Dynastic Egypt and <strong>the</strong> new era by promot<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> use <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Greek alphabet <strong>in</strong>stead <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Demotic<br />

("cursive" hieroglyphics) <strong>in</strong> translations <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Bible as well as <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> writ<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> religious <strong>the</strong>ses and<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

letters. Additionally, <strong>the</strong> school educated everyone who came to it <strong>in</strong> Greek, open<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> study <strong>of</strong><br />

religion to just about everyone, and mak<strong>in</strong>g as many people as possible literate.<br />

Yet <strong>the</strong> greatest persecutions on <strong>the</strong> young religion came at <strong>the</strong> hands <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Roman government.<br />

Emperor Nero had set <strong>the</strong> precedent <strong>in</strong> AD 64, about <strong>the</strong> same time as <strong>the</strong> martyrdom <strong>of</strong> Sa<strong>in</strong>t Peter.<br />

Nero unleashed heavy punishments to all who refuse to pay homage to <strong>the</strong> Roman gods.<br />

It was <strong>in</strong> Egypt that some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> greatest defiances <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Romans by Christians were done. While <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

Roman counterparts worshiped <strong>in</strong> catacombs and underground vaults, <strong>the</strong> Egyptian Christians built<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir churches openly and performed <strong>the</strong>ir ceremonies <strong>in</strong> full view <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Empire. And for every one that<br />

<strong>the</strong> Empire struck down, more would be converted by <strong>the</strong> example <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> martyr.<br />

Diocletian was particularly brutal, execut<strong>in</strong>g so many Christians <strong>in</strong> 284 alone that <strong>the</strong> Coptic Church<br />

dates its calendar, <strong>the</strong> Calendar <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Martyrs (Anno Martyri) from that time. Despite <strong>the</strong>se<br />

persecutions, <strong>Christianity</strong> seems to have grown rapidly <strong>in</strong> Egypt, spread<strong>in</strong>g to Fayoum <strong>in</strong> 257 via<br />

Patriarch Dionysius, and <strong>in</strong> 260 even down <strong>in</strong>to <strong>the</strong> Thebaid. In 306 Constant<strong>in</strong>e became emperor and<br />

<strong>Christianity</strong> became <strong>the</strong> <strong>of</strong>ficial religion <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Roman Empire which <strong>in</strong>cluded Egypt and Nubian areas.<br />

The Nicene Creed, def<strong>in</strong>ed <strong>the</strong> faith which was <strong>the</strong> great contribution <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Council <strong>of</strong> Nicea.<br />

Athanasius <strong>of</strong> Alexandria was traditionally thought to be <strong>the</strong> author <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Athanasian Creed, which<br />

def<strong>in</strong>ed <strong>the</strong> Tr<strong>in</strong>ity doctr<strong>in</strong>e <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> church. Sa<strong>in</strong>t Athanasius, who composed it was a young Egyptian<br />

deacon who would later follow Alexandros as patriarch <strong>of</strong> Alexandria.<br />

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The Foundations <strong>of</strong> Monasticism<br />

HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Christian monasticism emerged as a genu<strong>in</strong>e movement dur<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> early fourth century<br />

The anonymous work, History <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Monks <strong>in</strong> Egypt, written at<br />

some time <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> fourth century, says <strong>of</strong> Egypt: "There is no town<br />

or village <strong>in</strong> Egypt or <strong>the</strong> Thebaid that is not surrounded by<br />

hermitages as if by walls, and <strong>the</strong> people depend on <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

prayers as if on God Himself...Through <strong>the</strong>m <strong>the</strong> world is kept <strong>in</strong><br />

be<strong>in</strong>g."It is Sa<strong>in</strong>t Anthony <strong>of</strong> Egypt who is credited with <strong>the</strong><br />

found<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> monasticism, along with his fellow countryman Sa<strong>in</strong>t<br />

Pachomius. Indeed, it is<br />

women who are to be<br />

truly credited with <strong>the</strong><br />

orig<strong>in</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> monastic<br />

vocation. Yet Anthony<br />

was <strong>the</strong> one who gave<br />

<strong>the</strong> idea to move <strong>the</strong><br />

monastic community<br />

away from <strong>the</strong><br />

distractions <strong>of</strong> society and <strong>the</strong> city and <strong>in</strong>to <strong>the</strong> wilderness,<br />

which he did, found<strong>in</strong>g his first hermitage <strong>in</strong> AD 305.<br />

Today <strong>the</strong>re are two types <strong>of</strong> monasteries. There was <strong>the</strong><br />

eremetical, or hermit, style sytem where <strong>the</strong> hermits left <strong>the</strong><br />

community and lived an isolated meditational life and <strong>the</strong><br />

cenobitic, monasteries <strong>in</strong> which <strong>the</strong> residents led a communal<br />

life.<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

The eremetical Hermits<br />

http://www.stuartfreedman.com/-/photos/archives/ethiopia-christianity<br />

The monastery at Debre Damo <strong>in</strong> Tigrayan Mounta<strong>in</strong>s <strong>of</strong> Nor<strong>the</strong>rn Ethiopia.<br />

Gett<strong>in</strong>g to it is arduous – <strong>the</strong> last stretch is achieved via an 80 foot rope.<br />

The eremetical hermits lived an isolated life away from <strong>the</strong> active community ei<strong>the</strong>r <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> wilderness or<br />

<strong>in</strong> grave yards <strong>of</strong>ter tak<strong>in</strong>g vows <strong>of</strong> not talk<strong>in</strong>g for days toge<strong>the</strong>r and spend<strong>in</strong>g time <strong>in</strong> meditation.<br />

Almost every graveyard <strong>in</strong> Ethiopia was <strong>in</strong>habited by a monk who rema<strong>in</strong> isolated and lives just on <strong>the</strong><br />

food supplied by <strong>the</strong> believers who rely on <strong>the</strong>ir prayers. I don’t know whe<strong>the</strong>r it is still true today.<br />

Fifty years ago I have seen <strong>the</strong>m <strong>the</strong>re.<br />

The Cenobitic Ascetics<br />

The cenobitic ascetics lived very similar lives to <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>rs <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir type. They took vows <strong>of</strong> chastity<br />

and poverty, and if part <strong>of</strong> a monastic community, obedience to <strong>the</strong> abbot. They practiced long and<br />

frequent fasts, some absta<strong>in</strong>ed from alcohol and meat, and <strong>the</strong>y supported <strong>the</strong>mselves by do<strong>in</strong>g<br />

services for <strong>the</strong> lay people nearby, such as help<strong>in</strong>g with labor or <strong>the</strong> sell<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> some small handicrafts.<br />

The largest monasteries were <strong>of</strong>ten self-sufficient, own<strong>in</strong>g farms and herds, as well as mak<strong>in</strong>g<br />

everyth<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>y needed, from <strong>the</strong> clo<strong>the</strong>s <strong>the</strong>y wore to <strong>the</strong> bread that was on <strong>the</strong>ir table. If <strong>the</strong>y did<br />

make any money for anyth<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>y did, <strong>the</strong>y kept only what <strong>the</strong>y needed to subsist and gave <strong>the</strong> rest to<br />

<strong>the</strong> poor.<br />

Apostle Mat<strong>the</strong>w and Ethiopian M<strong>in</strong>istry<br />

http://www.mcah.columbia.edu/courses/medmil/pages/non-mma-pages/text_l<strong>in</strong>ks/gl_mat<strong>the</strong>w.html<br />

A book called Pseudo-Abdias recounts that Mat<strong>the</strong>w traveled to Naddaver, Ethiopia. With <strong>the</strong> help <strong>of</strong><br />

Candacis, <strong>the</strong> eunuch whom Philip had converted (Acts 8:26-40), Mat<strong>the</strong>w defeated <strong>the</strong> two magicians<br />

<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> city and <strong>the</strong>ir dragons. After this <strong>the</strong> k<strong>in</strong>g’s son died, and <strong>the</strong> magicians could not raise him.<br />

Mat<strong>the</strong>w was successful <strong>in</strong> rais<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> pr<strong>in</strong>ce, and ra<strong>the</strong>r than allow<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> people to sacrifice to him as<br />

if he were a god, he persuaded <strong>the</strong>m to build a church. They did, and Mat<strong>the</strong>w presided <strong>the</strong>re for many<br />

years, and many people, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> royal family, were baptized. The k<strong>in</strong>g was succeeded by his<br />

bro<strong>the</strong>r, who wanted to marry <strong>the</strong> pr<strong>in</strong>cess Ephigenia. The new k<strong>in</strong>g asked Mat<strong>the</strong>w to persuade her to<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

marry him, and at first it seemed that Mat<strong>the</strong>w would comply. He preached about <strong>the</strong> merits <strong>of</strong><br />

marriage, which pleased <strong>the</strong> k<strong>in</strong>g, but <strong>the</strong>n Mat<strong>the</strong>w declared that because Ephigenia had vowed<br />

chastity and was presid<strong>in</strong>g over two hundred sacred virg<strong>in</strong>s, it would be sacrilegious for her to marry<br />

<strong>the</strong> k<strong>in</strong>g. Enraged by his <strong>in</strong>ability to marry <strong>the</strong> pr<strong>in</strong>cess, <strong>the</strong> k<strong>in</strong>g sent a soldier that stabbed Mat<strong>the</strong>w <strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> back while he was pray<strong>in</strong>g, and Mat<strong>the</strong>w died. Despite <strong>the</strong> many efforts <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> k<strong>in</strong>g, Ephigenia<br />

never married him, and <strong>the</strong> k<strong>in</strong>g died at his own hand.<br />

There are disagreement about his martyrdom among <strong>the</strong> scholars. In <strong>the</strong> alternative story <strong>the</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

ennuch mentioned <strong>in</strong> Acts was <strong>the</strong> m<strong>in</strong>ister <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> court <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Queen <strong>of</strong> Nuba.<br />

36


HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

CHAPTER FOUR<br />

CUSH, ETHIOPIA<br />

AND THE SOLOMON CONNECTION<br />

In <strong>the</strong> Bible we are <strong>in</strong>troduced to an unnamed queen from <strong>the</strong> land <strong>of</strong> Sheba who traveled to<br />

Jerusalem to meet K<strong>in</strong>g Solomon (see 1 K<strong>in</strong>gs 10; 2 Chronicles 9). Accompanied by many attendants<br />

and camels, <strong>the</strong> Queen <strong>of</strong> Sheba brought a large quantity <strong>of</strong> spices, gold and precious stones with her.<br />

She was drawn to Jerusalem because <strong>of</strong> Solomon’s fame, and she tested <strong>the</strong> k<strong>in</strong>g with hard questions.<br />

Solomon was able to answer <strong>the</strong>m all. Impressed by Solomon’s wisdom—and by <strong>the</strong> riches <strong>of</strong> his<br />

k<strong>in</strong>gdom—she proclaimed, “Your wisdom and prosperity far surpass <strong>the</strong> report that I had heard” (1<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

K<strong>in</strong>gs 10:7). The Queen <strong>of</strong> Sheba gave K<strong>in</strong>g Solomon 120 talents <strong>of</strong> gold, precious stones and <strong>the</strong><br />

largest quantity <strong>of</strong> spices ever brought to Jerusalem (1 K<strong>in</strong>gs 10:10). In return K<strong>in</strong>g Solomon gives <strong>the</strong><br />

Queen <strong>of</strong> Sheba gifts and “every desire that she expressed” (1 K<strong>in</strong>gs 10:13). After receiv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>se gifts,<br />

<strong>the</strong> queen returned to <strong>the</strong> land <strong>of</strong> Sheba with her ret<strong>in</strong>ue. This is <strong>the</strong> story as given <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Bible.<br />

https://www.thoughtco.com/who-was-<strong>the</strong>-queen-<strong>of</strong>-sheba-3528524<br />

http://www.pbs.org/mythsandheroes/myths_four_sheba.html<br />

But <strong>the</strong> question rema<strong>in</strong>ed was. What was <strong>the</strong> name <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Queen <strong>of</strong> Sheba?.<br />

Where is this k<strong>in</strong>gdom known as Sheba? Old testament gives <strong>the</strong> name <strong>of</strong> Seba/Sheba <strong>in</strong> its table <strong>of</strong><br />

nations among <strong>the</strong> children <strong>of</strong> Noah and <strong>the</strong>ir descendance.<br />

Seba is <strong>the</strong> grand son <strong>of</strong> Ham and we also have a Sheba as <strong>the</strong> great grandson <strong>of</strong> Ham.<br />

There are however several suggestion <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Table <strong>of</strong> nations given <strong>in</strong>. Genesis 10:7 There is person<br />

called 'Seba'. But 'Sheba' is mentioned as a grandson <strong>of</strong> Cush via Raamah <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> same list. Cush<br />

or Kush has been associated with <strong>the</strong> empire <strong>of</strong> Kush, a land south <strong>of</strong> Egypt.- Ethiopia. It is also<br />

associated with <strong>the</strong> North Indian mounta<strong>in</strong>ous territories <strong>of</strong> H<strong>in</strong>dukush. We can identify <strong>the</strong> wide area<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Cushite region both <strong>in</strong> Africa, Yemen and India. The Sabaeans were a Semitic people who, at<br />

an unknown date, entered sou<strong>the</strong>rn Arabia from <strong>the</strong> north, impos<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>ir Semitic culture .<br />

The country Sheba or Saba, whose name means Host <strong>of</strong> Heaven and peace, was Abyss<strong>in</strong>ia. Located<br />

<strong>in</strong> southwest Arabia on <strong>the</strong> eastern tip <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Red Sea, Sheba was thriv<strong>in</strong>g about 3000 years ago and<br />

occupied 483,000 square miles <strong>of</strong> mounta<strong>in</strong>s, valleys (wadis) and deserts <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> area <strong>of</strong> present day<br />

Yemen. Ethiopia, on <strong>the</strong> western end <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Red Sea, was also part <strong>of</strong> Sheba's territory.<br />

Incense Route<br />

Sheba was a wealthy country with an advanced irrigation system. Its people, <strong>the</strong> Sabaeans, built dams<br />

as high as 60 feet with spans <strong>of</strong> almost a mile. They cut large ear<strong>the</strong>n wells <strong>in</strong>to <strong>the</strong> Earth, which<br />

allowed <strong>the</strong>m to irrigate <strong>the</strong>ir abundant gardens. Sheba was also rich <strong>in</strong> gold and o<strong>the</strong>r precious stones.<br />

But her real wealth was <strong>in</strong> her exclusive trade <strong>in</strong> frank<strong>in</strong>cense and exotic spices sought by neighbor<strong>in</strong>g<br />

k<strong>in</strong>gdoms.<br />

Sheba also had a very lucrative caravan trade. By 1000 B.C., camels frequently traveled <strong>the</strong> 1400<br />

miles up <strong>the</strong> "Incense Road" and along <strong>the</strong> Red Sea to Israel. The Road began <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> port <strong>of</strong> Al<br />

Mukulla and Bir Ali where ships would br<strong>in</strong>g goods from distant India and <strong>the</strong> Orient.<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Frank<strong>in</strong>cense (Boswellia) and <strong>My</strong>rrh (Commiphora) species are economically and ecologically<br />

important plant species found ma<strong>in</strong>ly <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> horn <strong>of</strong> Africa: Ethiopia and also <strong>in</strong> Yemen . They are<br />

obta<strong>in</strong>ed from aromatic gum res<strong>in</strong>s. Frank<strong>in</strong>cense was used as an <strong>of</strong>fer<strong>in</strong>g to <strong>the</strong> gods and its rich<br />

perfumed smoke would rise like prayers to <strong>the</strong> heavens. It's aroma also made it valuable dur<strong>in</strong>g<br />

cremations and it was <strong>of</strong>ten heaped on funeral pyres. Ano<strong>the</strong>r Sabaean spice was <strong>My</strong>rrh, an <strong>in</strong>gredient<br />

<strong>in</strong> fragrant oils and cosmetics. It was also used <strong>in</strong> prepar<strong>in</strong>g bodies for burial.<br />

The k<strong>in</strong>gdom <strong>of</strong> Saba was so dependent on <strong>the</strong> spice route that when <strong>the</strong> caravans stopped arriv<strong>in</strong>g<br />

dur<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> 6th century BC, as a result <strong>of</strong> new trails, <strong>the</strong> Sabaean economy collapsed. Never<strong>the</strong>less,<br />

<strong>the</strong> k<strong>in</strong>gdom cont<strong>in</strong>ued to exist until <strong>the</strong> 3rd century AD, when it was conquered by <strong>the</strong> Himyarites.<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Sabaeans were Black people<br />

The Sabaeans have been described as a tall and command<strong>in</strong>g people, both woolly-haired and<br />

straight-haired. Semitic <strong>in</strong> orig<strong>in</strong>, <strong>the</strong>y are believed to have been descendents <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Cush <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Bible.<br />

The sacred Ethiopian book which establishes <strong>the</strong> founder <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Ethiopian dynasty as <strong>the</strong> son <strong>of</strong><br />

Solomon and Sheba, suggests that <strong>the</strong> Sabaeans were black.<br />

"Ye are black <strong>of</strong> face - but if God illum<strong>in</strong>eth your hearts, noth<strong>in</strong>g can <strong>in</strong>jure you," priest Azariah says to<br />

<strong>the</strong> Queen and her people <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Kebra Negast.<br />

Religion: Sun and Moon worship<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Their ma<strong>in</strong> temple - Mahram Bilqis, or temple <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> moon god (situated about three miles from <strong>the</strong><br />

capital city <strong>of</strong> Marib) - was so famous that it rema<strong>in</strong>ed sacred even after <strong>the</strong> collapse <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sabean<br />

civilisation <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> sixth century BC - caused by <strong>the</strong> rerout<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> spice trail. They also worshipped <strong>the</strong><br />

Sun god. The circular sun with<strong>in</strong> a crescent moon was <strong>the</strong> symbol <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sabaens everywhere until it<br />

was replaced by <strong>the</strong> Abrahamic religions.<br />

S<strong>in</strong>ce Sheba was a center <strong>of</strong> astronomical wisdom and <strong>the</strong> Queen or K<strong>in</strong>g was chief Astronomer and<br />

Astrologer. Religious life <strong>in</strong>volved worship <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sun and Moon. Shams was <strong>the</strong> Sun god.<br />

In <strong>the</strong> Kebra Negast, <strong>the</strong> Queen tells Solomon, "We worship <strong>the</strong> sun...for he cooketh our food, and<br />

moreoever he illum<strong>in</strong>eth <strong>the</strong> darkness, and removeth fear; we call him 'our K<strong>in</strong>g,' and we call him 'our<br />

Creator'....And <strong>the</strong>re are o<strong>the</strong>rs among our subjects.... some worship stones, and some worship trees,<br />

and some worship carved figures, and some worship images <strong>of</strong> gold and silver."<br />

The Great Goddess who dwelt <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> sacred black aniconic stone was given <strong>the</strong> title Shayba by <strong>the</strong><br />

Arabic-Aramaen people. Shayba represented <strong>the</strong> Moon <strong>in</strong> its threefold aspect - wax<strong>in</strong>g, (maiden), full<br />

(pregnant mo<strong>the</strong>r), and wan<strong>in</strong>g (old wise woman or crone). But <strong>the</strong> primary Sabaean Moon god was<br />

Ilmukah or Ilumguh, identified with <strong>the</strong> god S<strong>in</strong> <strong>of</strong> Assyro-Babylonian mythology. S<strong>in</strong> was portrayed as<br />

an old man with an azure beard, <strong>the</strong> color <strong>of</strong> lapis lazuli, and a turbaned head. Wear<strong>in</strong>g a crown<br />

shaped like a full moon, S<strong>in</strong> rode a crescent moon-boat from which he navigated <strong>the</strong> night sky. Also<br />

called He-Whose-Deep-Heart-No-God-Can-Penetrate, he dispersed evil and darkness, and <strong>in</strong>spired<br />

his believers with dreams and prophecies.<br />

http://www.w<strong>in</strong>dweaver.com/sheba/Sheba.htm<br />

A Moon goddess worshiped by <strong>the</strong> Sabaeans was Astarte, or Ashtart, whom <strong>the</strong>y called Astar, which<br />

means "womb." The giver and destroyer <strong>of</strong> life, Astar was Queen <strong>of</strong> Heaven and Mo<strong>the</strong>r <strong>of</strong> all Deities.<br />

Arriv<strong>in</strong>g from heaven as a ball <strong>of</strong> fire, and accompanied by a lioness, she was pictured with horns, and<br />

a disc <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> sun above her forehead.<br />

The earliest known Arabian temple was at Marib, capital <strong>of</strong> Sheba, and was called Mahram Bilqus,<br />

"prec<strong>in</strong>cts <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Queen <strong>of</strong> Sheba." In Arab lore, this queen was named Bilqus or Balkis; <strong>in</strong> Ethiopia,<br />

Makeda (also Magda, Maqda and Makera), mean<strong>in</strong>g "Greatness." Years later, <strong>the</strong> historian Josephus,<br />

referred to her as Nikaulis, Queen <strong>of</strong> Ethiopia and Egypt.<br />

Saba was known by <strong>the</strong> Hebrews as Sheba, and it survives today <strong>in</strong> a slight modified name Saba =<br />

Sa'abia = Saudi Arabia. Marib <strong>the</strong> capital <strong>of</strong> Seba still rema<strong>in</strong> with <strong>the</strong> Yemen.<br />

http://www.historyfiles.co.uk/K<strong>in</strong>gListsMiddEast/ArabicSaba.htm<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Left: Marib Dam<br />

Right: Redesign <strong>of</strong> what Marib Dam was<br />

by <strong>the</strong> University <strong>of</strong> Calgary and <strong>the</strong> American Foundation for Anthropology. ( CC BY SA 4.0 )<br />

These walls reached a height <strong>of</strong> about 15 meters (49.21 ft.), and <strong>the</strong> thickness at its base was 60<br />

meters (196.85 ft.) The dam ran 720 meters (2362.2 ft.) across <strong>the</strong> Dhana valley. The dam broke <strong>in</strong><br />

450 AD, and once more <strong>in</strong> 542 AD. The Himyarites repaired <strong>the</strong> dam on both occasions. In 570 AD,<br />

however, <strong>the</strong> dam broke for <strong>the</strong> third and last time. The cause <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> collapse is a matter <strong>of</strong> debate<br />

amongst scholars. Some argue that it was an earthquake that destroyed <strong>the</strong> dam, whilst o<strong>the</strong>rs blame<br />

it on exceptional ra<strong>in</strong>s. Yet local legends claim it was large rats that caused <strong>the</strong> breach by bit<strong>in</strong>g and<br />

scratch<strong>in</strong>g at <strong>the</strong> dam’s base. At some po<strong>in</strong>t <strong>the</strong> dam, now <strong>in</strong> a poor state <strong>of</strong> repair, was f<strong>in</strong>ally<br />

breached. The irrigation system was lost, <strong>the</strong> people abandoned <strong>the</strong> site with<strong>in</strong> a year or so, and <strong>the</strong><br />

temple fell <strong>in</strong>to disrepair and was eventually covered by sand.<br />

Maʾrib, lies 75 miles east <strong>of</strong> present-day Sanaa, <strong>in</strong> Yemen. Today, Marib is <strong>the</strong> capital city <strong>of</strong> Ma'rib<br />

Governorate <strong>of</strong> Yemen. It was <strong>the</strong> capital <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> ancient k<strong>in</strong>gdom <strong>of</strong> Saba, which was <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> trade route<br />

and practically controlled it. Dat<strong>in</strong>g from at least 1050 BC, Marib was <strong>the</strong>n a lush oasis teem<strong>in</strong>g with<br />

palm trees and exotic plants. Ideally placed, it was situated on <strong>the</strong> trade routes and with a unique dam<br />

<strong>of</strong> vast proportions. It was also one <strong>of</strong> only two ma<strong>in</strong> sources <strong>of</strong> frank<strong>in</strong>cense (<strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r be<strong>in</strong>g East<br />

42


HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Africa), so Saba had a virtual monopoly <strong>of</strong> it.<br />

Solomon.<br />

This was one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> gifts <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Queen <strong>of</strong> Sheba to<br />

c.1020 BC Legends, folk memories and religious accounts conta<strong>in</strong> various versions <strong>of</strong> Saba's most<br />

famous ruler. Generally, she is believed to have been born <strong>in</strong> 1020 BC <strong>in</strong> Ophir and educated <strong>in</strong><br />

Ethiopia which was part <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> country <strong>of</strong> Saba or<br />

Sheba.. Her mo<strong>the</strong>r was Queen Ismenie, Her name was<br />

Balkis who ruled Sheba from c 1005 to 965 BC,<br />

Accord<strong>in</strong>g to <strong>the</strong> Old Testament, <strong>in</strong> c.1000 BC <strong>the</strong><br />

Queen <strong>of</strong> Sheba visited Solomon <strong>of</strong> Israel, bear<strong>in</strong>g<br />

riches, and was seduced by him. N<strong>in</strong>e months after her<br />

return from Israel she bore a son, and was named<br />

Menelik. When he came <strong>of</strong> age Menelik was given <strong>the</strong><br />

territory <strong>of</strong> African cushite area known as Ethiopia with<br />

its capital as Aksum as his people.<br />

A medieval depiction <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Queen <strong>of</strong> Sheba rid<strong>in</strong>g a horse<br />

http://www.viewzone.com/sheba.country.html<br />

Sheba:<br />

Matriarchial K<strong>in</strong>gdom with Virg<strong>in</strong> Queens<br />

Because <strong>of</strong> its isolation, Sheba was secure from military <strong>in</strong>vasion for at least 500 years, and was<br />

<strong>in</strong>dependent and at peace with its neighbors dur<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> 11th and 10th century B.C. History reveals that<br />

at least five k<strong>in</strong>gs preceded <strong>the</strong> Queen <strong>of</strong> Sheba - among <strong>the</strong>m Iti'amra and Karibi-ilu. Yet Arabian<br />

documents portray all <strong>of</strong> Arabia as matriarchal and ruled by queens for over 1000 years. In Ethiopia,<br />

<strong>the</strong> Kebra Negast even refers to a law established <strong>in</strong> Sheba that only a woman could reign, and<br />

that she must be a virg<strong>in</strong> queen.<br />

Numerous legends refer to <strong>the</strong> female-centered clans, matriarchal practices, and matril<strong>in</strong>eal<br />

<strong>in</strong>heritance <strong>of</strong> ancient Arabia and surround<strong>in</strong>g countries. In Assyria, <strong>the</strong> head <strong>of</strong> a family was called <strong>the</strong><br />

"shebu," and was orig<strong>in</strong>ally a female, or matriarch. In o<strong>the</strong>r mideastern <strong>lands</strong>, polyandry was<br />

sanctioned - a woman could marry several husbands, who left <strong>the</strong>ir own families to live with hers; she<br />

could also <strong>in</strong>itiate divorce by turn<strong>in</strong>g her tent to face east for three nights <strong>in</strong> a row. Before <strong>the</strong> onset <strong>of</strong><br />

patriarchy, women may have experienced superior - or at least equal - rights with men.<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Kebra Nagast- The Glory <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> K<strong>in</strong>gs<br />

http://www.yorku.ca/<strong>in</strong>par/kebra_budge.pdf<br />

http://eotc.rastafari.tv/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/kebra-Negast.pdf<br />

http://www.salvationano<strong>in</strong>ted.com/thief-<strong>in</strong>-<strong>the</strong>-night-newsletter-halloween/1922-<strong>the</strong>-kebra-nagast-by-e-a-w-budge-history<strong>of</strong>-ethiopia/<br />

Kebra Nagast (KN) was to enhance <strong>the</strong> prestige <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Ethiopian monarchs as descendants <strong>of</strong><br />

Solomon and Makeda (<strong>the</strong> Queen <strong>of</strong> Sheba) and guardians <strong>of</strong> Judeo-<strong>Christianity</strong>. It was written <strong>in</strong><br />

Ethiopia by <strong>the</strong> six century A.D.<br />

There seems to be difference <strong>of</strong> op<strong>in</strong>ion.<br />

Accord<strong>in</strong>g to <strong>the</strong> Kebra Nagast,we have a description <strong>of</strong><br />

(Matt. xii, 42), who was shrewd, <strong>in</strong>telligent <strong>in</strong><br />

m<strong>in</strong>d, beautiful <strong>in</strong> face and form, and exceed<strong>in</strong>gly rich. She carried on a large bus<strong>in</strong>ess on land by<br />

means <strong>of</strong> caravans, and on sea by means <strong>of</strong> ships, and she traded with <strong>the</strong> merchants <strong>of</strong> India and<br />

Nubia and Aswân (Syene). As <strong>the</strong> Queen came from <strong>the</strong> south her home was probably <strong>in</strong> Sou<strong>the</strong>rn<br />

Arabia, and she is far more likely to have been <strong>of</strong> Arab than Ethiopian orig<strong>in</strong>.<br />

The head <strong>of</strong> her trad<strong>in</strong>g caravans was Tâmr<strong>in</strong>, a clever man <strong>of</strong> affairs who directed <strong>the</strong> operations <strong>of</strong><br />

520 camels and 73 ships (Chap. 22)<br />

Hav<strong>in</strong>g heard <strong>of</strong> Solomon's wisdom Queen Makeda travelled to Jerusalem herself to see and hear<br />

Solomon.<br />

Dur<strong>in</strong>g her stay <strong>in</strong> Jerusalem Mâkëdâ conversed daily (Chaps. 26, 27) with Solomon, and she learned<br />

from him about <strong>the</strong> God <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Hebrews, <strong>the</strong> Creator <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> heavens and <strong>the</strong> earth. She herself<br />

worshiped <strong>the</strong> sun, moon and stars, and trees, and idols <strong>of</strong> gold and silver, but under <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>fluence <strong>of</strong><br />

Solomon’s beautiful voice and eloquent words she renounced Sâbâism, and worshiped not <strong>the</strong> sun but<br />

<strong>the</strong> sun’s Creator, <strong>the</strong> God <strong>of</strong> Israel (Chap. 28). And she vowed that her seed after her should adore<br />

<strong>the</strong> Tabernacle <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> God <strong>of</strong> Israel, <strong>the</strong> abode <strong>of</strong> God upon earth.<br />

Solomon had 400 wives and 600 concub<strong>in</strong>es from all parts <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> world.<br />

a 1000 children who would grow like <strong>the</strong> stars <strong>of</strong> heaven and <strong>the</strong> sands <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> earth.<br />

The idea was to get at least<br />

Queen Makeda had a love affair with K<strong>in</strong>g Solomon. Makeda <strong>the</strong>n returned to <strong>the</strong> land <strong>of</strong><br />

Sheba—gave birth to a son, Menelik,<strong>in</strong> due time.<br />

http://www.viewzone.com/huge-sheeba.html<br />

The Yemen Museum <strong>in</strong> Sana'a displays this stone which speaks <strong>of</strong> Menelik as <strong>the</strong> son <strong>of</strong> Solomon and<br />

Sheba.<br />

44


HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

This picture on <strong>the</strong> right, <strong>of</strong> young child, was found <strong>in</strong> a<br />

dessert temple - <strong>the</strong> Mahram Bilqis or Temple <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Moon God<br />

- <strong>in</strong> Yemen which dates back to <strong>the</strong> period <strong>of</strong> Queen <strong>of</strong> Sheba's<br />

visit to Solomon. The script on it reads; " But <strong>the</strong> miracle is<br />

<strong>the</strong> son redeemed <strong>the</strong> dwell<strong>in</strong>g place <strong>the</strong> Lord and mo<strong>the</strong>r<br />

Love. The Universe <strong>of</strong> god's house is produced from<br />

love.<br />

Menelik was raised <strong>in</strong> Ethiopia, but when he turned 22, he traveled to Jerusalem to meet his fa<strong>the</strong>r.<br />

K<strong>in</strong>g Solomon was delighted with his firstborn son and tried <strong>in</strong> va<strong>in</strong> to conv<strong>in</strong>ce Menelik to rema<strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong><br />

Israel and succeed him as k<strong>in</strong>g. However, Menelik chose to return to <strong>the</strong> land <strong>of</strong> Sheba. Before he was<br />

allowed to go back as K<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> Ethiopia, Zadok <strong>the</strong> priest and Benaiah, <strong>the</strong> son <strong>of</strong> Jehoiada,<br />

ano<strong>in</strong>ted Bayna-Lekem k<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Holy <strong>of</strong> Holies (Chap. 39); <strong>the</strong> name which he received at his<br />

ano<strong>in</strong>t<strong>in</strong>g was David II, <strong>the</strong> name <strong>of</strong> his grandfa<strong>the</strong>r. Then Solomon commanded Zadok to describe to<br />

<strong>the</strong> young K<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> Ethiopia <strong>the</strong> curses that would fall upon him if he failed to obey . God’s commands<br />

(Chap. 40), and <strong>the</strong> bless<strong>in</strong>gs if he followed God's commands. Then he was allowed to go to his<br />

mo<strong>the</strong>r"s K<strong>in</strong>gdom. Accord<strong>in</strong>g to <strong>the</strong> Kebra Nagast, K<strong>in</strong>g Solomon send one son <strong>of</strong> each <strong>of</strong> his nobles<br />

and one son <strong>of</strong> each temple priest to go with Menelik upon his return to his mo<strong>the</strong>r's k<strong>in</strong>gdom.<br />

Solomon also had a replica <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Ark <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Covenant made for him to take with <strong>the</strong>m so that he can<br />

have a prayer room made with it..<br />

45


HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

The boy however stole <strong>the</strong> orig<strong>in</strong>al Ark <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Covenant which were carried by Levites and went back<br />

to Ethiopia - his K<strong>in</strong>gdom. He had <strong>the</strong> copy <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Ark placed <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> temple and took <strong>the</strong> orig<strong>in</strong>al Ark.<br />

Solomon requested all <strong>the</strong> first born <strong>of</strong> levites to go with Menelik to his Empire and help him. These<br />

levites carried <strong>the</strong> orig<strong>in</strong>al Ark <strong>in</strong> accordance with <strong>the</strong> Law <strong>of</strong> Moses safely to Ethiopia. The Tslate Musi<br />

- <strong>the</strong> Ark <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Covenant, was kept on <strong>the</strong> island <strong>of</strong> Tana Kirqos <strong>in</strong> Lake Tana, near Gondar, for<br />

more than 900 years. . Those who came with Menelik I, form <strong>the</strong> Jews <strong>of</strong> Ethiopia who were called<br />

Beta Israel. To this day, many Ethiopians believe that <strong>the</strong> Ark <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Covenant resides with<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Chapel <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Tablet next to <strong>the</strong> Church <strong>of</strong> Maryam Tsion <strong>in</strong> Aksum, Ethiopia. Every Orthodox Church<br />

<strong>of</strong> Ethiopia has a copy <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Ark. Even when Haile Selassie was <strong>in</strong> exile <strong>in</strong> England at <strong>the</strong> time <strong>of</strong><br />

Italian occupation <strong>of</strong> Ethiopia, he took a copy <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Ark with him to his home so that he can worship as<br />

if he is <strong>in</strong> an Ethiopian Church.<br />

“The Ethiopian k<strong>in</strong>gs are seen as direct descendants <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> House <strong>of</strong> David, rulers by div<strong>in</strong>e right.”<br />

Archaeological and historical sources document a K<strong>in</strong>gdom <strong>of</strong> Saba (Sheba) dur<strong>in</strong>g Biblical times <strong>in</strong><br />

modern-day Yemen. Menelik I, first Solomonic Emperor <strong>of</strong> Ethiopia, is traditionally believed to be <strong>the</strong><br />

son <strong>of</strong> K<strong>in</strong>g Solomon <strong>of</strong> ancient Israel and Makeda, ancient Queen <strong>of</strong> Sheba. He is alleged to have<br />

ruled around 950 BC, accord<strong>in</strong>g to traditional sources.<br />

The <strong>in</strong>scriptions translated by archeologist Gary Vey <strong>in</strong> recent years seem to <strong>in</strong>dicate that Menelik I<br />

took <strong>the</strong> Ark <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> covenant with him when he was old to Yemen and placed <strong>the</strong> Ark <strong>in</strong> a room and<br />

closed himself with it.<br />

++++++++++++++++++++++><br />

This <strong>in</strong>scription on large area is <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Museum <strong>of</strong> Yemen<br />

http://www.viewzone.com/yemenasitis.html<br />

http://www.viewzone.com/yemenasitis2.html<br />

"Here is <strong>the</strong> story:<br />

Menelek, <strong>the</strong> only son <strong>of</strong> Queen Saba (i.e. Queen Sheba) and Solomon, was depressed when he<br />

learned that his fa<strong>the</strong>r's k<strong>in</strong>gdom had been overcome and <strong>the</strong> Temple <strong>in</strong> Jerusalem was sacked. His<br />

grief was deep ("...<strong>the</strong> happ<strong>in</strong>ess <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Son was poisoned...") and this worried his mo<strong>the</strong>r. Shortly<br />

46


HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

after this <strong>in</strong>vasion <strong>of</strong> Jerusalem, Menelik received word that <strong>the</strong> Ark <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Covenant (<strong>the</strong> "box/cell<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Lord" AT-EL), formerly housed <strong>in</strong> Solomon's Temple, was relocated for its protection.<br />

The text refers to an "oath" that was taken by Menelik to protect <strong>the</strong> Ark, apparently consummated by<br />

a r<strong>in</strong>g that was given to Menelik when he visited Solomon as a young man. Menelik also received a<br />

warn<strong>in</strong>g from Nathan, his half-bro<strong>the</strong>r, that <strong>the</strong> Ark could be harmful to his health and that it had<br />

caused vision problems and "trembl<strong>in</strong>g" when Nathan had attempted to <strong>in</strong>teract with it. Menelik<br />

retrieves <strong>the</strong> Ark but has none <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se adversities and eagerly <strong>in</strong>teracts with this "box <strong>of</strong> El",<br />

eventually construct<strong>in</strong>g a special underground chamber where he stores <strong>the</strong> Ark and converses<br />

through it with <strong>the</strong> Lord.<br />

As <strong>the</strong> danger <strong>of</strong> <strong>in</strong>vad<strong>in</strong>g enemies becomes real for <strong>the</strong> k<strong>in</strong>gdom <strong>of</strong> Saba, Menelik announces that <strong>the</strong><br />

Lord has <strong>in</strong>structed him to enter <strong>the</strong> underground chamber with <strong>the</strong> Ark, and to have <strong>the</strong> entire<br />

construction covered with sand to conceal it from hostile forces. Menelik <strong>in</strong>forms his mo<strong>the</strong>r, Queen<br />

Saba, that he will rema<strong>in</strong> buried with <strong>the</strong> Ark for a long period <strong>of</strong> time, until a "friendly" nation is<br />

overhead.<br />

Follow<strong>in</strong>g her only son's <strong>in</strong>structions, Menelik is buried with <strong>the</strong> Ark. However, his mo<strong>the</strong>r has a<br />

smaller chamber constructed adjacent to <strong>the</strong> Ark chamber with a secret peephole ("...aperture...") so<br />

that she can monitor his condition. She secretly plans to open <strong>the</strong> chamber and rescue her son should<br />

he be <strong>in</strong> danger and has had one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> chamber walls constructed without mortar.<br />

On many occasions, Queen Saba viewed her son <strong>in</strong>side <strong>the</strong> chamber. She mentions that he received<br />

a future revelation from <strong>the</strong> Ark, which sounded to her like thunder. As she watched Menelik <strong>in</strong>teract<br />

with <strong>the</strong> Ark, she noted that he trembled and shook from <strong>the</strong> visions that were be<strong>in</strong>g shown to him.<br />

As time passed, <strong>the</strong> thunder<strong>in</strong>g noise and movement <strong>of</strong> her son ceased. Upon open<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> secret<br />

peephole, <strong>the</strong> Queen saw a worm crawl out. This suggested that maybe Menelik had died. The Queen<br />

was determ<strong>in</strong>ed to open <strong>the</strong> chamber and rescue her son but she recalled his faith and remembered<br />

his words, that he would be buried for "a long time." She wept ("...cried an ocean <strong>of</strong> tears...") that his<br />

vision <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> future also <strong>in</strong>cluded <strong>the</strong> revelation that she had doubted his word and she prayed that he<br />

would forgive her for her doubts.<br />

Determ<strong>in</strong>ed to honor her son's wishes, Queen Saba has <strong>the</strong> chamber re<strong>in</strong>forced with more stone and<br />

mortar. She consults with <strong>the</strong> builders and masons to design an enclosure that would protect <strong>the</strong><br />

buried chamber from future earthquakes, floods, salt (?) and o<strong>the</strong>r natural disasters. The chamber was<br />

thus made more sturdy and a large dam was constructed around <strong>the</strong> buried chamber to protect it from<br />

water and floods. This oval dam bares <strong>the</strong> story, <strong>in</strong>scribed <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> old language.<br />

The Queen <strong>the</strong>n "dimmed" her k<strong>in</strong>gdom [see right Translation: The Mo<strong>the</strong>r (M) dimmed (AMYM) her<br />

nation (LM) because <strong>of</strong> (YN) <strong>the</strong> good Lord's (ligature-EL) goodness/sign (TV).] <strong>in</strong> Yemen and moved<br />

47


HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

her entourage to Ethiopia, confounded her language to Himyaritic, a copy <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Ark was made and<br />

she allowed <strong>the</strong> buried palace and its courtyard to be consumed by <strong>the</strong> desert sands. There it<br />

rema<strong>in</strong>ed for almost 3000 years until it was discovered by Wendell Philips, ironically <strong>the</strong> character on<br />

whom Indiana Jones was based <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> movie, Raiders <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Lost Ark.<br />

(Inscription [right] describes <strong>the</strong> mo<strong>the</strong>r "M" dimm<strong>in</strong>g her nation for <strong>the</strong> Lord.)<br />

<br />

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21976-genes-reveal-gra<strong>in</strong>-<strong>of</strong>-truth-to-queen-<strong>of</strong>-sheba-story/<br />

Luca Pagani <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute <strong>in</strong> H<strong>in</strong>xton, UK, exam<strong>in</strong>ed samples <strong>of</strong> Ethiopian<br />

genomes and noticed that some <strong>in</strong>dividuals had components <strong>of</strong> both African and non-African l<strong>in</strong>eages.<br />

Delv<strong>in</strong>g deeper, Pagani and his colleagues discovered that <strong>the</strong> non-African genetic components had<br />

much more <strong>in</strong> common with people liv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> Syria and around <strong>the</strong> eastern Mediterranean than <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

nearer Arabian pen<strong>in</strong>sula. What’s more, <strong>the</strong> gene flow probably took place around 3000 years ago.<br />

One <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> four language families <strong>of</strong> Ethiopia migrated from <strong>the</strong> same region about 3000 years ago.<br />

“Middle Eastern language came to Ethiopia along with Middle Eastern genes,” Pagani says. “And that<br />

is when <strong>the</strong> Queen <strong>of</strong> Sheba legend is supposed to have happened.”<br />


HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

<strong>in</strong>stalled a Christian k<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> Yemen. This k<strong>in</strong>gdom gave way to Islamic onslaught eventually. .<br />

Menelik I founded <strong>the</strong> Solomonic dynasty <strong>of</strong> Ethiopia that ruled Ethiopia with few <strong>in</strong>terruptions for close<br />

to three thousand years (and 225 generations later ended with <strong>the</strong> fall <strong>of</strong> Emperor Haile Selassie <strong>in</strong><br />

1974). But we have little documentation till 1270 AD on this dynasty.<br />

In AD 1270 Emperor Yekuno Amlak (Amharic:throne name Tasfa Iyasus) an Amhara pr<strong>in</strong>ce from Bet<br />

Amhara prov<strong>in</strong>ce (<strong>in</strong> today's Wollo region) defeated <strong>the</strong> last Zagwe k<strong>in</strong>g and restored <strong>the</strong> K<strong>in</strong>gdom to<br />

<strong>the</strong> Solomonic dynasty.<br />

Yekuno Amlak and <strong>the</strong> Coat <strong>of</strong> Arms <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Solomonic dynasty<br />

He traced his ancestry through his fa<strong>the</strong>r, Tasfa Iyasus, to Dil Na'od, <strong>the</strong> last K<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> Axum. Follow<strong>in</strong>g<br />

a series <strong>of</strong> coupe <strong>the</strong> communists came to power. I was <strong>in</strong> Addis Ababa dur<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> early coupe d'eta<br />

<strong>of</strong> Magustu. We left <strong>the</strong> country because <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> uncerta<strong>in</strong>ties <strong>the</strong>se coupes produced.<br />

In <strong>the</strong> sacred Ethiopian city, Aksum, lies <strong>the</strong> Chapel <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Ark <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Covenant which holds <strong>the</strong> Ten<br />

Commandments. Despite early records claim<strong>in</strong>g that <strong>the</strong> Ark <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Covenant disappeared dur<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong><br />

destruction <strong>of</strong> Solomon’s Temple, 45 million Orthodox Christian Ethiopians believe that <strong>the</strong> Ark was<br />

taken to Aksum and has been highly guarded by <strong>the</strong> monks <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sa<strong>in</strong>t Mary <strong>of</strong> Zion church.<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

50


HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

CHAPTER FIVE<br />

KING NEGUS NEGASTE EZANA OF AXUM<br />

THE FIRST ETHIOPIAN CHRISTIAN KING<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

The Ethiopian branch <strong>of</strong> <strong>Christianity</strong> first emerged <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> k<strong>in</strong>gdom <strong>of</strong><br />

Aksum <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> nor<strong>the</strong>rn corner <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Ethiopian highland. The person<br />

who <strong>in</strong>troduced <strong>Christianity</strong> to Aksum is said to be Fremnatos <strong>of</strong> Syria -<br />

known as Frumentius <strong>in</strong> Europe, later a sa<strong>in</strong>t. He is variously described<br />

as a trader, philosopher and <strong>the</strong>ologian.<br />

The story goes Fremnato was on his way to India when he was kidnapped <strong>in</strong> Aksum (Axum) and<br />

was taken as a slave to <strong>the</strong> K<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> Aksum. He obviously made a good impression, because he ended<br />

up be<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> tutor to <strong>the</strong> future K<strong>in</strong>g Ezana. The K<strong>in</strong>g adopted <strong>Christianity</strong> as <strong>the</strong> <strong>of</strong>ficial religion <strong>in</strong> 333<br />

AD. Fremnatos was rewarded for this by be<strong>in</strong>g consecrated Bishop <strong>of</strong> Aksum at a ceremony <strong>in</strong><br />

Alexandria. When <strong>the</strong> Aksum dynasty collapsed <strong>the</strong> Ethiopian centre <strong>of</strong> power moved south and east,<br />

tak<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> Christian tradition with it.<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Ezana ruled from c. 330 – 356 AD. It is said that he succeeded his fa<strong>the</strong>r, Ella Amida, and started<br />

rul<strong>in</strong>g Axum when he was just a child with his mo<strong>the</strong>r as his supervisor and regent. When he was a<br />

child, he had a tutor who was a Syrian Christian called Frumentius. Frumentius was one <strong>of</strong> Ezana’s<br />

fa<strong>the</strong>r’s counselors. Frumentius later converted Ezana and Ezana became a Christian at around 333<br />

AD. Frumentius even baptized Ezana and his bro<strong>the</strong>r, Sheazana. Frumentius gave Ezana <strong>the</strong> name<br />

<strong>of</strong> Abreha, mean<strong>in</strong>g Lightbearer, and Sheazana, <strong>the</strong> name <strong>of</strong> Asbeha, mean<strong>in</strong>g Dawnbreaker.<br />

Sheazana co-ruled Axum with Ezana and both <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>m were <strong>of</strong>ten called Abreha and Asbeha. Ezana<br />

<strong>the</strong>n made <strong>the</strong> state religion <strong>of</strong> Axum, <strong>Christianity</strong>. He made Frumentius <strong>the</strong> head <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Ethiopian<br />

Church. Frumentius and Ezana were both responsible for <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>crease <strong>in</strong> Christians <strong>in</strong> Axum. Ezana<br />

even made co<strong>in</strong>s with crosses on <strong>the</strong>m to spread his religion around <strong>the</strong> k<strong>in</strong>gdom. These were <strong>the</strong> first<br />

co<strong>in</strong>s <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> world to have <strong>the</strong> Christian symbol on <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

K<strong>in</strong>g Ezana ll <strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong> Axumite Ethiopian Empire became one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> first nations to become a Christian<br />

state beg<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g 330 AD. and one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> oldest surviv<strong>in</strong>g Christian nations <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> world. Several<br />

Christian monuments date back to K<strong>in</strong>g Ezana's time such as <strong>the</strong> Ta'akha Maryam {The Ca<strong>the</strong>dral <strong>of</strong><br />

Sa<strong>in</strong>t Mary <strong>of</strong> Zionj one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> oldest Christian ca<strong>the</strong>drals on earth. which existed nearly three hundred<br />

years before Islam and 700 years before <strong>Christianity</strong> was brought to Europe by North African<br />

missionaries.<br />

K<strong>in</strong>g Ezana’s granite steele (obelisk)<br />

Ezana also had success <strong>in</strong> military campaigns. He conquered many k<strong>in</strong>gdoms along <strong>the</strong> Red Sea and<br />

its area. It is also recorded that <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> 300 ADs, he conquered <strong>the</strong> K<strong>in</strong>gdom <strong>of</strong> Kush, which is now<br />

modern Sudan. Meroe, also fell <strong>in</strong>to <strong>the</strong> hands <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Axumites. In 350 AD, Ezana <strong>in</strong>vaded <strong>the</strong> island<br />

<strong>of</strong> Meroe and conquered it. Not only was Ezana successful <strong>in</strong> battle, he created several amaz<strong>in</strong>g and<br />

beautiful structures such as K<strong>in</strong>g Ezana’s granite steele (obelisk), which is <strong>the</strong> tallest stand<strong>in</strong>g steel,<br />

stand<strong>in</strong>g up to about 78 feet. Ezana is also credited as f<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> Ark <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Covenant from <strong>the</strong> island<br />

<strong>of</strong> Tana Kirkos. He brought it back to place it <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Ca<strong>the</strong>dral <strong>of</strong> St. Mary <strong>of</strong> Zion which he built and<br />

gave it to Ethiopian Christians.<br />

In <strong>the</strong> 4th century AD <strong>the</strong> Ethiopian K<strong>in</strong>g Ezana made <strong>Christianity</strong> <strong>the</strong> k<strong>in</strong>gdom's <strong>of</strong>ficial religion. In<br />

312 Emperor Constant<strong>in</strong>e made <strong>Christianity</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>of</strong>ficial religion <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Roman Empire.<br />

S<strong>in</strong>ce <strong>the</strong>n it has ma<strong>in</strong>ta<strong>in</strong>ed its long Christian witness <strong>in</strong> a region dom<strong>in</strong>ated by Islam; today it has a<br />

membership <strong>of</strong> around forty million and is rapidly grow<strong>in</strong>g. The Church <strong>of</strong> Ethiopia (or formally, <strong>the</strong><br />

Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church) has a recognized place <strong>in</strong> worldwide <strong>Christianity</strong> as one <strong>of</strong><br />

five non-Chalcedonian Orthodox Churches.As Dr B<strong>in</strong>ns shows, it has developed a dist<strong>in</strong>ctive<br />

approach which makes it different from all o<strong>the</strong>r churches.<br />

++++++++><br />

The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is <strong>the</strong> largest <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Oriental Orthodox Christian Churches.<br />

One <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> few pre-colonial Christian Churches <strong>in</strong> Sub-Saharan Africa, <strong>the</strong> Ethiopian Orthodox<br />

Tewahedo Church has a membership <strong>of</strong> between 45 and 50 million people, <strong>the</strong> majority <strong>of</strong> whom live<br />

<strong>in</strong> Ethiopia. It is a found<strong>in</strong>g member <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> World Council <strong>of</strong> Churches. The Ethiopian Orthodox<br />

Tewahedo Church is <strong>in</strong> communion with <strong>the</strong> Coptic Orthodox Church <strong>of</strong> Alexandria hav<strong>in</strong>g ga<strong>in</strong>ed<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

autocephaly <strong>in</strong> 1959 at <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>stigation <strong>of</strong> Haile Selassie when it was granted its own Patriarch by <strong>the</strong><br />

Coptic Orthodox Pope <strong>of</strong> Alexandria and Patriarch <strong>of</strong> All Africa, Cyril VI. As one <strong>of</strong> Ethiopia is <strong>the</strong><br />

second country only after Armenia to have <strong>of</strong>ficially proclaimed <strong>Christianity</strong> as state religion (<strong>in</strong> 333<br />

AD) though some argue it may even be <strong>the</strong> first; due to biblical references.<br />

The word Tewahedo is a Ge'ez word mean<strong>in</strong>g "be<strong>in</strong>g made one" - Miaphysitism. This word refers to<br />

<strong>the</strong> Oriental Orthodox belief that <strong>the</strong>re is one perfectly unified Nature <strong>of</strong> Christ, a complete union <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Div<strong>in</strong>e and Human Natures <strong>in</strong>to one nature - hypostatic union - as opposed to <strong>the</strong> "two Natures <strong>of</strong><br />

Christ" coexist<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> Christ a belief commonly held by <strong>the</strong> Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox,<br />

Anglican, Lu<strong>the</strong>ran and most Protestant Churches. The Oriental Orthodox Churches adhere to a<br />

Miaphysitic Christological view followed by Cyril <strong>of</strong> Alexandria.<br />

Miaphysitism holds that <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> one person <strong>of</strong> Jesus Christ, Div<strong>in</strong>ity and Humanity are united <strong>in</strong> one<br />

(μία, mia - "united") nature (φύσις - "physis") without separation, without confusion, without alteration<br />

and without mix<strong>in</strong>g where Christ is consubstantial with God <strong>the</strong> Fa<strong>the</strong>r <strong>in</strong> as much as He is with<br />

Mank<strong>in</strong>d. Around 500 bishops with<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Patriarchates <strong>of</strong> Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem refused<br />

to accept <strong>the</strong> Dyophysitism (two natures) doctr<strong>in</strong>e decreed by <strong>the</strong> Council <strong>of</strong> Chalcedon <strong>in</strong> 451, an<br />

<strong>in</strong>cident that resulted <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> first major split <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> ma<strong>in</strong> body <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Christian Church.<br />

This argument is based on <strong>the</strong> assertion that <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> beg<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g God alone existed and <strong>in</strong> order to create<br />

all freewill be<strong>in</strong>g god contracted or hid himself to provide a space where all cosmos and creatures are<br />

made. Thus even when God is not actively present <strong>in</strong> creation yet all creation is part <strong>of</strong> God even <strong>the</strong><br />

material dimensions. Where else could <strong>the</strong>y be? In Christ God and Man jo<strong>in</strong>ed <strong>in</strong>to unity - God came<br />

out <strong>of</strong> hid<strong>in</strong>g<br />

.<br />

This idea is <strong>in</strong>herent <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> def<strong>in</strong>ition <strong>of</strong> Church as <strong>the</strong> body <strong>of</strong> Christ.<br />

as follows:<br />

This is represented graphically<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

CHAPTER SIX<br />

THE CHRISTIANIZATION OF NUBIA<br />

North Africa was an early cradle <strong>of</strong> <strong>Christianity</strong>. The first preach<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> gospel is mentioned <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Acts <strong>of</strong> Apostle (Acts. 8:26-40) where an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court <strong>of</strong>ficial <strong>of</strong> Candace, queen <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

"Ethiopians", who was <strong>in</strong> charge <strong>of</strong> all her treasure was a Nubian . (Candace is a title for Queen<br />

Mo<strong>the</strong>r, not a proper name), The candace <strong>in</strong> this <strong>in</strong>stance was Amanitare (A.D. 25-41; Wead 1982:197;<br />

Crocker 1986:67). Amanitore was a Nubian Kandake (queen) <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> ancient Kushitic K<strong>in</strong>gdom <strong>of</strong><br />

Meroë. An alternate spell<strong>in</strong>g is Kandace, Kandake, or Kentake. In Egyptian hieroglyphics <strong>the</strong> throne<br />

name <strong>of</strong> Amanitore reads as Merkare.<br />

Amanitare ruled from A.D. 25 - 41. This must have been soon after <strong>the</strong> Pentecost <strong>in</strong> 33 AD dur<strong>in</strong>g her<br />

rule. <strong>Christianity</strong> spread to North Africa less than 50 years after <strong>the</strong> death <strong>of</strong> Christ. However we<br />

have no record <strong>of</strong> this man's christian <strong>in</strong>fluence <strong>in</strong> Nuba. Later missionaries from Jerusalem must<br />

have followed him and <strong>Christianity</strong> was spread among <strong>the</strong> Jews <strong>of</strong> Alexandria, on <strong>the</strong> Egyptian and<br />

Nubian Coast. As usually <strong>the</strong> case <strong>in</strong> all regions, <strong>the</strong> first converts would have been <strong>the</strong> Jewish<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Greek speak<strong>in</strong>g community. It reached as far as modern-day Morocco, where it was enthusiastically<br />

embraced by <strong>the</strong> Berber people.<br />

Egypt, border<strong>in</strong>g Nubia on <strong>the</strong> north become entirely Christian as early as <strong>the</strong> beg<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> 4th<br />

century. Start<strong>in</strong>g from <strong>the</strong> end <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> 4th century and at <strong>the</strong> beg<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> 6th century, Christian<br />

bishops resided on <strong>the</strong> island <strong>of</strong> Phile and Syene (Aswan), hermits probably settled <strong>in</strong> Nubia and we<br />

also have archeologically confirmed presence <strong>of</strong> Christian graves <strong>in</strong> that territory. However <strong>of</strong>ficial<br />

acceptance <strong>of</strong> <strong>Christianity</strong> as a state religion took place <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> second half <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> 6th century (<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

years 540–580) thanks to missions send by <strong>the</strong> Byzant<strong>in</strong>e Court The early Christian fa<strong>the</strong>rs <strong>in</strong> Egypt<br />

developed a strong monastic tradition. There were hundreds <strong>of</strong> monasteries throughout <strong>the</strong> country as<br />

well as cells and caves occupied by hermits. An anonymous fourth century writer observed: "There is<br />

no town or village <strong>in</strong> Egypt that is not surrounded by hermitages as if by walls and <strong>the</strong> people depend<br />

on <strong>the</strong>ir prayers as if on God himself, through <strong>the</strong>m <strong>the</strong> world is kept go<strong>in</strong>g."<br />

Meroe<br />

Dur<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> 3rd Century many Egyptian Christians fled to Sudan dur<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> persecutions <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Roman<br />

emperors Decius (AD 250) and Diocletian (AD 297).<br />

Diocletian Persecution<br />

The Christian Martyrs' Last Prayer, by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1883)<br />

A strong Christian community was flourish<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> Philae from at least AD 350. Crosses and o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

Christian objects have been found <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> royal tombs <strong>of</strong> Meroe dat<strong>in</strong>g back to <strong>the</strong> 5th Century.<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Follow<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> collapse <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> K<strong>in</strong>gdom <strong>of</strong> Meroe (<strong>in</strong> about AD 350) three smaller K<strong>in</strong>gdoms were<br />

established - Nubia, Makuria and Alwa. Nobatia <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> north, also known as Ballanah, had its capital<br />

at Faras,; <strong>the</strong> central k<strong>in</strong>gdom, Muqurra (Makuria), was centred<br />

at Dunqulah, about 13 kilometres south <strong>of</strong> modern Dunqulah;<br />

and Alawa (Alodia), <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> heartland <strong>of</strong> old Meroe, which had its<br />

capital at Soba (now a suburb <strong>of</strong> modern-day Khartoum).<br />

The conversion <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> Nubians to<br />

<strong>Christianity</strong> started<br />

dur<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> reign <strong>of</strong><br />

Empress<br />

Theodora <strong>of</strong><br />

Byzant<strong>in</strong>e Rome,<br />

<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> sixth century,<br />

through her missionary Presbyter Julian<br />

By <strong>the</strong> 6th century, fifty states had emerged as <strong>the</strong> political and<br />

cultural heirs <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Meroitic K<strong>in</strong>gdom.<br />

www.ancientsudan.org/history_13_christianization.htm<br />

One early writer described <strong>the</strong> conversion <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Nubian k<strong>in</strong>g, Bahriya, as <strong>the</strong> key event: "When<br />

Bahriya was converted to <strong>Christianity</strong>, all <strong>the</strong> Blacks <strong>of</strong> Nubia followed him, and he built for <strong>the</strong>m<br />

churches throughout <strong>the</strong> land <strong>of</strong> Nubia and many monasteries which are still flourish<strong>in</strong>g." (Syrian<br />

scholar Ephesus.)<br />

Accord<strong>in</strong>g to Ephesus, Queen Thodora wife <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Byzant<strong>in</strong>e emperor Just<strong>in</strong>ian, who unlike her<br />

husband fostered Monophysitism. sent <strong>the</strong> missionary Julian to convert <strong>the</strong> Nubians.<br />

Julian met with <strong>the</strong> k<strong>in</strong>g and pr<strong>in</strong>ces <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> k<strong>in</strong>gdom <strong>of</strong> Nobatia, <strong>in</strong> Lower Nubia. The Nubian k<strong>in</strong>g<br />

converted to <strong>Christianity</strong> and was baptized. The k<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>n publicly announced his new faith as<br />

<strong>Christianity</strong> and confessed that "He is <strong>the</strong> one true God, and <strong>the</strong>re is no o<strong>the</strong>r beside."<br />

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Julian cont<strong>in</strong>ued his mission to convert all <strong>the</strong> Nubians and ended up spend<strong>in</strong>g two years. followed<br />

up <strong>the</strong> mission. Bishop Alexandrian Long<strong>in</strong>us, <strong>the</strong> first bishop <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Nobades, who was orda<strong>in</strong>ed by<br />

<strong>the</strong> patriarch <strong>of</strong> Alexandria succeeded Julian and evangelized all Nubia cover<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> k<strong>in</strong>gdom <strong>of</strong><br />

Nobatia and far<strong>the</strong>r south to <strong>the</strong> k<strong>in</strong>gdom <strong>of</strong> Alwa. Bishop Long<strong>in</strong>us baptized <strong>the</strong> k<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> Alwa and his<br />

nobles and all <strong>the</strong>ir families. The work cont<strong>in</strong>ued until all <strong>the</strong> royal house <strong>of</strong> Makuria were converted.<br />

He built <strong>the</strong> first churches <strong>in</strong> Nobadia and organized a liturgical cult. A network <strong>of</strong> bishoprics was<br />

established <strong>in</strong> Nubia with seats <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> major urban centers, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g Faras, which functioned under<br />

<strong>the</strong> name <strong>of</strong> Pachoras at <strong>the</strong> time.<br />

<strong>Christianity</strong> greatly changed <strong>the</strong> Nubian way <strong>of</strong> life <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g burial traditions. Follow<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong><br />

Christianization <strong>of</strong> North Sudan, <strong>the</strong> Nubians began to bury <strong>the</strong>ir dead <strong>in</strong> tombstones as opposed to<br />

pyramids. These tombstones <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Makurian k<strong>in</strong>gdom reveal parts <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Orthodox liturgy <strong>in</strong>dicat<strong>in</strong>g<br />

that <strong>the</strong>y jo<strong>in</strong>ed <strong>the</strong> Orthodox Church.<br />

DIVISIONS WITHIN CHRISTIANITY<br />

Persecution <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Christians <strong>in</strong> Roman prov<strong>in</strong>ces ceased <strong>in</strong> 312, when <strong>the</strong> Roman Emperor<br />

Constant<strong>in</strong>e declared <strong>Christianity</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>of</strong>ficial religion <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Empire. By now, different forms <strong>of</strong> Christian<br />

belief were beg<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g to emerge and diverse groups <strong>of</strong> worshippers were beg<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g to congregate.<br />

The most long last<strong>in</strong>g split over doctr<strong>in</strong>e centred on <strong>the</strong> nature <strong>of</strong> God and developed <strong>in</strong> 451. The<br />

Church <strong>in</strong> Constant<strong>in</strong>ople (modern Istanbul), from where <strong>the</strong> Roman Empire was now adm<strong>in</strong>istered,<br />

held to <strong>the</strong> idea that God was both human - <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> form <strong>of</strong> Jesus - and div<strong>in</strong>e. In contradiction to this,<br />

<strong>the</strong> church <strong>in</strong> North Africa said God was one <strong>in</strong>divisible unity and wholly div<strong>in</strong>e. This Monophysite<br />

belief became <strong>the</strong> central tenet <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Church <strong>in</strong> North Africa, which subsequently became known as<br />

<strong>the</strong> Coptic Church.<br />

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FARAS CATHEDRAL OF NUBIA<br />

Faras Ca<strong>the</strong>dral was a ca<strong>the</strong>dral <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Lower Nubian city <strong>of</strong> Faras. It was active between <strong>the</strong> 7th and<br />

14th centuries and was re-discovered by Polish archaeologists under Kazimierz Michalowski between<br />

1960 and 1964. Its wall pa<strong>in</strong>t<strong>in</strong>gs were salvaged prior to <strong>the</strong> flood<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> Lake Nasser and are today on<br />

display <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Polish National Museum <strong>in</strong> Warsaw and <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Faras Gallery <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sudan National<br />

Museum <strong>in</strong> Khartoum. In addition, a major pottery works were found.<br />

Eastern facade <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> ca<strong>the</strong>dral.<br />

Nor<strong>the</strong>rn nave.<br />

The Ca<strong>the</strong>dral as reconstructed from archeology<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Seventh-century sandstone frieze fragment from <strong>the</strong> former Faras Ca<strong>the</strong>dral <strong>in</strong> Nubia.<br />

Collection <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> British Museum.<br />

Fresco from <strong>the</strong> former Faras Ca<strong>the</strong>dral <strong>in</strong> Nubia depict<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> three youths <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> fiery furnace.<br />

Collection <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> National Museum <strong>of</strong> Sudan<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

The Birth <strong>of</strong> Jesus - fresco <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Ca<strong>the</strong>dral (Sudan National Museum <strong>in</strong> Khartoum)<br />

11th Century Faras Ca<strong>the</strong>dral pa<strong>in</strong>t<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> Queen Martha <strong>of</strong> Makuria with <strong>the</strong> Holy Mary and Child Jesus.<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

CHAPTER SEVEN<br />

ENCROACHING ISLAM<br />

In <strong>the</strong> Western regions <strong>of</strong> North Africa, a more militant, rigid form <strong>of</strong> <strong>Christianity</strong> grew up. It was<br />

unforgiv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> those who collaborated with Roman persecutors. This form <strong>of</strong> <strong>Christianity</strong> was known as<br />

Donatism and it became identified by <strong>the</strong> newly christianized Byzant<strong>in</strong>e authorities as a heresy and<br />

equated with dissent and rebellion. It was outlawed by St August<strong>in</strong>e <strong>of</strong> Hippo <strong>in</strong> his capacity as Bishop<br />

<strong>of</strong> Hippo (<strong>in</strong> modern Algeria). These <strong>in</strong>fight<strong>in</strong>g with<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Christians weakened <strong>the</strong>m and fragmented<br />

<strong>the</strong>m without unity. When Islam came to North Africa <strong>in</strong> 639, Christian communities were not able to<br />

resist conversion to <strong>the</strong> new faith.<br />

Amr ibn al As<br />

Soon after <strong>the</strong> death <strong>of</strong> Mohammed, Islamic armies cont<strong>in</strong>ued rapidly to spread out throughout <strong>the</strong><br />

Middle East. Among <strong>the</strong> first countries to come under Islamic control was Egypt, which Arab forces<br />

<strong>in</strong>vaded <strong>in</strong> 640 A.D. – Amr ibn al As, who was a Sahaba (Companion) and contemporary <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Prophet Muhammad, would be <strong>the</strong> military commander <strong>in</strong> charge <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> conquest <strong>of</strong> Egypt. By 641<br />

AD., he had conquered Cairo and renamed <strong>the</strong> city Al Fustat . By 647 AD., after <strong>the</strong> surrender <strong>of</strong><br />

Alexandria, <strong>the</strong> entire country was under Islamic rule. .<br />

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The Islamic armies launched an attack on Nubia <strong>in</strong> AD 643. The Nubians steadfastly resisted and<br />

threw back <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>vaders. Aga<strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong> AD 652 a Muslim military expedition sought to conquer Nubia. Aga<strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong>y were defeated by <strong>the</strong> Nubians. After <strong>the</strong>ir military failures <strong>the</strong> Muslims entered <strong>in</strong>to an agreement<br />

called <strong>the</strong> Baqt (Treaty) which established peaceful relations and trade between Muslim Egypt and<br />

Christian Nubia.<br />

Yet <strong>the</strong> treaty demanded tolerance <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Islam and a payment <strong>of</strong> slaves for keep<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>m away.<br />

The treaty between <strong>the</strong> Nubians and Abdallah Ibn Saad, <strong>the</strong> Moslem leader.<strong>in</strong>cluded this condition:<br />

"A treaty b<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g on great and small among <strong>the</strong>m from <strong>the</strong> frontiers <strong>of</strong> Assouan to <strong>the</strong> frontier <strong>of</strong> Alwa. Ye people <strong>of</strong><br />

Nubia. Ye shall dwell <strong>in</strong> safety under <strong>the</strong> safeguard <strong>of</strong> God and his apostle Mohommed <strong>the</strong> prophet whom God bless<br />

and save. We will not attack you ; nor wage war upon you, nor make <strong>in</strong>cursions aga<strong>in</strong>st you so long as ye abide by <strong>the</strong><br />

terms settled between us and you. Ye shall protect those Moslems or <strong>the</strong>ir allies as shall come <strong>in</strong>to your land. . . . Ye<br />

shall put no obstacle <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> way <strong>of</strong> a Moslem but render him aid till he quit your territory. Ye shall take care <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

mosque which <strong>the</strong> Moslems have built <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> outskirts <strong>of</strong> your city and h<strong>in</strong>der none pray<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>re. Ye shall clean it, light<br />

it and honour it. Every year ye shall pay 360 head <strong>of</strong> slaves to <strong>the</strong> leader <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Moslems, <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> middle class <strong>of</strong> slaves<br />

<strong>of</strong> your country without bodily defects, males and females, but no old men nor old women nor young children."<br />

The peace lasted almost 600 years until about AD 1250.<br />

Amr allowed Coptic Christians and Jews to cont<strong>in</strong>ue <strong>the</strong>ir beliefs as protected people. – Jews and<br />

Christians <strong>in</strong> Muslim territories could live accord<strong>in</strong>g to <strong>the</strong>ir own religious laws as dhimmis (tolerated<br />

subject peoples) as <strong>the</strong>y are all people <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> book, provided <strong>the</strong>y paid <strong>the</strong> zakat (tax) but would have<br />

to give up certa<strong>in</strong> political rights. By <strong>the</strong> 9 th century AD., most Egyptians had converted to Islam.<br />

After 647 AD., all <strong>of</strong> Egypt was under Islamic rule. Christians and Jews were protected as <strong>the</strong> people<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> book, but did have to pay a tax (zakat) to <strong>the</strong> Muslim government. Most Coptic Christians<br />

converted to Islam, and with<strong>in</strong> 200 years, Coptic Christians became a m<strong>in</strong>ority. But s<strong>in</strong>ce <strong>the</strong>y<br />

controlled most bus<strong>in</strong>ess, <strong>the</strong>y were respected and formed a powerful m<strong>in</strong>ority all through Egypt and<br />

<strong>the</strong> Sudan.<br />

By <strong>the</strong> 10th century, <strong>the</strong> Arabic language replaced Coptic as <strong>the</strong> primary spoken language. Today,<br />

this <strong>in</strong>digenous Christian sect. ranges from 3 - 10 million. Islam – Early Islam was <strong>in</strong>tensely<br />

expansionist. Religious fervor, as well as economic and social factors, fueled this expansionism.<br />

Conquer<strong>in</strong>g armies and migrat<strong>in</strong>g tribes swept out <strong>of</strong> Arabia and spread Islam by sheer force. By <strong>the</strong><br />

end <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Islam’s first century, Islamic armies had reached far <strong>in</strong>to North Africa and eastward and<br />

northward <strong>in</strong>to Asia.<br />

The Arabs agreed a peace treaty with <strong>the</strong> Nubians, which allowed <strong>the</strong> Nubian k<strong>in</strong>gdoms to flourish as<br />

a Christian state for 700 years. The two nor<strong>the</strong>rn k<strong>in</strong>gdoms, Nobadia and Makuria merged <strong>in</strong>to one -<br />

Dongola. Dongola entered someth<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> a golden age; <strong>the</strong> bible was translated from Greek <strong>in</strong>to<br />

Nubian and beautiful churches were built throughout <strong>the</strong> Nile Valley.<br />

cejsh.icm.edu.pl/cejsh/element/bwmeta1.element.../249-265_Martens-Czarnecka.pdf<br />

Małgorzata Martens-Czarnecka (Warszawa): The Christian Nubia and <strong>the</strong> Arabs<br />

http://faras3d.pl/historia/nubia/?ln=en_EN<br />

https://missiology.org.uk/pdf/e-books/cash/chang<strong>in</strong>g-sudan_cash.pdf<br />

THE CHANGING SUDAN BY THE REV. W. WILSON CASH,CHURCH MISSIONARY SOCIETY SALISBURY SQUARE, LONDON 1931<br />

http://www.hubert-herald.nl/SudanI.htm<br />

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After <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>stallation <strong>of</strong> k<strong>in</strong>g Say al-D<strong>in</strong> Abdullah <strong>in</strong> 1312 and <strong>the</strong> conversion to islam <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Nubians<br />

<strong>in</strong> 1317 and after, <strong>the</strong> christian symbols <strong>of</strong> authority disappeared.<br />

Inscription declar<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> conversion <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Dongola Ca<strong>the</strong>dral <strong>in</strong>to a mosque on <strong>the</strong> 29 th May 1217<br />

http://www.hubert-herald.nl/SudanI.htm<br />

Dongola Ca<strong>the</strong>dral now a mosque<br />

The 13th century marks slow decl<strong>in</strong>e <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> k<strong>in</strong>gdom <strong>of</strong> Nubia. Fights weakened <strong>the</strong> k<strong>in</strong>gdom; slow<br />

islamization <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> country followed, royal rule and Christian faith fell and subsequently culture and arts<br />

deteriorated.<br />

In <strong>the</strong> fourteenth century <strong>the</strong> last Christian k<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> Dongola was defeated by a Moslem force and sent<br />

as a captive to Cairo. Arab settlers poured <strong>in</strong>to <strong>the</strong> Sudan and rapidly overran <strong>the</strong> country as far as<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Darfur and Abyss<strong>in</strong>ia, and <strong>the</strong> K<strong>in</strong>gdom <strong>of</strong> Nubia came to an end. The Church <strong>in</strong> Nubia f<strong>in</strong>ally yielded<br />

to Islamic conversion <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> 14th century and <strong>the</strong> massive Ca<strong>the</strong>dral <strong>in</strong> Dongola was converted <strong>in</strong>to a<br />

mosque <strong>in</strong> 1317. While <strong>the</strong> Nubian church dissolved, with only a few architectural remnants to recall<br />

its former glory, <strong>the</strong> Ethiopian Church not only persisted but acquired great significance outside <strong>the</strong><br />

Horn <strong>of</strong> Africa <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> 19th and 20th centuries.<br />

Based on Isichei, A history <strong>of</strong> <strong>Christianity</strong> <strong>in</strong> Africa, p 46<br />

One can easily see that soon after <strong>the</strong> advent <strong>of</strong> Islam <strong>in</strong> seventh century <strong>Christianity</strong> began to weaken<br />

everywhere <strong>in</strong> North African where <strong>Christianity</strong> existed except <strong>in</strong> Aksum and Ethiopia where <strong>the</strong>y<br />

rema<strong>in</strong>ed strong.<br />

In AD 1172 <strong>the</strong> Fatimid rulers <strong>in</strong> Egypt (who upheld <strong>the</strong> Baqt agreement) were overthrown by Salad<strong>in</strong>.<br />

Then <strong>in</strong> 1260 ano<strong>the</strong>r revolution <strong>in</strong> Egypt brought <strong>the</strong> Mamelukes to power. The Mamelukes <strong>the</strong>n<br />

waged a series <strong>of</strong> wars aga<strong>in</strong>st <strong>the</strong> Nubians. Towns were burnt and confusion spread. Gradually <strong>the</strong><br />

weakened k<strong>in</strong>gdom fell <strong>in</strong>to chaos and under <strong>the</strong> control <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Mamelukes.<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

The k<strong>in</strong>gdom <strong>of</strong> Dotawo<br />

The k<strong>in</strong>gdom <strong>of</strong> Dotawo started to break up over <strong>the</strong> next 150 years. The last Christian k<strong>in</strong>g, Joel, fell<br />

<strong>in</strong> 1484. Joel represents one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> last recorded k<strong>in</strong>gs <strong>of</strong> Christian Nubia. He is known from a graffiti <strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> Ca<strong>the</strong>dral <strong>of</strong> Faras, <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>scription <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Church <strong>of</strong> Tamit, <strong>the</strong> letter from Jebel Adda, which is<br />

dated to 1484 and an <strong>in</strong>scription from nearby Church.<br />

Alwa (Aloa)Isolated<br />

The sou<strong>the</strong>rnmost Christian k<strong>in</strong>gdom <strong>of</strong> Alwa survived successive attacks <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> 14th and 15th<br />

centuries. In 1450 a missionary to Ethiopia wrote this about Nubia: "The people are nei<strong>the</strong>r Christians,<br />

Muslims or, Jews, but <strong>the</strong>y live <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> desire <strong>of</strong> be<strong>in</strong>g Christians."The recorded history <strong>in</strong>dicates that<br />

very few Nubians converted to Islam. <strong>Christianity</strong> began to die out because <strong>of</strong> <strong>in</strong>ternal weaknesses <strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> Churches and not because <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> external attacks <strong>of</strong> Islam.<br />

The missionary Avares wrote <strong>of</strong> Sudanese who came to Ethiopia from Alwa: "While we were <strong>in</strong><br />

(Ethiopia) <strong>the</strong>re came six men from (Alwa) as Ambassadors to <strong>the</strong> K<strong>in</strong>g, begg<strong>in</strong>g him to send <strong>the</strong>m<br />

m<strong>in</strong>isters and monks to teach <strong>the</strong>m. He did not choose to send <strong>the</strong>m."This was <strong>the</strong> last we heard <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Church <strong>in</strong> Nor<strong>the</strong>rn Sudan. An island <strong>of</strong> <strong>Christianity</strong> <strong>in</strong> a sea <strong>of</strong> Islam, isolated and cut <strong>of</strong>f - <strong>the</strong>y<br />

appealed to <strong>the</strong>ir Christian neighbours <strong>in</strong> Ethiopia. Tragically, this help was refused.<br />

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CHAPTER EIGHT<br />

BATTLE OF OMDURMAN<br />

Gordon <strong>of</strong> Brita<strong>in</strong>, Mahdi Movement and Kitchener<br />

Major-General Charles George Gordon CB (28 January 1833 – 26 January 1885), also known as<br />

Ch<strong>in</strong>ese Gordon, Gordon Pasha, and Gordon <strong>of</strong> Khartoum, was a British Army <strong>of</strong>ficer and<br />

adm<strong>in</strong>istrator. He saw action <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Crimean War as an <strong>of</strong>ficer <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> British Army. However, he made<br />

his military reputation <strong>in</strong> Ch<strong>in</strong>a, where he was placed <strong>in</strong> command <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> "Ever Victorious Army," a<br />

force <strong>of</strong> Ch<strong>in</strong>ese soldiers led by European <strong>of</strong>ficers. In <strong>the</strong> early 1860s, Gordon and his men were<br />

<strong>in</strong>strumental <strong>in</strong> putt<strong>in</strong>g down <strong>the</strong> Taip<strong>in</strong>g Rebellion, regularly defeat<strong>in</strong>g much larger forces. For <strong>the</strong>se<br />

accomplishments, he was given <strong>the</strong> nickname "Ch<strong>in</strong>ese Gordon" and honours from both <strong>the</strong> Emperor<br />

<strong>of</strong> Ch<strong>in</strong>a and <strong>the</strong> British.<br />

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+++++++++><br />

Here is someth<strong>in</strong>g that is not widely known. Gordon was strong Christian Scholar. In 1883 he<br />

discovered <strong>the</strong> Garden tomb, and <strong>the</strong> skull hill or Golgotha. "General Gordon on Golgotha -<br />

Gordon's Letters to Sir John Cowell 1883" writes,<br />

"Here at Skull Hill, close to <strong>the</strong> Slaughter House <strong>of</strong> Jerusalem was<br />

Titus 1 to 2m. The Roman Eagle took <strong>the</strong> heart <strong>of</strong> Zion by throat, for<br />

close was <strong>the</strong> breach. Jeremiah wrote Lamentations <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> cave.<br />

The Ark <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Covenant is <strong>the</strong>re." page 55.<br />

On page 47 Gordon says <strong>the</strong> Table <strong>of</strong> Shewbread is also <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>re,<br />

"Golgotha on Hill was Jeremiah's Grotto.This hill is outside gates<br />

near city where many roads pass. From long time back <strong>the</strong><br />

Slaughter House <strong>of</strong> City has been <strong>the</strong>re. It is North. <strong>of</strong> City. The<br />

Shewbread table is <strong>in</strong> it."<br />

The Ark, I suspect is <strong>in</strong> Jeremiah's grotto. The Jews have a<br />

tradition it is under <strong>the</strong> Dome <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Rock, but I th<strong>in</strong>k it is under <strong>the</strong><br />

true Altar, <strong>the</strong> Skull, where tradition places Jeremiah's writ<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong><br />

Lamentations. The Ark will not be found by man. I th<strong>in</strong>k it will be<br />

brought out aga<strong>in</strong> at <strong>the</strong> second com<strong>in</strong>g,<br />

Ron Wyatt who claims to have been <strong>in</strong>side this cave under <strong>the</strong> Skull hill (Golgotha) and has seen <strong>the</strong><br />

ark <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Covenant and was asked by <strong>the</strong> angels who serve <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>re to take a sample <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> dried out<br />

blood on <strong>the</strong> left top <strong>of</strong> he box and test it out. He got it done verify<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>carnation <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Son through<br />

a human medium without a human fa<strong>the</strong>r.<br />

Ron did state that he saw evidence <strong>of</strong> General Gordon hav<strong>in</strong>g conducted an excavation with<strong>in</strong> ten feet<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> same location where he was digg<strong>in</strong>g. This statement by Gordon seems to <strong>in</strong>dicate he did <strong>in</strong><br />

fact believe <strong>the</strong> ark was <strong>in</strong> a cave nearby. How he knew this we do not know. Perhaps <strong>the</strong> Lord<br />

spoke to him <strong>in</strong> a dream? It was <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> next year, 1884 that General Gordon died <strong>in</strong> a Muslim attack.<br />


HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

become entrenched. Only when public pressure to act had become irresistible did <strong>the</strong> government,<br />

with reluctance, send a relief force. It arrived two days after <strong>the</strong> city had fallen and Gordon had been<br />

killed .<br />

Then followed 13 years <strong>of</strong> miseries. Sudan was devastated and <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>habitants, through raids,<br />

massacre, fam<strong>in</strong>e and <strong>the</strong> horrors <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> slaves' long marches to Omdurman, reached <strong>the</strong> lowest level<br />

<strong>of</strong> misery. The population <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> country was reduced from eight and a half millions to two millions, and<br />

whole tribes became practically ext<strong>in</strong>ct.<br />

Christians were forced to convert to Islam. A little band <strong>of</strong> Roman Catholic missionaries refused to<br />

obey <strong>the</strong> order to become Moslems and suffered untold horrors at <strong>the</strong> hands <strong>of</strong> a brutal Arab tribe.<br />

One <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir number, Fa<strong>the</strong>r Ohrwalder, was ten years <strong>in</strong> captivity <strong>in</strong> Omdurman. Many outwardly<br />

accepted islam while <strong>in</strong> hid<strong>in</strong>g cont<strong>in</strong>ued as Christians. When I went <strong>in</strong>to Sudan 1972 I had known<br />

many Christians who led underground churches dur<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> Mahdi period and came out open<br />

afterwards.<br />

Battle <strong>of</strong> Omdurman<br />

By <strong>the</strong> Anglo-Egyptian Conventions <strong>of</strong> 1899, a jo<strong>in</strong>t British and Egyptian adm<strong>in</strong>istration was set up,<br />

known as <strong>the</strong> Condom<strong>in</strong>ium Government. Kitchener was appo<strong>in</strong>ted <strong>the</strong> first governor-general <strong>in</strong><br />

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January 1899. He was followed <strong>the</strong> same year by Sir Reg<strong>in</strong>ald W<strong>in</strong>gate who rema<strong>in</strong>ed as<br />

governor-general until 1916.At <strong>the</strong> Battle <strong>of</strong> Omdurman (2 September 1898), an army commanded by<br />

<strong>the</strong> British General Sir Herbert Kitchener defeated <strong>the</strong> army <strong>of</strong><br />

Abdullah al-Taashi, <strong>the</strong> successor to <strong>the</strong> self-proclaimed Mahdi,<br />

Muhammad Ahmad. Kitchener was seek<strong>in</strong>g revenge for <strong>the</strong> 1885<br />

death <strong>of</strong> General Gordon. The Mahdist army, equipped with swords,<br />

spears and ancient rifles was destroyed. 11,000 Sudanese soldiers<br />

were killed and 16,000 wounded. It was a demonstration <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

superiority <strong>of</strong> a highly discipl<strong>in</strong>ed army equipped with modern rifles,<br />

mach<strong>in</strong>e guns, and artillery over a force twice <strong>the</strong>ir size armed with<br />

older weapons, and marked <strong>the</strong> success <strong>of</strong> British efforts to<br />

re-conquer <strong>the</strong> Sudan. The Khalifa retreated with <strong>the</strong> rema<strong>in</strong>der <strong>of</strong><br />

his troops <strong>in</strong>to Kord<strong>of</strong>an where he was eventually hunted down and<br />

killed <strong>in</strong> November 1898.<br />

However, it was not until <strong>the</strong> 1899 Battle <strong>of</strong> Umm Diwaykarat that <strong>the</strong><br />

f<strong>in</strong>al Mahdist forces were defeated. W<strong>in</strong>ston Churchill who later<br />

became <strong>the</strong> Prime M<strong>in</strong>ister <strong>of</strong> England was an <strong>of</strong>ficer <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> army <strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong>se wars. He has later written a book on his experience <strong>in</strong> "The<br />

River War: An Historical Account <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Reconquest <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Soudan<br />

(1899)", by W<strong>in</strong>ston Churchill, which is over a 1000 pages.<br />

Khartoum was retaken by Lord Kitchener who retook <strong>the</strong> city <strong>in</strong> 1898 and oversaw its rebuild<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

Kitchener had <strong>the</strong> Mahdi's tomb destroyed and his bones cast <strong>in</strong>to <strong>the</strong> Nile, so as to leave noth<strong>in</strong>g for<br />

<strong>the</strong> Mahdi's followers to rally around. But <strong>the</strong> Mahdi's skull was presented to Kitchener, perhaps as a<br />

souvenir. When <strong>the</strong> word got out, <strong>the</strong>re was a howl <strong>of</strong> fury from <strong>the</strong> British press, unfriendly questions<br />

<strong>in</strong> Parliament, and a condemnation even from Queen Victoria herself. Kitchener wrote an apologetic<br />

letter to <strong>the</strong> queen and <strong>the</strong> head was secretly buried <strong>in</strong> an unknown Muslim cemetery. The tomb itself<br />

was rebuilt as a memorial to Mahdi after <strong>the</strong> freedom <strong>of</strong> Sudan.<br />

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The first act after <strong>the</strong> capture <strong>of</strong> Omdurman was to set free <strong>the</strong> prisoners, among whom were Charles<br />

Neufeld, Joseph Ragnolli, and sister Teresa Gregnoli, a nun, and about thirty Greeks as well as a large<br />

crowd <strong>of</strong> natives. In that day l0,854 prisoners were liberated.<br />

University <strong>of</strong> Khartoum, was founded <strong>in</strong> 1903 as Gordon Memorial College.<br />

In 1885 after <strong>the</strong> fall <strong>of</strong> Khartoum and <strong>the</strong> behead<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> General Gordon, <strong>the</strong> Church Missionary<br />

Society raised funds for a mission to Sudan <strong>in</strong> honour <strong>of</strong> General Gordon's pioneer work and witness.<br />

They were followed by <strong>the</strong> United Presbyterian Church <strong>of</strong> America and later <strong>the</strong> Sudan Interior Mission<br />

and Africa Inland Mission. Hospitals and schools became <strong>the</strong> focal po<strong>in</strong>ts <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> new Protestant<br />

missions.<br />

An agreement was signed between Egypt and Brita<strong>in</strong> on January 1, 1899, both sides agreed to<br />

adm<strong>in</strong>ister <strong>the</strong> Sudan. Herbert Kitchener was appo<strong>in</strong>ted as <strong>the</strong> first Governor-General <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sudan.<br />

Revivals broke out <strong>in</strong> Yambio and Mundri County <strong>in</strong> 1938. Bible translations <strong>in</strong>to Bari, Zande, Moru,<br />

Acholi, D<strong>in</strong>ka and Nuer cont<strong>in</strong>ued from <strong>the</strong> 1930's to <strong>the</strong> 1970's and to this day. So far, 11 languages<br />

have full Bibles, 23 have only New Testaments and 35 have only portions <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Bible translated.<br />

The work <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> missions took form <strong>in</strong> three directions<br />

1. M<strong>in</strong>ister<strong>in</strong>g to Christians by form<strong>in</strong>g church facilities<br />

There were many foreigners <strong>in</strong> Khartoum, Omdurman and <strong>the</strong> nor<strong>the</strong>rn towns – not only from Europe<br />

and America, but also from Egypt, Ethiopia and many countries <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Middle East, and many <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se<br />

were Christians. The Evangelical Church m<strong>in</strong>istered to <strong>the</strong> many Egyptian Christians <strong>in</strong> Sudan, many<br />

<strong>of</strong> whom were <strong>the</strong>re <strong>in</strong> government service as teachers or adm<strong>in</strong>istrators, or <strong>in</strong> commerce. The<br />

Catholic missionaries sought to m<strong>in</strong>ister to many <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Christian groups who could be found <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

capital– Catholics, Copts, Ethiopians, Armenians, etc. ln time many <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se formed <strong>the</strong>ir own<br />

churches, but <strong>the</strong>re has been until today a strong Catholic Church <strong>in</strong> Masalma, <strong>the</strong> Christian quarter <strong>of</strong><br />

Mahdist Omdurman, with a wide m<strong>in</strong>istry to many Christian groups.<br />

Anglican churches were opened for <strong>the</strong> British expatriate community <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Nor<strong>the</strong>rn Sudanese towns<br />

<strong>of</strong> Atbara, Wad Medani and Port Sudan. Today <strong>the</strong>se churches belong to <strong>the</strong> Episcopal Church.<br />

2. Education particularly to <strong>the</strong> girls.<br />

The second form <strong>of</strong> witness that <strong>the</strong> missions developed <strong>in</strong> North Sudan that satisfied government<br />

anxieties was <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> field <strong>of</strong> education. The Government did little to encourage modern western<br />

education. They were content to support <strong>the</strong> traditional Quranic education <strong>of</strong> mosque and Khalwa.<br />

Gordon Memorial College <strong>in</strong> Khartoum was founded with <strong>the</strong> limited objective <strong>of</strong> tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g clerks and<br />

craftsmen for government service. It has been upgraded over <strong>the</strong> years, later provid<strong>in</strong>g technical<br />

education, and is today <strong>the</strong> home <strong>of</strong> Khartoum University.<br />

The missions were responsible for <strong>the</strong> first modem schools <strong>in</strong> Sudan, seen as a service to <strong>the</strong><br />

Sudanese people and also as a low-key form <strong>of</strong> Christian witness. Soon <strong>the</strong>se schools attracted<br />

Muslim girls from both Egyptian and Sudanese homes.<br />

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At first Sudanese families were reluctant to send <strong>the</strong>ir sons to mission schools. Then <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> 1930s, as<br />

<strong>the</strong> nationalist movement began to ga<strong>in</strong> strength, <strong>the</strong>y saw <strong>the</strong> advantages <strong>of</strong> western education and<br />

many Sudanese Muslim boys began to enter <strong>the</strong> schools. The schools had always been popular for<br />

<strong>the</strong> useful domestic skills that girls learned <strong>the</strong>re.<br />

3. Medical Services<br />

The o<strong>the</strong>r sphere <strong>of</strong> work open to <strong>the</strong> missions with<strong>in</strong> government restrictions was medical work.<br />

Both <strong>the</strong> Catholics and CMS ma<strong>in</strong>ta<strong>in</strong>ed cl<strong>in</strong>ic work <strong>in</strong> Khartoum and Omdurman. In 1912, CMS<br />

opened a hospital <strong>in</strong> Omdurman that placed great emphasis on <strong>the</strong> tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> Sudanese medical staff.<br />

The site is now that <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> government Psychiatric hospital.<br />

Sir Francis Reg<strong>in</strong>ald W<strong>in</strong>gate, ( 1861 – 1953)<br />

was a British general and adm<strong>in</strong>istrator In<br />

Egypt and <strong>the</strong> Sudan. In December 1899, on<br />

Lord Kitchener be<strong>in</strong>g summoned to South<br />

Africa, Sir Reg<strong>in</strong>ald W<strong>in</strong>gate succeeded him as<br />

Governor-General <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sudan till 1916<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

CHAPTER NINE<br />

COPTIC CHRISTIANS OF SUDAN<br />

After <strong>the</strong> collapse <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Christian K<strong>in</strong>gdoms <strong>of</strong> Nor<strong>the</strong>rn Sudan, <strong>the</strong> Christian communities<br />

disappeared from Sudan. <strong>Christianity</strong> was revived <strong>in</strong> Sudan by <strong>the</strong> arrival <strong>of</strong> Coptic immigrants from<br />

Egypt to <strong>the</strong> Sudan, <strong>in</strong> waves <strong>of</strong> refugees triggered by bouts <strong>of</strong> oppression from Moslem rulers <strong>of</strong><br />

Egypt. The peak <strong>of</strong> that movement was reached after <strong>the</strong> Turco-Egyptian <strong>in</strong>vasion <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sudan <strong>in</strong><br />

1821. These Coptic immigrants came as civil servants, craftsmen, and merchants, for whom Sudan<br />

became <strong>the</strong> land <strong>of</strong> opportunity unity and tolerance. After <strong>the</strong> Mahdi seized power <strong>in</strong> 1885, however,<br />

<strong>the</strong>y were left with no choice but to convert to Islam at least outwardly. <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>m managed to<br />

escape from <strong>the</strong> country. The Copts returned to Sudan once more after <strong>the</strong> Anglo-Egyptian troops<br />

conquered <strong>the</strong> Mahdist State (1885 - 1898). Some <strong>of</strong> those who converted to Islam returned to<br />

<strong>Christianity</strong>, but some could not, <strong>in</strong> view <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> complications<br />

The Sudanese Coptic community is a small but prom<strong>in</strong>ent m<strong>in</strong>ority (150-200,000) who have lived <strong>in</strong><br />

Sudan for more than one hundred years who are served by twenty three churches and two bishops.<br />

Patriarch Pope Tawadros Sulaymān <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Coptic Orthodox Church, Egypt as <strong>of</strong> 2017<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Coptics are <strong>the</strong> followers <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Egyptian Coptic Orthodox church, <strong>the</strong> largest Christian group <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Middle East. The Egyptian Coptic church was established between AD 42 and AD 62 after <strong>the</strong> order<br />

<strong>of</strong> St John Mark who took <strong>Christianity</strong> to Egypt. Now <strong>the</strong> majority <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>m are found <strong>in</strong> Egypt,<br />

Ethiopia, and <strong>the</strong> Nor<strong>the</strong>rn Sudan.<br />

Sudan has a native Coptic m<strong>in</strong>ority, although many Copts <strong>in</strong> Sudan are descended from more recent<br />

Coptic immigrants from Egypt. Copts <strong>in</strong> Sudan live mostly <strong>in</strong> nor<strong>the</strong>rn cities, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g Al Obeid, Atbara,<br />

Dongola, Khartoum, Omdurman, Port Sudan, and Wad Medani. They number up to 500,000, or<br />

slightly over 1% <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sudanese population. Due to <strong>the</strong>ir advanced education, <strong>the</strong>ir role <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> life <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> country has been more significant than <strong>the</strong>ir numbers suggest. They have occasionally faced<br />

forced conversion to Islam, result<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir emigration and decrease <strong>in</strong> number.<br />

Modern immigration <strong>of</strong> Copts to Sudan peaked <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> early 19th century, and <strong>the</strong>y generally received a<br />

tolerant welcome <strong>the</strong>re. However, this was <strong>in</strong>terrupted by a decade <strong>of</strong> persecution under Mahdist rule<br />

at <strong>the</strong> end <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> 19th century. As a result <strong>of</strong> this persecution, many were forced to rel<strong>in</strong>quish <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

faith, adopt Islam, and <strong>in</strong>termarry with <strong>the</strong> native Sudanese. The Anglo-Egyptian <strong>in</strong>vasion <strong>in</strong> 1898<br />

allowed Copts greater religious and economic freedom, and <strong>the</strong>y extended <strong>the</strong>ir orig<strong>in</strong>al roles as<br />

artisans and merchants <strong>in</strong>to trad<strong>in</strong>g, bank<strong>in</strong>g, eng<strong>in</strong>eer<strong>in</strong>g, medic<strong>in</strong>e, and <strong>the</strong> civil service. Pr<strong>of</strong>iciency<br />

<strong>in</strong> bus<strong>in</strong>ess and adm<strong>in</strong>istration made <strong>the</strong>m a privileged m<strong>in</strong>ority.<br />

Gaafar Nimeiry's <strong>in</strong>troduction <strong>of</strong> Islamic Sharia law <strong>in</strong> 1983 began a new phase <strong>of</strong> oppressive<br />

treatment <strong>of</strong> Copts, among o<strong>the</strong>r non-Muslims. After <strong>the</strong> overthrow <strong>of</strong> Nimeiry, Coptic leaders<br />

supported a secular candidate <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> 1986 elections. However, when <strong>the</strong> National Islamic Front<br />

overthrew <strong>the</strong> elected government <strong>of</strong> Sadiq al-Mahdi with <strong>the</strong> help <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> military, discrim<strong>in</strong>ation<br />

aga<strong>in</strong>st Copts returned <strong>in</strong> earnest. Hundreds <strong>of</strong> Copts were dismissed from <strong>the</strong> civil service and<br />

judiciary.<br />

In February 1991, a Coptic pilot work<strong>in</strong>g for Sudan Airways was executed for illegal possession <strong>of</strong><br />

foreign currency. Before his execution, he had been <strong>of</strong>fered amnesty and money if he converted to<br />

Islam, but he refused. Thousands attended his funeral, and <strong>the</strong> execution was taken as a warn<strong>in</strong>g by<br />

many Copts, who began to flee <strong>the</strong> country.<br />

Restrictions on <strong>the</strong> Copts' rights to Sudanese nationality followed, and it became difficult for <strong>the</strong>m to<br />

obta<strong>in</strong> Sudanese nationality by birth or by naturalization, result<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> problems when attempt<strong>in</strong>g to<br />

travel abroad. The confiscation <strong>of</strong> Christian schools and <strong>the</strong> imposition <strong>of</strong> an Arab-Islamic emphasis <strong>in</strong><br />

language and history teach<strong>in</strong>g were accompanied by harassment <strong>of</strong> Christian children and <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>in</strong>troduction <strong>of</strong> hijab dress laws. A Coptic child was flogged for fail<strong>in</strong>g to recite a Koranic verse. In<br />

contrast with <strong>the</strong> extensive media broadcast<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Muslim Friday prayers, <strong>the</strong> radio ceased<br />

coverage <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Christian Sunday service. As <strong>the</strong> civil war raged throughout <strong>the</strong> 1990s, <strong>the</strong><br />

government focused its religious fervour on <strong>the</strong> south. Although experienc<strong>in</strong>g discrim<strong>in</strong>ation, <strong>the</strong> Copts<br />

and o<strong>the</strong>r long-established Christian groups <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> north had fewer restrictions than o<strong>the</strong>r types <strong>of</strong><br />

Christians <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> south.<br />

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Holy Mary Coptic Orthodox Ca<strong>the</strong>dral, Khartoum, Sudan<br />

In <strong>the</strong> early 1970s a Copt who was one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> top civil servants was appo<strong>in</strong>ted as a senior m<strong>in</strong>ister,<br />

and <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> mid-seventies <strong>the</strong> government donated money and freehold land (13,300 square meters) to<br />

build Coptic clubs <strong>in</strong> Khartoum and Omdurman. This was <strong>the</strong> type <strong>of</strong> relation when I was <strong>the</strong>re.<br />

However <strong>the</strong> situation seem to have changed under Omer Hassan al-Bashir, and s<strong>in</strong>ce June 1989<br />

outrages aga<strong>in</strong>st <strong>the</strong> Coptic community <strong>in</strong>creased<br />

The code <strong>of</strong> Sharia under Islamic rule dictates that:<br />

(1) The Dhimma should pay a regular fee <strong>in</strong> order to keep <strong>the</strong>ir religion.<br />

(2) They should not prevent any Christian from convert<strong>in</strong>g to Islam, and should not attempt<br />

to convert any Moslem to <strong>the</strong>ir belief.<br />

(3) They should not hold any public post that would give <strong>the</strong>m any authority over Moslems.<br />

(4) They should not sell <strong>the</strong>ir books or crosses <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> markets.<br />

(5) They should not raise <strong>the</strong> sound <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir church bells or raise <strong>the</strong>ir own voices <strong>in</strong> front <strong>of</strong> Moslems.<br />

(6) They must walk on <strong>the</strong> edge <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> street, and leave <strong>the</strong> middle to <strong>the</strong> Moslems.<br />

Which would place <strong>the</strong> Copts <strong>in</strong> Sudan almost untouchables.<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

CHAPTER TEN<br />

CATHOLIC MISSIONS TO SUDAN<br />

By <strong>the</strong> 1600's word reached Rome <strong>of</strong> groups <strong>of</strong> Christians surviv<strong>in</strong>g South <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sahara. The pope set<br />

up <strong>the</strong> "Mission <strong>of</strong> Upper Egypt-Funji-Ethiopia" and several missions (<strong>in</strong> 1698, 1705 and 1711) were<br />

sent up <strong>the</strong> Nile to make contact with <strong>the</strong> believers. The f<strong>in</strong>al attempt <strong>in</strong> 1794 ended with Fa<strong>the</strong>r<br />

Baller<strong>in</strong>i be<strong>in</strong>g murdered <strong>in</strong> Nubia.<br />

Until 1814, Egypt itself was nom<strong>in</strong>ally part <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Ottoman Empire. It gradually expanded its control <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> Sudan as far south as <strong>the</strong> Great Lakes region<br />

Monsignor Annetto Casolani,(1815-1866)<br />

The First Apostolic Vicar <strong>of</strong> Central Africa, Auxiliary for <strong>the</strong> Diocese <strong>of</strong> Malta and Bishop <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Titular<br />

See <strong>of</strong> Mauricastro, was born <strong>in</strong> Valletta, Malta, <strong>the</strong> fifth son <strong>of</strong> Sir V<strong>in</strong>cent Casolani, a high rank<strong>in</strong>g<br />

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government <strong>of</strong>ficial. He studied <strong>the</strong>ology at <strong>the</strong> University <strong>of</strong> Malta and cont<strong>in</strong>ued his studies at <strong>the</strong><br />

Sem<strong>in</strong>ario Romano, Rome, obta<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g his doctorate <strong>in</strong> Div<strong>in</strong>ity at a very early age.<br />

(THE FIRST CENTENARY OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSION TO CENTRAL AFRICA, 1846-1946, Elia Toniolo<br />

Sudan Notes and Records Vol. 27 (1946), pp. 99-126, Published by: University <strong>of</strong> Khartoum<br />

http://www.jstor.org/stable/4171673)<br />

His vision was <strong>of</strong> a great new missionary venture, us<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> Nile as a highway to carry missionary work<br />

far <strong>in</strong>to Central Africa. He communicated his plans to <strong>the</strong> Vatican and on April 3, 1846 <strong>the</strong> Pope set up<br />

<strong>the</strong> Vicariate Apostolic <strong>of</strong> Central Africa. This was <strong>in</strong> essence a missionary diocese under <strong>the</strong> direct<br />

authority <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Pope. Casolani was consecrated bishop and entrusted with <strong>the</strong> task <strong>of</strong> evangeliz<strong>in</strong>g<br />

not only Sudan and <strong>the</strong> Nile Valley but also a vast area to <strong>the</strong> south and west. The first party <strong>of</strong><br />

missionaries reached Khartoum <strong>in</strong> 1848. Casolani had already resigned as leader follow<strong>in</strong>g<br />

disagreements with Fa<strong>the</strong>r Ryllo who succeeded him, though he rema<strong>in</strong>ed with <strong>the</strong> mission. Ryllo<br />

soon died, however, and leadership passed to Dr. Knoblecher who led <strong>the</strong> mission through its next<br />

few important years.<br />

New recruits arrived throughout 1849 and 1850 and <strong>the</strong> mission’s base <strong>in</strong> Khartoum was firmly<br />

established. In 1849, Knoblecher led an exploratory expedition to <strong>the</strong> south and decided on a site for a<br />

mission station at Gondokoro, just north <strong>of</strong> modem Juba on <strong>the</strong> east bank <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> river. The first<br />

Catholic mission <strong>in</strong> sou<strong>the</strong>rn Sudan was established at Gondokoro <strong>in</strong> 1852. Knoblecher <strong>in</strong>structed and<br />

baptized eight Bari young men <strong>in</strong> 1852.<br />

Dr. Ignazio Knoblecher (1819 – 1858)<br />

In 1854, a fur<strong>the</strong>r station was opened at “Holy Cross” amongst <strong>the</strong> Kic D<strong>in</strong>ka by Fa<strong>the</strong>r Bartholomaus<br />

Mozgan. The site can be located on modern maps at Kanisa (Arabic - Church) on <strong>the</strong> opposite bank <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> Nile to Jonglei.<br />

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Already, <strong>in</strong> January 1853, Fa<strong>the</strong>r Angelo V<strong>in</strong>co,(1819 – Libo1853) <strong>the</strong> pioneer missionary at<br />

Gondokoro had died <strong>of</strong> fever, but he was just <strong>the</strong> first <strong>of</strong> many Catholic missionaries to die <strong>in</strong> sou<strong>the</strong>rn<br />

Sudan. Despite many deaths, valuable work was done on <strong>the</strong> D<strong>in</strong>ka, Bari and Moru languages.<br />

Vocabularies and grammars were produced and <strong>in</strong>valuable anthropological <strong>in</strong>formation ga<strong>the</strong>red.<br />

Preparations were begun for an <strong>in</strong>digenous priesthood when a young Bari man, Francis Logwit, and a<br />

young D<strong>in</strong>ka, Anton Kachwal, were sent to Europe for education.<br />

From 1849 <strong>the</strong> Catholics established a str<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> mission stations - <strong>in</strong> Khartoum, Yondokoro, Kanisa,<br />

Kakor and elsewhere. Forty-six missionaries died <strong>of</strong> disease <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> first few years. In 1862 alone, 22<br />

missionaries died. F<strong>in</strong>ally all <strong>the</strong> mission stations were abandoned and <strong>the</strong> survivors returned to<br />

Europe.<br />

Fa<strong>the</strong>r Matthias Kirchner became <strong>the</strong> leader <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> mission. He considered that it was only possible to<br />

cont<strong>in</strong>ue to work <strong>in</strong> sou<strong>the</strong>rn Sudan with <strong>the</strong> help <strong>of</strong> a religious Order who would have <strong>the</strong> necessary<br />

resources and men to overcome <strong>the</strong> losses through sickness. Accord<strong>in</strong>gly he travelled to Europe and<br />

arranged for <strong>the</strong> Vicariate Apostolic <strong>of</strong> Central Africa to be entrusted to <strong>the</strong> Franciscans. He <strong>the</strong>n<br />

withdrew all his missionaries from <strong>the</strong> south to await <strong>the</strong>ir arrival. In 1862, two parties <strong>of</strong> Franciscans<br />

(both priests and laymen) <strong>of</strong> various pr<strong>of</strong>essions arrived. An immediate attempt was made to revive<br />

<strong>the</strong> work <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> south, but <strong>the</strong> losses through disease were too high. A number <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Franciscans died<br />

before reach<strong>in</strong>g Khartoum, and o<strong>the</strong>rs died <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> south. In 1862 alone twenty-two deaths were<br />

recorded. Between 1848 and 1862, forty-six Catholic missionaries had died. The Pope considered <strong>the</strong><br />

cost too high and ordered <strong>the</strong> mission to be closed. The first attempt at <strong>the</strong> evangelization <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Upper Nile may have ended <strong>in</strong> failure, but <strong>the</strong> story is one <strong>of</strong> heroism and sacrifice.<br />

A new Catholic attempt to reach Sudan was launched <strong>in</strong> 1873 with schools and farms as <strong>the</strong> priority.<br />

This strategy succeeded and today almost half <strong>of</strong> those who claim to be Christians <strong>in</strong> Sudan are<br />

Catholics.<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Comboni Mission<br />

Sa<strong>in</strong>t Daniele Comboni (I831-I881) was an Italian priest who had studied at <strong>the</strong> Mazza Institute <strong>in</strong><br />

Verona, Italy, and served <strong>in</strong> Sudan at <strong>the</strong> Holy Cross mission station for ll months before return<strong>in</strong>g<br />

home, sick and bone-weary. His experience had taught him one <strong>in</strong>valuable lesson, that Africa would<br />

never be evangelized by Europeans alone.<br />

In 1864, follow<strong>in</strong>g a time <strong>of</strong> prayer at <strong>the</strong> tomb <strong>of</strong> St, Peter <strong>in</strong> Rome, he drew up a plan for re-open<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>the</strong> Mission to Central Africa He called this A Plan for <strong>the</strong> Regeneration <strong>of</strong> Africa by means <strong>of</strong> Africans.<br />

St Daniel Comboni (1831-81) bishop and missionary<br />

Much <strong>of</strong> what Comboni has to say <strong>in</strong> his plan is commonplace today, but <strong>in</strong> its time it represented a<br />

very radical th<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g. The huge loss <strong>of</strong> missionary life <strong>in</strong> Sou<strong>the</strong>rn Sudan between 1848 and 1862 had<br />

taught him that Africa would only be evangelized by Africans <strong>the</strong>mselves. He proposed a series <strong>of</strong><br />

tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g centers on <strong>the</strong> African coast where European missionaries could tra<strong>in</strong> Africans for this work.<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

In 1867, he started a sem<strong>in</strong>ary <strong>in</strong> Verona to tra<strong>in</strong> priests and laymen for missionary work <strong>in</strong> Central<br />

Africa, and <strong>the</strong> same year he founded two schools <strong>in</strong> Cairo, one for African boys and <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r for<br />

African girls who had been rescued from slavery, to be tra<strong>in</strong>ed for evangelism.<br />

In 1872, a society was founded <strong>in</strong> Verona for nuns committed to missionary work <strong>in</strong> Africa. The same<br />

year <strong>the</strong> Pope appo<strong>in</strong>ted Comboni Pro—Vicar Apostolic <strong>of</strong> Central Africa. He had authority to reopen<br />

<strong>the</strong> mission and to implement his Plan on <strong>the</strong> African cont<strong>in</strong>ent. Comboni reached Khartoum <strong>in</strong> 1873.<br />

The Plan <strong>in</strong>dicated that education and tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g were <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> first importance. He had started schools and<br />

colleges <strong>in</strong> Italy and Cairo.<br />

Now he began schools for freed slaves <strong>in</strong> Khartoum. The name <strong>of</strong> Comboni is associated to this day<br />

with education, and many Catholic schools are named after him.<br />

Comboni turned his attention to Kord<strong>of</strong>an, <strong>the</strong> huge prov<strong>in</strong>ce sou<strong>the</strong>ast <strong>of</strong> Khartoum that <strong>in</strong>cluded <strong>the</strong><br />

major city <strong>of</strong> El Obeid, as well as <strong>the</strong> remote Nuba Mounta<strong>in</strong>s which had been less <strong>in</strong>fluenced by Islam<br />

and Arab culture than o<strong>the</strong>r parts <strong>of</strong> nor<strong>the</strong>rn Sudan. He established farms at Malbes near El Obeid<br />

and at Dill<strong>in</strong>g. New converts were established with <strong>the</strong>ir families on <strong>the</strong>se farms. His plan was that<br />

<strong>the</strong>se farms would <strong>in</strong> time become self-sufficient African Christian communities that would witness to<br />

<strong>the</strong> Christian faith and to <strong>the</strong> way <strong>of</strong> life that faith <strong>in</strong>spired, As always, Comboni's idea was to tra<strong>in</strong><br />

Africans to carry out <strong>the</strong> evangelization <strong>of</strong> Africa <strong>the</strong>mselves. About thirty families were established on<br />

<strong>the</strong>se farms and <strong>the</strong>y later became <strong>the</strong> heart <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sudanese Catholic Church. This strategy did<br />

however run <strong>the</strong> risk <strong>of</strong> isolat<strong>in</strong>g new converts from <strong>the</strong>ir own communities and heritage.<br />

In 1877, <strong>the</strong> Pope showed his approval <strong>of</strong> Comboni's methods by consecrat<strong>in</strong>g him bishop, but <strong>in</strong> 1881<br />

he returned from a visit to <strong>the</strong> Nuba Mounta<strong>in</strong>s very ill with malaria. On 10 October 1881 Daniele<br />

Comboni, <strong>the</strong> "mutran es sudan", «fa<strong>the</strong>r <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> blacks», as he was called by all, <strong>the</strong> first bishop <strong>of</strong><br />

Khartoum, died <strong>in</strong> Khartoum. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II <strong>in</strong> 1996.<br />

His missionaries, known as <strong>the</strong> Comboni Fa<strong>the</strong>rs or <strong>the</strong> Verona Missionaries, have 4,000 members<br />

work<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> countries all over <strong>the</strong> world<br />

Combatt<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> Slave Trade<br />

The task Comboni faced <strong>in</strong> Africa <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> 1870s was complicated by <strong>the</strong><br />

slave trade. Slavery was big bus<strong>in</strong>ess <strong>in</strong> Central Africa, with large,<br />

well-armed caravans <strong>of</strong> recruiters who bribed Egyptian <strong>of</strong>ficials to let<br />

<strong>the</strong>m move freely from <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>terior to port cities, where <strong>the</strong>y sold <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

human cargo. Comboni fought hard aga<strong>in</strong>st slavery, was given his own<br />

small army to combat <strong>the</strong> traffickers, closed <strong>the</strong> El 0beid slave market,<br />

and hunted down some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> slave raiders. But he was only one person<br />

aga<strong>in</strong>st an established <strong>in</strong>dustry.<br />

In 1871 Comboni returned to <strong>the</strong> Sudan to set up operations himself. He<br />

was named vicar apostolic <strong>of</strong> Central Africa <strong>in</strong> 1877.<br />

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With Comboni was <strong>the</strong> first African priest to work <strong>in</strong> Central<br />

Africa, Fr. Pius Hadrianus, a Benedict<strong>in</strong>e. Soon ano<strong>the</strong>r African<br />

priest, Fr. Antonio Dubale, was runn<strong>in</strong>g a model village for freed<br />

slaves <strong>in</strong> El Obeid. A tra<strong>in</strong>ed Nubian catechist, product <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Cairo Institute, was dispatched to work among this important<br />

sou<strong>the</strong>rn Sudan ethnic group. The Nubians had a rich culture,<br />

were anti-Islamic, and were a logical target for mission work.<br />

He also wrote about <strong>the</strong> geography, ethnology and languages<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> region. He himself spoke six European languages, Arabic,<br />

and several central African dialects.<br />

https://www.catholicireland.net/sa<strong>in</strong>t<strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong>day/st-daniel-comboni-1831-81-bishop-and-missionary/<br />

Comboni says: “I experienced all <strong>the</strong> trials <strong>of</strong> this difficult apostolate… I thought <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> way to return to<br />

this battlefield to sacrifice my life for <strong>the</strong> salvation <strong>of</strong> Africans” (Writ<strong>in</strong>gs 3302).<br />

Here are a few cases which we know now show<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> impact <strong>of</strong> Comboni and his fight aga<strong>in</strong>st slavery<br />

Antonio Dubale was a young Ethiopian who was ransomed from slavery by Comboni on a visit to<br />

Aden <strong>in</strong> 1861. He eventually studied for <strong>the</strong> priesthood <strong>in</strong> Rome and was orda<strong>in</strong>ed by Comboni <strong>in</strong> 1877.<br />

He worked with Comboni <strong>in</strong> Khartoum, Malbes and El Obeid where he died <strong>in</strong> 1881.<br />

Deng Sorur, a D<strong>in</strong>ka from Abyei, escaped from slavery and eventually, under Comboni’s direction,<br />

prepared for <strong>the</strong> priesthood. He was <strong>the</strong> first sou<strong>the</strong>rn Sudanese Catholic priest.<br />

Bakhita Quasce was <strong>the</strong> first Sudanese Catholic nun. She was a Nuba girl, born about 1840. She was<br />

bought back from slavery <strong>in</strong> Cairo, and <strong>the</strong>n educated <strong>in</strong> Italy. She later became a teacher at<br />

Comboni’s missionary college for Africans <strong>in</strong> Cairo, also teach<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> mission schools <strong>in</strong> Khartoum and<br />

El Obeid. In 1881 she was admitted as a nun to <strong>the</strong> Comboni Sisters. She was captured by <strong>the</strong><br />

Mahdists when <strong>the</strong>y took Obeid <strong>in</strong> 1882. She eventually escaped to Egypt where she died <strong>in</strong> 1899.<br />

[33]<br />

Except <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> lives <strong>of</strong> a handful <strong>of</strong> such people, <strong>the</strong>re was little to be seen <strong>in</strong> 1885 for <strong>the</strong> labors <strong>of</strong> such<br />

men as Casolani, Knoblecher, Kirchner and Comboni. Yet <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir implacable opposition to slavery, <strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong>ir unshakable commitment to <strong>the</strong> cause <strong>of</strong> an African Church, particularly <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> case <strong>of</strong> Comboni,<br />

<strong>the</strong>y constitute <strong>the</strong> foundations <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sudanese Catholic Church <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> 20th century.<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

.<br />

Card<strong>in</strong>al Daniele Comboni, <strong>the</strong> "mutran es sudan", «fa<strong>the</strong>r <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> blacks»,<br />

Comboni School, Khartoum<br />

where my children studied<br />

In less than four months before Comboni's death, Muhammad Ahmad declared himself to be <strong>the</strong><br />

expected Mahdi, launch<strong>in</strong>g a nationalist revolt <strong>in</strong> Sudan that quickly swept away all Anglo-Egyptian<br />

resistance. By <strong>the</strong> end <strong>of</strong> 1883 only <strong>the</strong> city <strong>of</strong> Khartoum rema<strong>in</strong>ed under Egyptian control. British<br />

prime m<strong>in</strong>ister William Gladstone sent General Charles Gordon (1833-1885), as <strong>the</strong> Governor General<br />

<strong>of</strong> Sudan from 1877 to 1879, to Khartoum to organize <strong>the</strong> evacuation <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> rema<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g Egyptian troops<br />

and Europeans <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> city. Instead, Gordon mounted a defense. The Mahdi laid siege to Khartoum <strong>in</strong><br />

September 1884, and his forces took over <strong>the</strong> city on January 26, 1885. The population was<br />

massacred, while Gordon was speared to death <strong>in</strong> his palace. However Mahdi himself died <strong>in</strong> June<br />

1885 <strong>of</strong> typhus. He was succeeded by Khalifa Abdullahi establish<strong>in</strong>g Mahdiya <strong>in</strong> Sudan.. The era <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> Mahdiya (1885-1898) was a reign <strong>of</strong> terror that saw <strong>the</strong> wag<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> jihad aga<strong>in</strong>st <strong>the</strong> non-Muslim<br />

population and <strong>the</strong> death <strong>of</strong> thousands. The fate <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> missionaries was recorded <strong>in</strong> lurid detail by<br />

Fa<strong>the</strong>r Joseph Ohrwalder <strong>in</strong> Ten Years <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Mahdist Camp, 1882-1892<br />

The British under General Herbert Kitchener decisively defeated <strong>the</strong> Khalifa at <strong>the</strong> battle <strong>of</strong> Omdurman<br />

on September 2, 1898, and subsequently established an Anglo-Egyptian rule <strong>in</strong> Sudan known as <strong>the</strong><br />

Condom<strong>in</strong>ium.<br />

ln 1900, <strong>the</strong> Verona Fa<strong>the</strong>rs started two schools for girls, one <strong>in</strong> Khartoum and one <strong>in</strong> Omdurman.<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

CHAPTER ELEVEN<br />

ANGLICAN CHURCH MISSIONARY SOCIETY (C.M.S.)<br />

Dur<strong>in</strong>g Sudan's colonial era, 1898 to 1955, four major Churches successfully established <strong>the</strong>mselves<br />

<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> country: <strong>the</strong> Coptic, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, and Anglican.<br />

The Coptic Church had gone underground dur<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> Mahdiya and reemerged at this time.<br />

The Verona Fa<strong>the</strong>rs <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Catholic Church had been poised <strong>in</strong> Aswan, Egypt, for <strong>the</strong> fall <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> khalifa<br />

and reentered <strong>the</strong> country soon after <strong>the</strong> British conquest.<br />

The United Presbyterian Church <strong>of</strong> North America had established itself <strong>in</strong> Egypt <strong>in</strong> 1854, and upon<br />

<strong>the</strong> fall <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> khalifa extended its American Mission to Khartoum and <strong>the</strong>n to <strong>the</strong> South.<br />

The British established <strong>the</strong> Anglican Church <strong>in</strong> Sudan through <strong>the</strong> Church Missionary Society.<br />

Although forbidden by <strong>the</strong> British colonial adm<strong>in</strong>istration to evangelize <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> North, which was<br />

generally Muslim, <strong>the</strong> latter three worked assiduously to br<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> gospel to sou<strong>the</strong>rners. Each Church,<br />

however, was allowed to establish congregations and schools for<br />

its own members <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> North. By exploit<strong>in</strong>g this caveat,<br />

<strong>Christianity</strong> was also reestablished <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> North.<br />

Llewellyn Gwynne, Archibald Shaw and Dr Frank Harpur<br />

established mission stations <strong>in</strong> North Sudan at Omdurman (1899)<br />

and Khartoum (1900).<br />

CMS opened a school for Coptic girls <strong>in</strong> Khartoum <strong>in</strong> 1902 and<br />

opened fur<strong>the</strong>r schools, <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> nor<strong>the</strong>rn towns.<br />

A hospital was established at Omdurman. Later schools were<br />

established <strong>in</strong> Omdurman, Atbara (1908) and Wad Madani (1916).<br />

At <strong>the</strong> request <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> government <strong>the</strong> CMS established schools <strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> Nuba Mounta<strong>in</strong>s at Salara (1935) and Katcha <strong>in</strong> (1939). In<br />

1959 <strong>the</strong> government took over <strong>the</strong> operation <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> schools.<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Llewellyn Henry Gwynne, CMG, CBE (11 June 1863 – 9 December 1957) was a Welsh Anglican Bishop. He was <strong>the</strong> first<br />

Anglican Bishop <strong>of</strong> Egypt and Sudan (1920 - 1946). He began his overseas career <strong>in</strong> 1899 as a Christian missionary <strong>in</strong><br />

east Africa. In 1905 Gwynne was appo<strong>in</strong>ted archdeacon for <strong>the</strong> Sudan; and <strong>in</strong> 1908 he was consecrated Bishop <strong>of</strong><br />

Khartoum.<br />

Recalled to Europe <strong>in</strong> World War I bishop Llewellyn was appo<strong>in</strong>ted deputy chapla<strong>in</strong>-general <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> army <strong>in</strong> France, serv<strong>in</strong>g<br />

until May 1919. Bishop Gwynne returned to Brita<strong>in</strong> dur<strong>in</strong>g World War II and formally retired <strong>in</strong> 1946. He died on 9<br />

December 1957 at <strong>the</strong> age <strong>of</strong> n<strong>in</strong>ety-four.<br />

Bishop Llewellyn Gwynne returned to <strong>the</strong> Sudan <strong>in</strong> 1919. In 1920, he became <strong>the</strong> bishop <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> new<br />

Anglican diocese <strong>of</strong> Egypt and <strong>the</strong> Sudan. In 1924 Gwynne held <strong>the</strong> first Annual Unity Service <strong>in</strong><br />

Khartoum Ca<strong>the</strong>dral. In 1926 Gwynne and <strong>the</strong> Mufti (<strong>the</strong> religious head <strong>of</strong> Moslems) stood toge<strong>the</strong>r to<br />

bless <strong>the</strong> new Sennar Dam.<br />

Llewellyn Gwynne, Archibald Shaw and Dr Frank Harpur established mission stations <strong>in</strong> North Sudan<br />

at Omdurman (1899) and Khartoum (1900). A hospital was established at Omdurman. Later schools<br />

were established <strong>in</strong> Omdurman, Atbara (1908) and Wad Madani (1916). At <strong>the</strong> request <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

government <strong>the</strong> CMS established schools <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Nuba Mounta<strong>in</strong>s at Salara (1935) and Katcha <strong>in</strong><br />

(1939). In 1959 <strong>the</strong> government took over <strong>the</strong> operation <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> schools<br />

The Rev. L. Gwyne's Rectory<br />

where he lived when he first went to Khartoum <strong>in</strong> 1899<br />

From <strong>the</strong> Quarterly Paper <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Mission for Egypt 1903<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Story <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> All Sa<strong>in</strong>t's Ca<strong>the</strong>dral <strong>of</strong> Khartoum<br />

All Sa<strong>in</strong>ts’ Ca<strong>the</strong>dral, Khartoum belongs to <strong>the</strong> Diocese <strong>of</strong> Khartoum <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Episcopal Church <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Sudan (ECS). The present Ca<strong>the</strong>dral is a new site which was given by <strong>the</strong> Sudan government to<br />

replace <strong>the</strong> old Ca<strong>the</strong>dral near to <strong>the</strong> Republican palace. The foundation <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> old Ca<strong>the</strong>dral was laid<br />

<strong>in</strong> 1904 and was consecrated and opened <strong>in</strong> 1912.<br />

The Old Ca<strong>the</strong>dral<br />

All Sa<strong>in</strong>ts Ca<strong>the</strong>dral, Khartoum<br />

Consecration <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> All Sa<strong>in</strong>t's Ca<strong>the</strong>dral by Bishop Gwynne on 26 January 1912<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

On <strong>the</strong> 31st <strong>of</strong> July 1971, <strong>the</strong> Ca<strong>the</strong>dral was confiscated by <strong>the</strong> Sudan government with <strong>the</strong> allegation<br />

that, <strong>the</strong>re was a tunnel from <strong>the</strong> ca<strong>the</strong>dral to <strong>the</strong> palace, an allegation which was not true. The second<br />

argument was that <strong>the</strong> Ca<strong>the</strong>dral was near <strong>the</strong> palace and <strong>the</strong>refore it was not convenient for <strong>the</strong><br />

Christians to worship <strong>the</strong>re. However, today <strong>the</strong>re stands a magnificent Mosque just near to palace<br />

which was opened <strong>in</strong> 1995.<br />

Addition to that <strong>the</strong> Ca<strong>the</strong>dral's tower was knocked down <strong>in</strong> October 1996 and <strong>the</strong> Ca<strong>the</strong>dral was turn<br />

<strong>in</strong>to a Museum which was opened on December 31, 1999.<br />

Beside <strong>the</strong> present site <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Ca<strong>the</strong>dral, <strong>the</strong>re are two o<strong>the</strong>r plots which were <strong>of</strong>fered to replace <strong>the</strong><br />

staff houses. The amount <strong>of</strong> Ls. 500,000 (five hundred thousand Sudanese Pounds) about 200 US<br />

Dollars (two hundred US Dollars) was <strong>of</strong>fered toward <strong>the</strong> build<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> new Ca<strong>the</strong>dral and pastors<br />

houses. However <strong>the</strong> money was not enough to do <strong>the</strong> work which was required. The tower <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> new<br />

Ca<strong>the</strong>dral is yet to be built plus a community center which <strong>in</strong>cludes a library, <strong>of</strong>fices, Ca<strong>the</strong>dral Hall,<br />

children's class rooms, and staff houses. Bells are still <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> old site, although we are no longer sure <strong>of</strong><br />

this, s<strong>in</strong>ce <strong>the</strong> tower was knocked down and <strong>the</strong> Ca<strong>the</strong>dral was turned <strong>in</strong>to a Museum.<br />

The New Ca<strong>the</strong>dral<br />

The foundation stone <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> new Ca<strong>the</strong>dral was laid on <strong>the</strong> 27th <strong>of</strong> May 1979, by <strong>the</strong> Most Rev. El<strong>in</strong>ana<br />

J. Ngalamu, <strong>the</strong> first Archbishop <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Episcopal church <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sudan. The consecration was done on<br />

<strong>the</strong> 18th <strong>of</strong> September 1983, at which Oliver Alison, <strong>the</strong> Last English Bishop to leave Sudan, was<br />

<strong>in</strong>vited back to preach on <strong>the</strong> occasion.<br />

The Sudanese Government says it is enough to serve <strong>the</strong> rema<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g Christian population after <strong>the</strong><br />

separation <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> South Sudan.<br />

The Ca<strong>the</strong>dral was adm<strong>in</strong>istered by chapla<strong>in</strong>s appo<strong>in</strong>ted by <strong>the</strong> Bishop who used to reside <strong>in</strong> Cairo.<br />

Natana was <strong>the</strong> first Sudanese ever to be appo<strong>in</strong>ted as provost. Ephraim came just after <strong>the</strong><br />

confiscation <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Ca<strong>the</strong>dral 1972 and was <strong>the</strong> provost until 1988. He was elected, consecrated, and<br />

enthroned as Bishop for Lui Diocese. Ephraim and Bishop Butrus Shokai <strong>the</strong> first Bishop <strong>of</strong> Khartoum<br />

Diocese worked very hard until this new site was granted. Four copies <strong>of</strong> Holy Bible have been placed<br />

<strong>in</strong> each <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> four corners <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Ca<strong>the</strong>dral as <strong>the</strong> bases <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> foundation as <strong>the</strong> liv<strong>in</strong>g church.<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

The present Bishop <strong>of</strong> Khartoum Diocese is <strong>the</strong> Rt. Rev. Ezekiel J. Kondo, who is <strong>the</strong> third Sudanese<br />

Bishop <strong>of</strong> Khartoum and former Provost <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Ca<strong>the</strong>dral.<br />

The New All Sa<strong>in</strong>ts Ca<strong>the</strong>dral <strong>in</strong> Khartoum.<br />

The first Archbishop <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> new <strong>in</strong>ternal prov<strong>in</strong>ce <strong>of</strong> Sudan has been enthroned dur<strong>in</strong>g a major<br />

celebration service <strong>in</strong> Khartoum’s All Sa<strong>in</strong>ts Ca<strong>the</strong>dral. Up to 10,000 worshippers saw <strong>the</strong> Most Revd<br />

Ezekiel Kumir Kondo, Bishop <strong>of</strong> Khartoum, take on <strong>the</strong> new role.<br />

In 2013, <strong>the</strong> Prov<strong>in</strong>ce <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Episcopal Church <strong>of</strong> Sudan decided it wanted to rema<strong>in</strong> as one church<br />

despite <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dependence <strong>of</strong> South Sudan <strong>in</strong> 2011. It renamed itself <strong>the</strong> Episcopal Church <strong>of</strong> South<br />

Sudan and Sudan; and created an <strong>in</strong>ternal prov<strong>in</strong>ce for <strong>the</strong> dioceses <strong>in</strong> Sudan.<br />

Bishop Ezekiel Kumir Kondo<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

General Kitchener defeat<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> Mahdi army <strong>in</strong> 1898 opened <strong>the</strong> way for missionaries. merchants. and<br />

a host <strong>of</strong> o<strong>the</strong>rs to come to Khartoum under <strong>the</strong> aegis <strong>of</strong> jo<strong>in</strong>t Anglo-Egyptian rule known as <strong>the</strong><br />

Condom<strong>in</strong>ium. Among <strong>the</strong>se new arrivals was Llewellyn Gwynne <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Church Missionary Society<br />

(CMS), who arrived <strong>in</strong> Khartoum <strong>in</strong> 1899. Lord Crorner, <strong>the</strong> senior British <strong>of</strong>ficial, was reluctant to allow<br />

Christian missionaries to proselytize <strong>in</strong> Muslim-dom<strong>in</strong>ated nor<strong>the</strong>rn Sudan, fear<strong>in</strong>g it could stir up<br />

religious feel<strong>in</strong>g that was still latent after <strong>the</strong> overthrow <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Mahdiyya.<br />

Gwynne and a handful <strong>of</strong> o<strong>the</strong>rs operated a medical cl<strong>in</strong>ic and school <strong>in</strong> Khartoum. But Crorner<br />

welcomed Christian mission <strong>in</strong> Sou<strong>the</strong>m Sudan, a remote region that was only loosely controlled by<br />

<strong>the</strong> Condom<strong>in</strong>ium and where Islam had made few <strong>in</strong>roads. It was essentially a pagan country formed<br />

as a hundred fold tribal areas. To prevent competition between various missionary groups <strong>of</strong><br />

denom<strong>in</strong>ations, he established separate areas for each <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> mission: <strong>the</strong> CMS, American<br />

Presbyterian mission, and Catholic missionaries <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Verona Fa<strong>the</strong>rs.<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Clergy House School and Unity High School, Khartoum<br />

Unity High School is an <strong>in</strong>ternationally recognized school located <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> heart <strong>of</strong> Khartoum, Sudan. The<br />

school can trace back its orig<strong>in</strong>s to 1902. It was orig<strong>in</strong>ally founded by <strong>the</strong> Coptic community and began<br />

life as an all girl school.<br />

The idea <strong>of</strong> educat<strong>in</strong>g girls was a new concept <strong>in</strong> Sudan and not all were <strong>in</strong> agreement.<br />

However through <strong>the</strong> permission <strong>of</strong> Coptic Church <strong>in</strong> Egypt and <strong>the</strong> assistance <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> founder <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

school Bishop Llewellyn Henry Gwynne <strong>the</strong> school was opened. They found an upper room to locate<br />

<strong>the</strong> new school and brought a teacher from Lebanon to educate <strong>the</strong> children.<br />

In 1904 Miss Bewley arrived at <strong>the</strong> school from Cairo and oversaw its reorganization. Large number <strong>of</strong><br />

dignitaries visited <strong>the</strong> school, at this which <strong>in</strong>cluded <strong>the</strong> Grand Mufti <strong>of</strong> Cairo, Pr<strong>in</strong>cess Beatrice <strong>of</strong><br />

Coburg, <strong>the</strong> Duke and Duchess <strong>of</strong> Connaught and Lady W<strong>in</strong>gate. The school was grow<strong>in</strong>g both<br />

academic excellence and popularity so it seemed fitt<strong>in</strong>g that it should have its own build<strong>in</strong>g. The task<br />

was undertaken by Sergeant Seabright, (whose commemorative plaque for his baby is still <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> ma<strong>in</strong><br />

hall today.) and <strong>in</strong> 1905 <strong>the</strong> school had its own separate build<strong>in</strong>g. In 1910 <strong>the</strong> school formed close<br />

ties with Gordon College, who provided external exam<strong>in</strong>ers for <strong>the</strong> school.<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

In 1927 plans were <strong>the</strong>n made for <strong>the</strong> creation <strong>of</strong> a high school, under <strong>the</strong> aegis <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> four expatriate<br />

communities <strong>of</strong> Greek, Armenian, Syrian and Coptic. The lead<strong>in</strong>g Christian merchants donated money<br />

to enable <strong>the</strong> school. He founded <strong>the</strong> Unity High School <strong>in</strong> Khartoum, and <strong>the</strong> school was <strong>of</strong>ficially<br />

opened <strong>in</strong> 1928 by Bishop Allison. In 1937 <strong>the</strong>y began to <strong>of</strong>fer GCSC <strong>of</strong> Cambridge exam<strong>in</strong>ation. It<br />

became <strong>the</strong> school for expatriate girls ever s<strong>in</strong>ce, along side with <strong>the</strong> sudanese girls.<br />

This was taken at <strong>the</strong> time <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> visit <strong>of</strong> Pr<strong>in</strong>cess Anne <strong>in</strong>1974<br />

Pat Clague who was <strong>the</strong> Pr<strong>in</strong>cipal is <strong>in</strong>troduc<strong>in</strong>g someone to <strong>the</strong> Pr<strong>in</strong>ce. You can see Bishop Allison<br />

at <strong>the</strong> back.<br />

These schools rema<strong>in</strong>ed to be <strong>the</strong> outreach centers <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Anglican Church. For some time I was<br />

asked to be <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> executive board <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Unity High School.<br />

Bishop Allison witnessed <strong>the</strong> suffer<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> South Sudanese Christians at <strong>the</strong> hands <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Arab<br />

Muslim government. He was a witness to <strong>the</strong> events that took place between 1947 and 1955 which led<br />

to <strong>the</strong> mut<strong>in</strong>y <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Equatoria Corps, thus mark<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> beg<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> long war between <strong>the</strong> Christian<br />

South Sudan and <strong>the</strong> Arab Muslim government <strong>of</strong> North Sudan.<br />

Bishop Morris Gelsthorpe became first bishop <strong>of</strong> Sudan <strong>in</strong> 1945 when Sudan became separated from<br />

<strong>the</strong> diocese <strong>of</strong> Egypt with Bishop Morris as first bishop. Bishop Morris Gelsthorpe retired <strong>in</strong> 1952 and<br />

Bishop Oliver Allison took charge <strong>in</strong> Khartoum.<br />

When Sudan became <strong>in</strong>dependent on January 1, 1956. its nor<strong>the</strong>rn, Muslim leaders quickly<br />

established an Islamic regime and began to oppress <strong>the</strong> Christian movement <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> country.<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Bishop Oliver Allison (1908 - 1973)<br />

The “Missionary Society’s Act 1962,” accord<strong>in</strong>g to which all Christian missionaries were expelled from<br />

South Sudan. Dur<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> Khartoum <strong>in</strong>cident <strong>in</strong> December 1964 when thousands <strong>of</strong> South Sudanese<br />

liv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> Khartoum were killed by Arab Muslims, Bishop Allison became a host to hundreds <strong>of</strong> South<br />

Sudanese who took refuge <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Clergy House. In 1965, <strong>the</strong> Sudanese Army carried out shoot<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> towns <strong>of</strong> Juba and Wau. Many South Sudanese had to flee to Congo, Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya,<br />

and Central Africa Republic, to live <strong>the</strong> life <strong>of</strong> a refugee.<br />

Bishop Allison talk<strong>in</strong>g to my daughter Premeela N<strong>in</strong>an<br />

In <strong>the</strong> campus <strong>of</strong> Unity <strong>of</strong> High School, Khartoum<br />

Bishop Allision talk<strong>in</strong>g to my wife Mrs Ponnamma N<strong>in</strong>an<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

CHAPTER TWELVE<br />

SUDAN INTERIOR MISSION AND SUDAN INTERIOR CHURCH<br />

Sudan Interior Mission [SIM] began <strong>in</strong> 1893. The founders <strong>of</strong> this Mission were:<br />

<strong>the</strong> Scottish Canadian Walter Gowans (a Presbyterian),<br />

English Canadian Rowland B<strong>in</strong>gham (who was affiliated to <strong>the</strong> Salvation Army and <strong>in</strong> sympathy with<br />

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<strong>the</strong> Plymouth Brethren) and<br />

<strong>the</strong> American, Thomas Kent (a congregationist)<br />

HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

They had a vision to evangeiize <strong>the</strong> 60 million unreached people <strong>of</strong> sub-Saharan Africa. Unable to<br />

<strong>in</strong>terest established missions—most <strong>of</strong> which said reach<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> Soudan was impossible. In those days<br />

Soudan referred to all <strong>the</strong> land <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Nor<strong>the</strong>rn Africa. They were all filled with mosquitos and<br />

consequently malaria. All sorts <strong>of</strong> <strong>in</strong>fectious diseases were abundant. However <strong>the</strong>se three bold men<br />

were not h<strong>in</strong>dered by all <strong>the</strong> difficulties. They raised funds privately and came to Lagos with <strong>the</strong> zeal<br />

<strong>of</strong> reach<strong>in</strong>g nor<strong>the</strong>rn Nigeria. After reach<strong>in</strong>g Lagos, Gowan and Kent proceeded to <strong>the</strong> north as far as<br />

Bida while B<strong>in</strong>gham was left at Lagos. However, on reach<strong>in</strong>g Lagos, he fell sick, so serious that he had<br />

to be sent back home.<br />

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++>>>><br />

N<strong>in</strong>ans <strong>in</strong> Ghana<br />

Teach<strong>in</strong>g on <strong>the</strong> dangers <strong>of</strong> Malaria<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

In 1961 I have served <strong>in</strong> Ghana at Cape Coast Ghana National College, and one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> major<br />

precaution was <strong>the</strong> Sunday Sunday medic<strong>in</strong>e <strong>of</strong> Qu<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>e pills and <strong>the</strong> mosquito nett<strong>in</strong>g on all w<strong>in</strong>dows<br />

and a double door at all entrances. In spite <strong>of</strong> that we have several outbreaks <strong>of</strong> malaria and<br />

dysentery with<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> family. As a baby our eldest daughter was on <strong>the</strong> verge <strong>of</strong> death due to malaria<br />

and narrowly escaped only because <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> power <strong>of</strong> prayer. It was <strong>in</strong>to this country that <strong>the</strong> early SIM<br />

went without much medical aid or understand<strong>in</strong>g on <strong>the</strong> conditions <strong>in</strong> those countries about 60 years<br />

before us.<br />

Anglican Church was <strong>the</strong> major Church <strong>in</strong> all <strong>of</strong> Ghana s<strong>in</strong>ce it was <strong>the</strong> colony <strong>of</strong> England.<br />


HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

When I reached Khartoum to teach <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Higher Teacher Tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g Institute which was started by <strong>the</strong><br />

UNESCO to produce teachers <strong>in</strong> Sudan we were given a house <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Khartoum Extension near <strong>the</strong><br />

Air Port. At that time <strong>the</strong> SIM was <strong>the</strong> nearest chapel. The Anglican Church with Bishop Allison as<br />

its Metran was fur<strong>the</strong>r away. So our major fellowship was with <strong>the</strong> SIM. It was a small chapel with<br />

<strong>the</strong> Australian couple Mr. &Mrs Nunn <strong>in</strong> charge. The SIM provided fellowship for <strong>the</strong> International<br />

community <strong>of</strong> believers<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Sudan Interior Church<br />

The Sudan Interior Church grew out <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sudan Interior Mission (SIM) from <strong>the</strong> USA. It was started <strong>in</strong><br />

1937 by SIM missionaries who had been expelled from Ethiopia by <strong>the</strong> Italians. Hop<strong>in</strong>g to keep <strong>in</strong><br />

touch with <strong>the</strong> small community <strong>the</strong>y had built <strong>in</strong> Ethiopia, <strong>the</strong>y began to work <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sudan along <strong>the</strong><br />

border <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Blue Nile prov<strong>in</strong>ce, and eventually <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> nor<strong>the</strong>rn part <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Upper Nile prov<strong>in</strong>ce. It<br />

became autonomous <strong>in</strong> 1963. Congregations are <strong>in</strong> Khartoum, Upper Nile and Blue Nile Prov<strong>in</strong>ce. It<br />

has 25,000 members and 120 parishes. It is currently a member <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Baptist World Alliance. I was <strong>in</strong><br />

fact part <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> advisory committee as <strong>the</strong> Church was becom<strong>in</strong>g autonomous. The essential<br />

problems were <strong>the</strong> conflict between <strong>the</strong> cultural practices <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> communities as aga<strong>in</strong>st <strong>the</strong> moral<br />

standards <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> bible.<br />

Notice <strong>the</strong> dress <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> pastor which is rem<strong>in</strong>iscent <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> robe <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> bishops. This is a cultural practice.<br />

The chiefs <strong>of</strong> tribes wear dist<strong>in</strong>ct red <strong>the</strong>med robes and it is simply symbolic <strong>of</strong> authority.<br />

This may be <strong>the</strong> basis <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> dress <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> bishops <strong>in</strong>itially with<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> early church.<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

AMERICAN PRESBYTERIAN MISSION<br />

Rev John Kelly Giffen DD(1853-1932)<br />

Rev. J. Kelly Giffen was an American Presbyterian missionary <strong>in</strong> Egypt when <strong>the</strong> news came that<br />

British and Egyptian troops had entered Omdurman. He was eager for <strong>the</strong> American mission to beg<strong>in</strong><br />

work <strong>in</strong> Sudan and so <strong>in</strong> 1900 he visited Omdurman with a fellow missionary, Dr. Andrew Watson (The<br />

Practice <strong>of</strong> Mission <strong>in</strong> Egypt: A Historical Study <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Integration ...By Tharwat Wahba) and stayed<br />

with Gwynne and Harpur. Like Gwynne, Giffen’s vision at that time was for evangelism amongst <strong>the</strong><br />

Muslim population <strong>of</strong> North Sudan. Unlike <strong>the</strong> Catholics and <strong>the</strong> CMS, <strong>the</strong> Presbyterians already had a<br />

large church <strong>in</strong> Egypt. The Evangelical Church <strong>in</strong> Egypt was founded by American Presbyterians and<br />

consisted ma<strong>in</strong>ly <strong>of</strong> converts from <strong>the</strong> Coptic Church. Consequently follow<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> report that Giffen<br />

brought back to Egypt <strong>the</strong> mission set aside Giffen and his wife and also Dr. H. T. McLaughl<strong>in</strong> and his<br />

wife for work <strong>in</strong> Sudan and <strong>the</strong> Evangelical Church chose an Egyptian pastor, Rev. Gebra Hanna to go<br />

to Sudan to work amongst <strong>the</strong> Coptic and Evangelical Christians, and to beg<strong>in</strong> a witness amongst<br />

Muslims.<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

THE SOUDAN PIONEER MISSION<br />

THE SUDAN UNITED MISSION<br />

The Sudan United Mission was founded by Hermann Karl Wilhelm Kumm<br />

(1875-1930) from Osterode, Germany and his wife Lucy Evangel<strong>in</strong>e Gu<strong>in</strong>ness<br />

(1865-1906).Initially <strong>the</strong>y called <strong>the</strong>mselves Soudan Pioneer Mission which<br />

was later changed to Sudan Union Mission. Their work extend to <strong>the</strong> wider<br />

"Soudan" territory as far as Nigeria and Ghana. Follow<strong>in</strong>g Kumm's<br />

recruitment meet<strong>in</strong>gs <strong>in</strong> Australia, <strong>the</strong> Australian branch <strong>of</strong> SUM began<br />

send<strong>in</strong>g missionaries to work <strong>in</strong> Sudan. Wilfrid Mills, <strong>the</strong> Trud<strong>in</strong>gers and D N<br />

McDiarmid arrived <strong>in</strong> 1914. From 1920 <strong>the</strong>y concentrated on <strong>the</strong> Eastern Nuba<br />

Mounta<strong>in</strong>s, which became <strong>the</strong> SUM field. By 1936 <strong>the</strong>re were thirty three<br />

Australian SUM missionaries work<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>re.<br />

Sudan Pioneer Mission House <strong>in</strong> Aswan<br />

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To summarize <strong>the</strong> history <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sudan:<br />

HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

What is now nor<strong>the</strong>rn and central Sudan was <strong>in</strong> ancient times <strong>the</strong> Meroitic-speak<strong>in</strong>g K<strong>in</strong>gdom <strong>of</strong> Kush,<br />

which for a short time even ruled over Egypt as <strong>the</strong> 25th dynasty. Driven out <strong>of</strong> Egypt by <strong>the</strong> Assyrians<br />

it retreated back to Sudan, where it ma<strong>in</strong>ta<strong>in</strong>ed itself until <strong>the</strong> mid 4th century AD. After its fall <strong>the</strong><br />

Nubians formed <strong>the</strong> three k<strong>in</strong>gdoms <strong>of</strong> Nobatia, Makuria and Alodia, which converted to <strong>Christianity</strong> <strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> 6th century. In 642 and 652 respectively Makuria, now probably unified with Nobatia, managed to<br />

ma<strong>in</strong>ta<strong>in</strong> its <strong>in</strong>dependence aga<strong>in</strong>st <strong>the</strong> Rashidun Caliphate. Afterwards <strong>the</strong> Nubian k<strong>in</strong>gdoms<br />

blossomed, while Muslim Arabs began to settle among <strong>the</strong> Beja people <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sudanese Red Sea<br />

coast and <strong>the</strong> adjacent Eastern Desert. S<strong>in</strong>ce 1317 Makuria was temporarily ruled by Muslim k<strong>in</strong>gs,<br />

and after 1365 it had largely collapsed, be<strong>in</strong>g reduced merely to Lower Nubia ] At least s<strong>in</strong>ce 1324<br />

Arab Bedou<strong>in</strong>s had begun to migrate to <strong>the</strong> Sudanese Nile Valley, eventually settl<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Butana,<br />

<strong>the</strong> Gezira, Kord<strong>of</strong>an and Darfur. The last Christian Nubian k<strong>in</strong>gdom, Alodia, was destroyed <strong>in</strong> c. 1500<br />

ei<strong>the</strong>r by Arabs or <strong>the</strong> African Funj.<br />

After <strong>the</strong> destruction <strong>of</strong> Alodia <strong>the</strong> Funj founded a new Muslim state<br />

encompass<strong>in</strong>g large parts <strong>of</strong> river<strong>in</strong>e and eastern Sudan, while Darfur<br />

dom<strong>in</strong>ated <strong>the</strong> west and <strong>the</strong> Ottomans <strong>the</strong> far north. Due to Sufi<br />

teachers, Islam started to become <strong>the</strong> dom<strong>in</strong>ant religion <strong>in</strong> Sudan,<br />

albeit small Christian Nubian communities survived until <strong>the</strong> turn <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

20th century. Additionally, <strong>the</strong> Nubians liv<strong>in</strong>g upstream <strong>of</strong> Al Dabbah<br />

and <strong>in</strong> Kord<strong>of</strong>an were Arabized, a process largely completed by <strong>the</strong><br />

19th century. In 1820 central Sudan was conquered by Muhammad Ali<br />

Pasha. The harsh Egyptian reign eventually caused a successful revolt<br />

led by <strong>the</strong> self-proclaimed Mahdi Muhammad Ahmad b<strong>in</strong> Abd Allah,<br />

result<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> establishment <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Caliphate <strong>of</strong> Omdurman. This state lasted until 1899, when it was<br />

destroyed by <strong>the</strong> British Empire. Afterwards Sudan was governed by <strong>the</strong> Anglo-Egyptian condom<strong>in</strong>ium<br />

Egyptian K<strong>in</strong>gdom <strong>of</strong> Kush c. 16th cent. BC – 11th cent. BC<br />

Meroitic K<strong>in</strong>gdom <strong>of</strong> Kush 11th cent. BC– 6th cent. BC<br />

Christian K<strong>in</strong>gdoms <strong>of</strong> Nubia 6th AD- c. 14th cent.AD<br />

Islamization c. 9th cent AD– 19th cent.AD<br />

Ali dynasty 1821–1885 AD<br />

The Mahdiyah 1885–1899 AD<br />

Anglo-Egyptian rule 1899–1956 AD<br />

Thus, <strong>the</strong> Reverend Wilson Cash, secretary <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Church Missionary Society, observed <strong>in</strong> 1930:<br />

“The government is scrupulously fair to Muslims and pagans, and <strong>in</strong> religious matters adopts a strictly<br />

neutral attitude. The task <strong>of</strong> evangelization is no part <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> government's work and it falls to <strong>the</strong><br />

mission alone to decide whe<strong>the</strong>r <strong>the</strong>se sou<strong>the</strong>rn pagan tribes shall be left to be captured for Islam or<br />

whe<strong>the</strong>r <strong>the</strong>y shall be won for Jesus Christ” (Wilson Cash, The Chang<strong>in</strong>g Sudan, London: Christian<br />

Mission Society, 1930, p. 54.)<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

First Civil War 1955–1972<br />

Independence <strong>of</strong> Sudan as Republic 1956<br />

Independence (1956)<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

The 20th century saw <strong>the</strong> growth <strong>of</strong> Sudanese nationalism and <strong>in</strong> 1953 Brita<strong>in</strong> granted Sudan<br />

self-government. Independence was proclaimed on January 1, 1956.<br />

Immediately follow<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>dependence, <strong>the</strong> role <strong>of</strong> head <strong>of</strong> state was filled by a five-member Sovereignty<br />

Council, with rival nationalist factions unable to agree on a s<strong>in</strong>gle candidate. In November 1958,<br />

General Ibrahim Abboud led a military coup d'état, assum<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> role <strong>of</strong> head <strong>of</strong> state as Chairman <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> Supreme Council. He later took <strong>the</strong> title <strong>of</strong> president <strong>in</strong> 1964. Abboud was succeeded by a senior<br />

civil servant, Sirr Al-Khatim Al-Khalifa, who served as act<strong>in</strong>g president for 18 days before transferr<strong>in</strong>g<br />

executive authority to a Committee <strong>of</strong> Sovereignty. Ismail al-Azhari, <strong>the</strong> leader <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> National Unionist<br />

Party, was made president <strong>in</strong> July 1965, and ruled with limited power until he was deposed <strong>in</strong> 1969.<br />

After a military coupe Col. Gaafar Nimeiry. <strong>the</strong> leader <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> newly formed Sudanese Socialist Union,<br />

assumed <strong>the</strong> position <strong>of</strong> president <strong>in</strong> 1971.<br />

A briefly successful coup <strong>in</strong> July 1971, ruled a few days when Nimeiry who was put <strong>in</strong> prison manged<br />

to escape and took back power and was able to susta<strong>in</strong> as President till 1985.One <strong>of</strong> my colleague<br />

who was a Chemistry lecturer <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> college I was teach<strong>in</strong>g; Mr.Mohamed Ahmed Taha was part <strong>of</strong> this<br />

coupe. As usual he was executed by hang<strong>in</strong>g along with o<strong>the</strong>rs who followed him. We heard about it<br />

all through <strong>the</strong> radio, sitt<strong>in</strong>g at home; without know<strong>in</strong>g what was go<strong>in</strong>g to happen. The radio which<br />

broadcasted <strong>the</strong> takeover was from my department <strong>of</strong> Physics, a large teach<strong>in</strong>g board radio station<br />

which I had just taught my students how to operate.<br />

On 30 June 1989, Colonel Omar al-Bashir led a bloodless military coup. The new military government<br />

suspended political parties and <strong>in</strong>troduced an Islamic legal code on <strong>the</strong> national level. 1989 military<br />

coup led by Lieutenant-General Omar al-Bashir. Al-Bashir has served as head <strong>of</strong> state s<strong>in</strong>ce <strong>the</strong> coup,<br />

under <strong>the</strong> title <strong>of</strong> Chairman <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Revolutionary Command Council for National Salvation to 1993 and<br />

as president from 1993 onwards (and from 1996 as <strong>the</strong> leader <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> National Congress Party).<br />

Apparently Might is right is <strong>the</strong> basic rule <strong>of</strong> a group <strong>of</strong> Islamic order.<br />

over all through <strong>the</strong> history <strong>of</strong> Sudan.<br />

We can expect an on go<strong>in</strong>g take<br />

I left Sudan to <strong>the</strong> University <strong>of</strong> Sanaa, <strong>in</strong> Yemen <strong>in</strong> 1974 and returned only <strong>in</strong> 1980 to jo<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Gezira<br />

University <strong>in</strong> Wad Medani where I was for three years and <strong>the</strong>n moved to <strong>the</strong> new University <strong>in</strong> Juba <strong>in</strong><br />

South Sudan.<br />

Abbud military government (1958–1964)<br />

In February 1964,Abbud government "issued <strong>the</strong> decree <strong>of</strong> expulsion <strong>of</strong> all <strong>the</strong> foreign missionaries"<br />

liv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> South Sudan.<br />

"Foreign Missionary organizations have gone beyond <strong>the</strong> limits <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir sacred mission," <strong>the</strong><br />

government expla<strong>in</strong>ed <strong>in</strong> a policy statement on its decision, argu<strong>in</strong>g that <strong>the</strong> missionaries had”<br />

exploited <strong>the</strong> name <strong>of</strong> religion to impart hatred and implant fear and animosity <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> m<strong>in</strong>ds <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Sou<strong>the</strong>rners aga<strong>in</strong>st <strong>the</strong>ir fellow countrymen <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> North with <strong>the</strong> clear object <strong>of</strong> encourag<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong><br />

sett<strong>in</strong>g up <strong>of</strong> a separate political status for <strong>the</strong> sou<strong>the</strong>rn prov<strong>in</strong>ces thus endanger<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>tegrity and<br />

unity <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> country” .("The Expulsion <strong>of</strong> Foreign Missionaries and Priests from <strong>the</strong> Sou<strong>the</strong>rn<br />

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Prov<strong>in</strong>ces," The Black Book <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sudan on <strong>the</strong> Expulsion <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Missionaries from <strong>the</strong> South Sudan<br />

Verona, Italy: Verona Fa<strong>the</strong>rs, 1964, pp.16-17; Francis Mad<strong>in</strong>g Deng, Tradition and Modernization: A<br />

Challenge for Law Among <strong>the</strong> D<strong>in</strong>ka <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sudan, New Haven and London: Yale University Press,<br />

1971, pp. 235-237.; http://www.meforum.org/22/sudan-civil-war-and-genocide)<br />

This affected <strong>the</strong> Catholic Churches and <strong>the</strong>ir <strong>in</strong>frastructures very heavily which <strong>in</strong>cluded 154 religious<br />

sisters, 104 religious bro<strong>the</strong>rs, and 13 o<strong>the</strong>r missionaries from <strong>the</strong>ir order liv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> 58 missions <strong>in</strong> South<br />

Sudan. Even though foreign missionaries had to leave South Sudan, <strong>the</strong> experience still led to a<br />

blossom<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> faith <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> area. The experience helped support <strong>the</strong> emergence <strong>of</strong> "a local church, with<br />

its own hierarchy, priests and religious," and contributed to <strong>the</strong> evangelization <strong>of</strong> North Sudan, when<br />

refugees from South Sudan fled north, br<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>ir faith with <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

They also declared Friday as <strong>the</strong> weekly holiday <strong>in</strong>stead <strong>of</strong> Sunday to force out Christian worship. The<br />

Rumbeck School students staged a protest. Ten leaders were arrested and <strong>the</strong> North<br />

governments forced a ten-year prison sentence. On release <strong>the</strong>y jo<strong>in</strong>ed <strong>the</strong> Ananya<br />

Rebel Movement. One <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>m Mr. Immanuel Abur Tong became <strong>the</strong> Commander <strong>of</strong> AnyaNya army<br />

<strong>of</strong> Bahr el Ghazal.<br />

Abboud fell from power <strong>in</strong> 1964 and follow<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> failure <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> "Round Table" Peace conference <strong>in</strong><br />

1965, <strong>the</strong> governments <strong>of</strong> Mohammad Ahmed Mahjoub and Sadiq-al-Mahdi launched an aggressive<br />

campaign <strong>in</strong> sou<strong>the</strong>rn Sudan.<br />

In June, July and August <strong>of</strong> 1965 many villages, churches and schools were destroyed and many<br />

thousands driven deep <strong>in</strong>to <strong>the</strong> bush or <strong>in</strong>to exile <strong>in</strong> Uganda or Zaire. Bishop Gwynne College, <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong>ological college <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Anglican diocese <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sudan was attacked and destroyed by nor<strong>the</strong>rn<br />

troops. The staff and students with <strong>the</strong>ir families walked through <strong>the</strong> bush to Uganda. In both Juba and<br />

Wau nor<strong>the</strong>rn troops, out <strong>of</strong> control, were guilty <strong>of</strong> large scale massacres <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> civilian population.<br />

Between 1963 and 1966 an estimated half a million lives were lost, <strong>in</strong> addition to a similar number from<br />

related causes such as disease and fam<strong>in</strong>e.<br />

Sirr Al-Khatim Al-Khalifa, as prime m<strong>in</strong>ister to head a transitional government. 1965<br />

Nimeiri era 1969–1985<br />

Revolutionary Command 1969–1971<br />

Dur<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> summer <strong>of</strong> 1971 <strong>the</strong> World Council <strong>of</strong> Churches and <strong>the</strong> All Africa Conference <strong>of</strong> Churches,<br />

sought to br<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> two sides toge<strong>the</strong>r. A conference was arranged <strong>in</strong> Addis Ababa between <strong>the</strong><br />

representatives <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Khartoum government (led by Abel Alier, sou<strong>the</strong>rn D<strong>in</strong>ka, who was Nimeiri's<br />

m<strong>in</strong>ister for sou<strong>the</strong>rn affairs) and representatives <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> South Sudan Liberation Movement (political<br />

w<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Anyanya). An agreement was signed on February 27, 1972, lead<strong>in</strong>g to <strong>the</strong> Regional<br />

Self-Government Act for <strong>the</strong> Sou<strong>the</strong>rn Prov<strong>in</strong>ces, approved on <strong>the</strong> March 3.<br />

The substantial self-government accorded to <strong>the</strong> South enabled <strong>the</strong> South to enjoy ten years <strong>of</strong><br />

relative peace though <strong>the</strong>se years were marked by political <strong>in</strong>stability and wrangl<strong>in</strong>g, and deep division<br />

between <strong>the</strong> different political factions. The <strong>in</strong>ter-tribal war cont<strong>in</strong>ued to <strong>in</strong>terfere unity as it was part <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> age old cattle rustl<strong>in</strong>g tradition.<br />

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CHAPTER THIRTEEN<br />

CHRISTIANITY IN YEMEN<br />

Yemenies were not really Arabs <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> sense that <strong>the</strong>y are descendants <strong>of</strong> Ismael. They are Semites<br />

but not <strong>the</strong> children <strong>of</strong> Abraham. They descent from Jokthan ano<strong>the</strong>r son <strong>of</strong> Shem. Sheba (Saba)<br />

was descended from Joktan (Qahtan). Adnan descended from Ismail (one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> twelve sons <strong>of</strong> Ismail,<br />

<strong>the</strong> son <strong>of</strong> Abraham) became <strong>the</strong> fa<strong>the</strong>r <strong>of</strong> all <strong>the</strong> Arabs, . Adnan sired Maad, who had a son called<br />

Nizar, both <strong>of</strong> whose names have been found <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> archaeological record as large tribes <strong>of</strong> central<br />

Arabia. Kahtan (Qahtan), is believed to be a reference to <strong>the</strong> Biblical Joktan, great great grandson <strong>of</strong><br />

Shem, <strong>the</strong> son <strong>of</strong> Noah.<br />

Accord<strong>in</strong>g to Church Tradition, <strong>the</strong> holy Apostle Thomas founded Christian churches <strong>in</strong> Palest<strong>in</strong>e,<br />

Mesopotamia, Parthia, Ethiopia and India. Actually Yemen was considered part <strong>of</strong> Ethiopia s<strong>in</strong>ce both<br />

were ruled by Queen Sheba and her dynasty. Axum and Yemen were deeply <strong>in</strong>volved <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> trade<br />

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network between India and <strong>the</strong> Mediterranean. Recent archaeological discoveries <strong>in</strong> Mareb, Yemen<br />

support <strong>the</strong> view that Sheba ruled from Mareb. The tradition asserts that Ethiopia was given by Sheba<br />

to her son from solomon Menelik 1. Haile Selassie is considered as <strong>the</strong> 406th descendant <strong>of</strong> this<br />

dynasty. Thomas did establish a church <strong>in</strong> Yemen. Until <strong>the</strong> islamic take over, Yemen was <strong>in</strong>deed a<br />

Christian country. I worked <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> San'a (Yemen) University and I am told that even today <strong>the</strong> heroes <strong>of</strong><br />

local stories are still Christian – a legacy carried on from <strong>the</strong> early centuries. As such many <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> high<br />

power leaders <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Government considered me a prophet even though I was a christian. They<br />

defended me at all po<strong>in</strong>ts when Islamic religious authorities had problem with me.<br />

Mo<strong>the</strong>r Teresa was well received by <strong>the</strong> people and <strong>the</strong> state.<br />

I had <strong>the</strong> privilege <strong>of</strong> be<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> first moderator <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Christian Church which started essentially for <strong>the</strong><br />

expatriate community <strong>in</strong> San'a worshipp<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> American Embassy Campus. Even though I was<br />

forced to leave <strong>the</strong> country, The Islamic community <strong>of</strong> Yemen has recently <strong>of</strong>ficially <strong>in</strong>vited <strong>the</strong><br />

Christian brethren to return and start open worship <strong>in</strong> that country. On <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>vitation <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Religious<br />

hierarchy <strong>of</strong> Yemen, <strong>the</strong> Patriarch <strong>of</strong> Antiochia did send an Indian Christian Priest to start a Church<br />

service <strong>the</strong>re. They were <strong>the</strong>re till 2014. It is all a legacy <strong>of</strong> understand<strong>in</strong>g that <strong>the</strong> Thomasian<br />

Churches left beh<strong>in</strong>d. .<br />

We know that on <strong>the</strong> way to India, Thomas actually established churches <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Yemen around 40 AD.<br />

This is supported by <strong>the</strong> current discovery <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> date <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> K<strong>in</strong>gdom <strong>of</strong> Gondaphorus which came to<br />

an end <strong>in</strong> AD 50. In that case he was <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> region <strong>of</strong> Yemen for nearly 10 to 12 years. Jews<br />

persecuted Christians all through <strong>the</strong>ir rule <strong>in</strong> Yemen.<br />

The K<strong>in</strong>gdom <strong>of</strong> Himyar <strong>of</strong> Judaism<br />

Du (Nawas) Nuwas, after convert<strong>in</strong>g to Judaism changed his first name from Zur’a to Joseph.<br />

By AD 425 <strong>the</strong> Jewish Himyar controlled <strong>the</strong> entire Yemen and adjacent areas. Eventually <strong>the</strong> entire<br />

nation was converted to Judaism and it became <strong>the</strong> State religion <strong>in</strong> Yemen.<br />

Orig<strong>in</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Christianity</strong> <strong>in</strong> Yemen<br />

There are different traditions about how <strong>Christianity</strong> came to <strong>the</strong> Arabian Pen<strong>in</strong>sula o<strong>the</strong>r than that <strong>of</strong><br />

Apostle Thomas.<br />

Accord<strong>in</strong>g to one tradition, a merchant from Najran converted to <strong>Christianity</strong> dur<strong>in</strong>g one <strong>of</strong> his trips to<br />

modern day Iraq at <strong>the</strong> beg<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> 5th century. Toge<strong>the</strong>r with his family he <strong>the</strong>n formed a<br />

house-church.<br />

Ano<strong>the</strong>r tradition suggests that an envoy <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Roman emperor Constantius preached <strong>the</strong> Christian<br />

faith to <strong>the</strong> Himyarite k<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> South Arabia who as a result converted.<br />

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In ano<strong>the</strong>r tradition Theophilos <strong>the</strong> Indian was reported to have converted <strong>the</strong> Himyarites around 354<br />

AD. (Theophilus was a native <strong>of</strong> Maldive Is<strong>lands</strong> <strong>of</strong>f Kerala coast. Emperor Constant<strong>in</strong>e took him as a<br />

hostage so that <strong>the</strong> Maldive people will not plunder Roman ships as it passed that way. In Rome he<br />

became a Christian and became a Bishop.)<br />

https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2014/10/sa<strong>in</strong>t-arethas-great-martyr-and.html<br />

Sa<strong>in</strong>t Arethas and <strong>the</strong> Martyrs <strong>of</strong> Najran<br />

Najran lie today on <strong>the</strong> boundary <strong>of</strong> Yemen with Saudi Arabia and now<br />

belongs to Saudi.<br />

Dhu Nuwas hoped to create, <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> rich <strong>lands</strong> <strong>of</strong> Sou<strong>the</strong>rn Arabia, a<br />

"Davidic" k<strong>in</strong>gdom which was <strong>in</strong>dependent <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Christian powers. <strong>in</strong><br />

524 Dhu Nuwas with his own army <strong>in</strong>vaded <strong>the</strong> K<strong>in</strong>gdom and he called<br />

upon its people to abandon <strong>Christianity</strong> and embrace Judaism. When <strong>the</strong>y<br />

refused, he had <strong>the</strong>m <strong>in</strong>vited for a d<strong>in</strong>ner and thrown <strong>the</strong>m <strong>in</strong>to burn<strong>in</strong>g ditches alive. Estimates <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

death toll from this event range from 200 to 20,000<br />

This event is also mantioned <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Qur'an, <strong>in</strong> Surat al-Buruj (Sura 85:4-8)<br />

"...sla<strong>in</strong> were <strong>the</strong> men <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> pit (Al-Ukhdood),<br />

<strong>the</strong> fire abound<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> fuel, when <strong>the</strong>y were seated over it, and were <strong>the</strong>mselves witnesses <strong>of</strong><br />

what <strong>the</strong>y did with <strong>the</strong> believers. They took revenge on <strong>the</strong>m because <strong>the</strong>y believed <strong>in</strong> God<br />

<strong>the</strong> All-mighty, <strong>the</strong> All-laudable…"<br />

Himyarite co<strong>in</strong> from 1st century BCE<br />

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The Martyrdom <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Christians <strong>of</strong> Najran is celebrated <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Romans,<strong>the</strong> Jacobites, <strong>the</strong> Melkites, <strong>the</strong><br />

Armenians, and <strong>the</strong> Ethiopians<br />

Some sources say that Dus Dhu Tha'laban from <strong>the</strong> Saba tribe was <strong>the</strong> only man able to escape <strong>the</strong><br />

massacre <strong>of</strong> Najran. He fled to Rome and reported it. Emperor Just<strong>in</strong> I encouraged his ally, <strong>the</strong><br />

Abyss<strong>in</strong>ian k<strong>in</strong>g Ella-Asbeha <strong>of</strong> Aksum, to <strong>in</strong>vade <strong>the</strong> country.<br />

An army <strong>of</strong> 7,000 men led by Abraha al-Ashram, <strong>the</strong> Christian viceroy <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Negus (K<strong>in</strong>g) <strong>of</strong> Abyss<strong>in</strong>ia<br />

defeated Dhu Nuwas's forces and restored Christian rule <strong>in</strong> Najran <strong>in</strong> 525 AD. Know<strong>in</strong>g defeat was<br />

upon him, or so <strong>the</strong> legend goes, Dhu Nuwas rode his horse <strong>in</strong>to <strong>the</strong> Red Sea and drowned.<br />

Yemen’s Jewish community rema<strong>in</strong>ed a prom<strong>in</strong>ent part <strong>of</strong> its society up until 1950, when most <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Jewish population — nearly 50,000 people — was evacuated over a period <strong>of</strong> six months to Israel <strong>in</strong> a<br />

series <strong>of</strong> airlifts dubbed Operation Magic Carpet. I have been to <strong>the</strong> large rows <strong>of</strong> hous<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>y left<br />

beh<strong>in</strong>d.<br />

https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/world-watch-list/yemen/<br />

Islamic encroachment<br />

Islam <strong>in</strong> its early period was very much supportive <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Christians even where <strong>the</strong>y were powerful.<br />

=============================================><br />

The covenant <strong>of</strong> Mohammed himself to all Christians:<br />

http://www.cyberistan.org/islamic/charter1.html<br />

In 628 C.E. Prophet Muhammad (s) granted a Charter <strong>of</strong> Privileges to <strong>the</strong> monks <strong>of</strong> St. Ca<strong>the</strong>r<strong>in</strong>e Monastery <strong>in</strong> Mt. S<strong>in</strong>ai.<br />

It consisted <strong>of</strong> several clauses cover<strong>in</strong>g all aspects <strong>of</strong> human rights <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g such topics as <strong>the</strong> protection <strong>of</strong> Christians,<br />

freedom <strong>of</strong> worship and movement, freedom to appo<strong>in</strong>t <strong>the</strong>ir own judges and to own and ma<strong>in</strong>ta<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir property,<br />

exemption from military service, and <strong>the</strong> right to protection <strong>in</strong> war.<br />

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LETTER TO ALL CHRISTIANS FROM PROPHET MUHAMMAD<br />

"This is a message from Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt <strong>Christianity</strong>,<br />

near and far, we are with <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

Verily I, <strong>the</strong> servants, <strong>the</strong> helpers, and my followers defend <strong>the</strong>m, because Christians are my<br />

citizens; and by Allah! I hold out aga<strong>in</strong>st anyth<strong>in</strong>g that displeases <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

No compulsion is to be on <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

Nei<strong>the</strong>r are <strong>the</strong>ir judges to be removed from <strong>the</strong>ir jobs nor <strong>the</strong>ir monks from <strong>the</strong>ir monasteries.<br />

No one is to destroy a house <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir religion, to damage it, or to carry anyth<strong>in</strong>g from it to <strong>the</strong> Muslims‘ houses.<br />

Should anyone take any <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se, he would spoil God's covenant and disobey His Prophet.<br />

Verily, <strong>the</strong>y are my allies and have my secure charter aga<strong>in</strong>st all that <strong>the</strong>y hate.<br />

No one is to force <strong>the</strong>m to travel or to oblige <strong>the</strong>m to fight.<br />

The Muslims are to fight for <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented from<br />

visit<strong>in</strong>g her church to pray.<br />

Their churches are to be respected.<br />

They are nei<strong>the</strong>r to be prevented from repair<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>m nor <strong>the</strong> sacredness <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir covenants.<br />

No one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> nation (Muslims) is to disobey <strong>the</strong> covenant till <strong>the</strong> Last Day (end <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> world)."<br />


HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

http://www.tulipandrose.net/wp-en/1192-<strong>the</strong>-christians-from-najran-were-able-to-hold-<strong>the</strong>ir-christian-c<br />

hurch-service-<strong>in</strong>-<strong>the</strong>-prophets-mosque.html<br />

(Ibn Hisham, as-Sira, Edition Wustenfeld, Volume I (Goett<strong>in</strong>gen 1858), p. 401-402).<br />

It is evident that Islam considered <strong>the</strong> Christians <strong>of</strong> Najran as a bro<strong>the</strong>rly religion.<br />

The Al–Qalis Church, Sana'a was a Monophysitic church constructed sometime between 527 and <strong>the</strong><br />

late 560s <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> city <strong>of</strong> Sana'a.<br />

Eventually <strong>the</strong>se churches depleted and christians became a m<strong>in</strong>ority. Once a muslim it it illegal to<br />

convert to <strong>Christianity</strong>. Thus except for underground churches, <strong>the</strong> only christians were foreigners by<br />

<strong>the</strong> 16 th century.<br />

British Colony<br />

In <strong>the</strong> 19th century after Brita<strong>in</strong> made a series <strong>of</strong> treaties and set up a protectorate <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> eastern part<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Arabian Pen<strong>in</strong>sula. Christians started to enter Oman, Bahra<strong>in</strong>, Qatar, Kuwait and <strong>the</strong> UAE, and<br />

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with <strong>the</strong> arrival <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se expatriate workers, <strong>the</strong> first churches began to appear (with <strong>the</strong> exception <strong>of</strong><br />

Saudi)<br />

To secure access to <strong>the</strong>ir colony India, <strong>the</strong> British set up a protectorate area around <strong>the</strong> sou<strong>the</strong>rn port<br />

<strong>of</strong> Aden <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> 19th century. This formed <strong>the</strong> South Yemen. South Yemen was <strong>the</strong>n occupied by many<br />

from England and had many Christian presence. There are three <strong>of</strong>ficial church build<strong>in</strong>gs (two<br />

Roman Catholic and one Anglican) which are located <strong>in</strong> Aden <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> far south which became South<br />

Yemen when <strong>the</strong> British colonisation ended.<br />

When I took up a teach<strong>in</strong>g job <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> University <strong>of</strong> Sanaa <strong>in</strong> 1974 <strong>the</strong>re were no churches <strong>in</strong> North<br />

Yemen. A few christian missions were <strong>the</strong>re serv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> community with medical cl<strong>in</strong>ics and nurs<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

Those who were serv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>se held <strong>the</strong>ir own prayer groups <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir own homes. Mo<strong>the</strong>r teresa's<br />

Missionaries <strong>of</strong> Charity were also <strong>the</strong>ir <strong>in</strong> Sanaa, Taiz and Hodeidah. There were large number <strong>of</strong><br />

expatriates work<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> various projects all around Yemen who were christians without any opportunity<br />

for worship. S<strong>in</strong>ce I had made friends with <strong>the</strong> m<strong>in</strong>isters <strong>of</strong> education, <strong>in</strong>ternal affairs and state, I got<br />

permission to start worship for <strong>the</strong>se people and bible studies at my home with <strong>the</strong> condition that no<br />

crosses are used outside <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> home and no visible signs <strong>of</strong> identity is made. A large ga<strong>the</strong>r<strong>in</strong>g took<br />

place every Friday for <strong>the</strong> Indian Christians <strong>in</strong> my home. As such when <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>ternational community<br />

wanted to start a worship service also, <strong>the</strong>y have asked me to take over <strong>the</strong> pastership and <strong>the</strong><br />

worship took place <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> American embassy. This was a community from all countries <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> world.<br />

The house church cont<strong>in</strong>ued as smaller groups for several decades until <strong>the</strong> development <strong>of</strong> al-Qeida<br />

and ISIS when all expatriates were forced to leave <strong>the</strong> country. The christian mission who served <strong>the</strong><br />

communities <strong>the</strong>mselves faced opposition. They killed several <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Mo<strong>the</strong>r Teresa sisters and<br />

nurses <strong>in</strong> Taiz and Hodeidah. They still faithfully served <strong>the</strong> nation <strong>in</strong>spite <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se.<br />

The South and North Yemen jo<strong>in</strong>ed toge<strong>the</strong>r to form one Yemen and <strong>the</strong> Christian community <strong>in</strong> South<br />

Yemen also left leav<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> church build<strong>in</strong>gs without use. The rise <strong>of</strong> muslim fanaticism and <strong>the</strong><br />

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availability <strong>of</strong> guns created <strong>the</strong> current crisis. Previously, zambia - <strong>the</strong> knife was <strong>the</strong> status symbol <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> yemeni. Now <strong>the</strong>y all carry a gun along with it. Due to <strong>the</strong> current civil war, <strong>the</strong>se are damaged<br />

and not <strong>in</strong> use, but <strong>the</strong>y had previously served <strong>the</strong> several thousand expatriate Christians (mostly from<br />

South East Asia, <strong>the</strong> West and Arabic countries) and refugees (ma<strong>in</strong>ly Ethiopian) liv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> country.<br />

Apart from <strong>the</strong>se <strong>of</strong>ficial churches no church build<strong>in</strong>gs are allowed. Never<strong>the</strong>less, discreet weekly<br />

services are held <strong>in</strong> private premises <strong>in</strong> some cities. Almost all expatriates have currently left <strong>the</strong><br />

country for security reasons.<br />

Saudi’s highest Islamic authority, <strong>the</strong> Grand Mufti, issued a fatwa <strong>in</strong> 2012 call<strong>in</strong>g for <strong>the</strong> destruction <strong>of</strong><br />

all Christian churches <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Arabian Pen<strong>in</strong>sula, which necessarily <strong>in</strong>cludes Yemen.<br />

Mo<strong>the</strong>r Teresa's Missionaries <strong>of</strong> Charity<br />

Mo<strong>the</strong>r Teresa’s work with Yemen started <strong>in</strong> early 1970s, when Mo<strong>the</strong>r Teresa responded to<br />

<strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>vitation extended to her by <strong>the</strong> Prime M<strong>in</strong>ister <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>the</strong>n Yemen Arab Republic (YAR) by<br />

arriv<strong>in</strong>g with five nuns from <strong>the</strong> ‘Missionaries <strong>of</strong> Charity’ <strong>in</strong> Calcutta at <strong>the</strong> coastal city <strong>of</strong><br />

Hodeidah overlook<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> Red Sea <strong>in</strong> 1973.<br />

The Sisters started a home for over hundred unwanted children and also cared for adults with<br />

diseases and birth defects. The Sisters used to visit a leper village once a week. Initially <strong>the</strong><br />

lepers used to run away <strong>in</strong> fear, but soon <strong>the</strong>y ga<strong>in</strong>ed confidence and agreed for treatment.<br />

Under <strong>the</strong> supervision <strong>of</strong> Dr Sister Garth Rode, <strong>the</strong> nuns began tak<strong>in</strong>g pr<strong>of</strong>essional care <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

people with disabilities and those suffer<strong>in</strong>g from leprosy <strong>in</strong> Hodeidah. A ‘Leprosy Centre’ was<br />

formally opened at Hodeidah on August 22, 1973, which was named by Mo<strong>the</strong>r Teresa as <strong>the</strong><br />

‘City <strong>of</strong> Light’.<br />

The ‘Missionaries <strong>of</strong> Charity’ currently operate four centres <strong>in</strong> Sana’a, Hodeidah, Ta’iz and<br />

Aden, each with six volunteers. In all <strong>the</strong>re are fourteen Indians who are serv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>se<br />

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centres throughout Yemen. The Sisters run shelters for <strong>the</strong> orphans, <strong>the</strong> old and <strong>the</strong> physically<br />

challenged along with a dispensary that provides primary healthcare services.<br />

Whenever Mo<strong>the</strong>r Teresa visited Sanaa, I have been <strong>the</strong>re to pick her and <strong>the</strong> sisters up from<br />

<strong>the</strong> airport and <strong>in</strong>volved <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir programs. She made it a po<strong>in</strong>t to come home and relax <strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> midst <strong>of</strong> her busy schedules. <strong>My</strong> wife did arrange an <strong>in</strong>troduction party for Mo<strong>the</strong>r Teresa<br />

<strong>in</strong>vit<strong>in</strong>g all <strong>the</strong> Ambasadors <strong>in</strong> Sanaa <strong>in</strong>to our house.<br />

The attitude <strong>of</strong> Yemeni muslims - ra<strong>the</strong>r a group - changed surpris<strong>in</strong>gly after I left <strong>the</strong> country<br />

and with <strong>the</strong> advent and rise <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> various terrorist groups <strong>in</strong> Islam. This is evidenced by <strong>the</strong><br />

kill<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> four Mo<strong>the</strong>r Teresa sisters and eight <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir <strong>in</strong>valid Yemeni seniors <strong>in</strong> Hodeidah and<br />

and ano<strong>the</strong>r two Christian nurses Taiz. The christian mission who served <strong>the</strong> communities<br />

<strong>the</strong>mselves faced opposition.<br />

Yemeni authorities regarded Mo<strong>the</strong>r Teresa as a sa<strong>in</strong>t and held her <strong>in</strong> very high esteem, so<br />

much so that <strong>the</strong>y sent a delegation led by a member <strong>of</strong> parliament for <strong>the</strong> ceremony <strong>of</strong> her<br />

beatification. There is deep sense <strong>of</strong> gratitude <strong>in</strong> Yemen for <strong>the</strong> humanitarian work be<strong>in</strong>g<br />

carried out by <strong>the</strong> ‘Sisters <strong>of</strong> Charity’ <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir centres across <strong>the</strong> country.<br />

http://eoisanaa.org/mo<strong>the</strong>r-teresa-left-a-last<strong>in</strong>g-impact-<strong>in</strong>-yemen/<br />

http://www.islamicpluralism.org/2552/attack-on-mo<strong>the</strong>r-teresa-nuns-<strong>in</strong>-yemen<br />

http://illyriapress.com/attack-on-mo<strong>the</strong>r-teresas-nuns-<strong>in</strong>-yemen/<br />

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CHAPTER FOURTEEN<br />

SOUTH SUDAN<br />

South Sudan is home to around 60 <strong>in</strong>digenous ethnic groups and 80 l<strong>in</strong>guistic partitions among a 2016<br />

population <strong>of</strong> around 12 million. Historically each tribe had communal or tribal society where <strong>the</strong> land<br />

was held by <strong>the</strong> community or tribe as a whole without any private ownership. There were no legally<br />

marked boundaries between <strong>the</strong> Tribes except those enforced by tribal wars. The elders or chiefs act<br />

as problem solvers and adjudicators <strong>of</strong>ten with a council <strong>of</strong> elders. These tribal chiefs and elders wore<br />

special robes or headdress and o<strong>the</strong>r <strong>in</strong>dications <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir position. S<strong>in</strong>ce <strong>the</strong>re were severe competition<br />

between tribes <strong>in</strong> terms <strong>of</strong> territories, and s<strong>in</strong>ce <strong>the</strong>y were <strong>in</strong> constant war between tribes, it was<br />

necessary to mark each one with <strong>the</strong>ir tribal mark. These marks were to be seen from far. They have<br />

become an art <strong>in</strong> due course. Not long ago most <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> tribes walked naked and <strong>the</strong>y were ashamed to<br />

wear clo<strong>the</strong>s when missionaries <strong>of</strong>fered <strong>the</strong>m <strong>in</strong>itially. There were very strict traditions <strong>of</strong> marry<strong>in</strong>g<br />

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out <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> tribe. It is <strong>in</strong> this background we need to understand <strong>the</strong> on go<strong>in</strong>g war <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dependent<br />

Republic <strong>of</strong> South Sudan. Unity with<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> country can come only if we th<strong>in</strong>k outside <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> circle to<br />

consider mank<strong>in</strong>d as one family. I<br />

believe that <strong>Christianity</strong> alone can br<strong>in</strong>g<br />

that about. There is also a vast l<strong>in</strong>guistic<br />

diversity that <strong>the</strong> tribes cannot mutually<br />

communicate. Unless everyone is able to<br />

understand English it will rema<strong>in</strong> a major<br />

problem.<br />

There are two types <strong>of</strong> tribes - Those who<br />

are nomads and those who are settled<br />

agricultural farmers. The nomads have a<br />

cattle culture <strong>in</strong> which livestock is <strong>the</strong><br />

ma<strong>in</strong> measure <strong>of</strong> wealth. While <strong>the</strong><br />

head <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> nomadic tribes may stay <strong>in</strong> one place <strong>the</strong> rest <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> tribe consist<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> youngster move<br />

around <strong>the</strong> area with <strong>the</strong>ir families, depend<strong>in</strong>g on <strong>the</strong> feed<strong>in</strong>g ground available for cattle. I have been<br />

with both <strong>the</strong> type <strong>of</strong> people s<strong>in</strong>ce 1984for six years as a scientist help<strong>in</strong>g to improve <strong>the</strong>ir life.<br />

The agricultural communities live <strong>in</strong> one place and look after <strong>the</strong>ir agricultural <strong>lands</strong>. They build<br />

permanent homes and has better <strong>in</strong>stitutional structures. They have better relationship and<br />

understand<strong>in</strong>g with <strong>the</strong> outside world and also have better educational opportunities even to those that<br />

are available <strong>in</strong> cities.<br />

A Nomadic Camp<br />

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Nomadic tribes are forced to move around. They face <strong>in</strong>ter-tribal cattle raids and are forced to carry<br />

weapons. Today <strong>the</strong> weapons are guns. Every adult carry a gun for safety.<br />

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A Village <strong>in</strong> Settled Agricultural Community<br />

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South Sudan is one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> most ethnically and culturally diverse countries <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> African cont<strong>in</strong>ent. The<br />

country has over 60 major ethnic groups, and despite <strong>the</strong> presence <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> many commonalities<br />

between <strong>the</strong>m, each one has many unique systems <strong>of</strong> social structure, livelihoods, cultural traditions<br />

and a sense <strong>of</strong> identity. This diversity has at once presented both a unique opportunity for <strong>the</strong> country<br />

to enjoy <strong>the</strong> colorful richness <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se traditions and unfortunately also as a threat to national unity and<br />

a collective sense <strong>of</strong> national identity.<br />

Indigenous people <strong>of</strong> South Sudan can be broadly categorized <strong>in</strong>to <strong>the</strong> Nilotic, Nilo-Hamitic and <strong>the</strong><br />

South Western Sudanic groups.<br />

Nilotic people <strong>in</strong>clude <strong>the</strong> D<strong>in</strong>ka, Nuer, Shiluk (Collo), Murle, Kachiopo, Jie, Anyuak, Acholi, Maban,<br />

Kuma, Lou (Jur), Bango, Bai, Gollo, Endri, Forgee, Chod (Jur), Khara, Ngorgule, Forugi, Siri, Benga,<br />

Agar, Pakam, Gok, Ciec, Aliap, Hopi, Guere, Atuot, Appak, Lango, Pari, Otuho and Ajaa.<br />

Nilo-Hamitic groups <strong>in</strong>clude <strong>the</strong> Bari, Mundari, Kakwa, Pojula, Nyangwara, Kuku, Latuko, Lokoya,<br />

Toposa, Buya, Lopit, Tennet and Dig<strong>in</strong>ga.<br />

The Southwestern Sudanic groups <strong>in</strong>clude Kresh, Balanda, Banda, Ndogo, Zande, Madi, Olubo,<br />

murals, Mundu, Baku, Avukaya, and Makaraka.<br />

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Religion<br />

As we have seen, <strong>the</strong> thrust <strong>of</strong> early missions have created christian communities all over <strong>the</strong> area.<br />

They were mostly ei<strong>the</strong>r tribal mono<strong>the</strong>ists and ancestral worshippers and were very receptive <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>Christianity</strong>. Even today <strong>the</strong>y mix <strong>the</strong>m and practice a syncretic form <strong>of</strong> religion. I have done some<br />

studies <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir religions when I was <strong>the</strong>re as part <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sudan Theological College which we started.<br />

I felt that such a study was urgent s<strong>in</strong>ce with<strong>in</strong> a few more years, those will be erased or not fully<br />

remembered and eventually lost. Each tribe have <strong>the</strong>ir own tribal god who is "God <strong>of</strong> all o<strong>the</strong>r gods"<br />

The majority <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> tribes <strong>in</strong> South Sudan are <strong>of</strong> African heritage who practice ei<strong>the</strong>r <strong>Christianity</strong> or<br />

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syncretisms <strong>of</strong> Christian and Traditional African religion. There is a significant m<strong>in</strong>ority <strong>of</strong> people,<br />

primarily tribes <strong>of</strong> Arab heritage, who practice Islam. Most tribes <strong>of</strong> African heritage have at least one<br />

clan that has embraced Islam, and some clans <strong>of</strong> tribes <strong>of</strong> Arab heritage have embraced <strong>Christianity</strong>.<br />

Before <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dependence <strong>of</strong> South Sudan an approximate distribution <strong>of</strong> religion is given <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> map.<br />

Typical religion <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Region example :The Nuer Religion<br />

Most tribes have almost similar beliefs only names are different. For ano<strong>the</strong>r example see my study on<br />

"Comparitive Study on Kuku and Hebrew Culture"-M.M.N<strong>in</strong>an<br />

The Nuer (Naath) are <strong>the</strong> second largest tribe <strong>in</strong> South Sudan, number<strong>in</strong>g over one and half million<br />

people. Pr<strong>in</strong>cipally, <strong>the</strong> Nuer <strong>in</strong>habits <strong>the</strong> swamps and expansive open grassland on ei<strong>the</strong>r side <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Nile River, and its tributaries <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sou<strong>the</strong>rn part <strong>of</strong> Sudan. Although <strong>the</strong>se people have never had a<br />

k<strong>in</strong>gdom and have no technological skills, <strong>the</strong>y are <strong>in</strong>ternationally known for <strong>the</strong>ir strong <strong>in</strong>dividualistic<br />

personality, routed <strong>in</strong> an egalitarian philosophy with social order ma<strong>in</strong>ta<strong>in</strong>ed by community value,<br />

culture and l<strong>in</strong>eage system.<br />

The Nuer (Naath) people are an extremely religious people whose beliefs can be summarized by <strong>the</strong><br />

word Kuoth (God).<br />

“Kuoth (God) is an all-encompass<strong>in</strong>g God associated with <strong>the</strong> sky, but is always present <strong>in</strong> all th<strong>in</strong>gs,<br />

liv<strong>in</strong>g and dead, and is also associated with many spirits; and <strong>the</strong> spirit form <strong>of</strong> Nuer tradition.” In <strong>the</strong><br />

Nuer culture, Kuoth (God) “supplies explanation for phenomena which cannot be expla<strong>in</strong>ed <strong>in</strong><br />

everyday life.” Because <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> fact that it is accepted without question, <strong>the</strong> Nuer have difficulty <strong>of</strong><br />

expla<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g Kuoth (God) because <strong>of</strong> “its abstract nature and <strong>the</strong> fact that it’s used to generalize <strong>the</strong><br />

spirits <strong>of</strong> who possesses people.” Kuoth (God) is always given <strong>the</strong> role <strong>of</strong> creator, and is said to be <strong>the</strong><br />

orig<strong>in</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> ancestors.<br />

The Nuer people, however, were traditionally sophisticated enough to adhere to <strong>the</strong> concepts <strong>of</strong><br />

“aliveness” which <strong>in</strong>clude <strong>the</strong> notion <strong>of</strong> a soul or spirits resid<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> object. They treat <strong>the</strong> objects<br />

<strong>the</strong>y consider animate as if <strong>the</strong>se th<strong>in</strong>gs had a life, feel<strong>in</strong>g, and a will <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir own, but “did not make a<br />

dist<strong>in</strong>ction between <strong>the</strong> body <strong>of</strong> an object and soul that could enter or leave it.”<br />

The reverence that Nuer people <strong>in</strong> Sudan grant to deceased relatives is based on believ<strong>in</strong>g that <strong>in</strong><br />

dy<strong>in</strong>g, <strong>the</strong>y have become powerful spiritual be<strong>in</strong>g or “even admittedly less frequently to have atta<strong>in</strong>ed<br />

<strong>the</strong> status <strong>of</strong> gods.” This is usually based on <strong>the</strong> belief that ancestors are active members <strong>of</strong> society,<br />

and still <strong>in</strong>terested <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> affairs <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir liv<strong>in</strong>g relatives.<br />

The “ancestors are believed to wield a greater authority, hav<strong>in</strong>g special powers to <strong>in</strong>fluence <strong>the</strong> course<br />

<strong>of</strong> events or to control <strong>the</strong> well-be<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir liv<strong>in</strong>g relatives.” They are <strong>of</strong>ten considered as <strong>the</strong><br />

“<strong>in</strong>termediaries between <strong>the</strong> supreme God, <strong>the</strong> people and <strong>the</strong>y can communicate with <strong>the</strong> liv<strong>in</strong>g<br />

through dreams and by possession.”<br />

The Nuer’s dearest possession is cattle. Life <strong>in</strong> earliest time depends on cattle and <strong>the</strong> Nuer always<br />

risks <strong>the</strong>ir life to defend <strong>the</strong> animals when “Both men and women take <strong>the</strong> names <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir favorite oxen<br />

or cows <strong>in</strong> ritual <strong>of</strong> honor and most typically prefer to be greeted by <strong>the</strong>ir “cattle names<br />

www.peterreat.blogspot.ca<br />


HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Anthropologist E. E. Evans-Pritchard wrote a trilogy <strong>of</strong> books:<br />

The Nuer, published <strong>in</strong> 1940,<br />

K<strong>in</strong>ship and Marriage Among <strong>the</strong> Nuer, published <strong>in</strong> 1951, and Nuer Religion, published <strong>in</strong> 1956.<br />

https://archive.org/details/nuerreligion00evan<br />

https://ia902205.us.archive.org/9/items/nuerreligion00evan/nuerreligion00evan_bw.pdf<br />

In a study <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> culture Kuku Tribe <strong>in</strong> comparison with Hebrew culture I<br />

have shown that <strong>the</strong>y are actually identical even to <strong>the</strong> m<strong>in</strong>ute detail.<br />

There is also a tradition that <strong>the</strong>y are descendants <strong>of</strong> Moses through his<br />

Cushite wife <strong>of</strong> whom Mirium and Aaron compla<strong>in</strong>ed. Accord<strong>in</strong>g to <strong>the</strong><br />

tradition <strong>the</strong>y were sent back to Cush. They even have a tradition which<br />

says <strong>the</strong> Red sea was parted for <strong>the</strong>m to cross over and reach Cush.<br />

When I entered <strong>in</strong>to <strong>the</strong> Juba University <strong>in</strong> 1984 <strong>the</strong>re were only two<br />

denom<strong>in</strong>ations <strong>of</strong> Christians <strong>in</strong> South Sudan - <strong>the</strong> Roman Catholic Church<br />

and <strong>the</strong> Anglican Church.<br />

https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/religious-beliefs-<strong>in</strong>-south-sudan.html<br />

In South Sudan, about 6.2 million people out <strong>of</strong> a population <strong>of</strong> over 16 million people or 37.2% <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

population are Roman Catholic Christians. The Catholics <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> country are part <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> worldwide<br />

Catholic Church headed by <strong>the</strong> Pope <strong>in</strong> Rome. South Sudan has one Ecclesiastical prov<strong>in</strong>ce with one<br />

archdiocese and six dioceses. Roman Catholic Christian missionaries came to Sudan <strong>in</strong> 1842 as part<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> missionary work that was carried out <strong>in</strong> East Africa. They built schools and hospitals and<br />

improved <strong>the</strong> lives <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> locals who were affiliated with <strong>the</strong> traditional religion. Due to <strong>the</strong> success <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> missionary work, most <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> locals abandoned <strong>the</strong>ir religion and jo<strong>in</strong>ed <strong>the</strong> Roman Catholic<br />

lead<strong>in</strong>g to its spread and popularity. “Pentecostal Movement” was essentially developed <strong>in</strong>ternally as a<br />

revival. I was very much <strong>in</strong>volved <strong>in</strong> it <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> establishment <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sudan Pentecostal Church, Sudan<br />

Theological College and <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> ord<strong>in</strong>ation <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> first 16 Pastors <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Juba Christian Center along with<br />

Pastor Adi Sever<strong>in</strong>e Ambrose.<br />

Episcopal Churches And O<strong>the</strong>r Forms Of <strong>Christianity</strong><br />

The Anglicans through <strong>the</strong> Church Missionary Society entered <strong>in</strong>to Sudan <strong>in</strong> 1899 convert<strong>in</strong>g tens <strong>of</strong><br />

thousands through <strong>the</strong>ir missionary work and preach<strong>in</strong>g. Currently, <strong>the</strong> Anglican Church represented<br />

by <strong>the</strong> Episcopal Church <strong>of</strong> Sudan is <strong>the</strong> second largest church <strong>in</strong> both Sudan and South Sudan after<br />

<strong>the</strong> Catholic Church. The prov<strong>in</strong>ce consists <strong>of</strong> 36 dioceses, each headed by a bishop.<br />

The United Presbyterian Church began its work <strong>in</strong> Sudan <strong>in</strong> 1900. The Presbyterian Church emerged<br />

from <strong>the</strong> Sou<strong>the</strong>rn part <strong>of</strong> Sudan (<strong>the</strong> current South Sudan) as a result <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> missionary work that was<br />

largely accepted <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> South and opposed <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> North.<br />

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Religous distribution <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sudan<br />

Muslim North and Christian South with some traditional old religion (1956-2003 AD)<br />

The evangelization were carried out by evangelical missionary societies:<br />

Roman Catholic missions, such as “The Holy Verona Fa<strong>the</strong>rs”, “Comboni Fa<strong>the</strong>r”,<br />

“Anglican Church” through <strong>the</strong> CMS: “Church Missionary Society”<br />

“The American Missions”, gave way to<br />

<strong>the</strong> “Presbyterian Church <strong>of</strong> South Sudan” and<br />

<strong>the</strong> “Evangelical Presbyterian Church <strong>of</strong> Sudan” , and <strong>the</strong><br />

“Sudan Interior Mission”, which today is <strong>the</strong> Sudan Interior Church (SIC). and“African In-Land Church”<br />

"Summer Institute <strong>of</strong> L<strong>in</strong>guistics" (Wycliff Bible Translators) provid<strong>in</strong>g Bible <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> vernacular tongues<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> people.<br />

In <strong>the</strong> 20th century, several o<strong>the</strong>r missionary groups arrived <strong>in</strong> Sudan with most <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir activities<br />

conf<strong>in</strong>ed to <strong>the</strong> South <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> Evangelicals, Sudanese Church <strong>of</strong> Christ, and <strong>the</strong> African Inland<br />

Church and <strong>the</strong> Sudan Pentecostal Church. These Christian groups account for 36.5% <strong>of</strong> South<br />

Sudan’s population.<br />

Traditional African Beliefs and Animism<br />

Before <strong>the</strong> com<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> Missionaries to Sudan, most <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> population practiced traditional belief and<br />

animism which <strong>in</strong>volved belief <strong>in</strong> a creator, spirits, <strong>the</strong> power <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> dead, use <strong>of</strong> magic, and traditional<br />

medic<strong>in</strong>e. There were sacred places <strong>of</strong> worship like rivers, and forest and sacrifices were <strong>of</strong>fered.<br />

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Today, only 19% <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> population practice traditional religions with <strong>the</strong> majority <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> villages <strong>of</strong> South<br />

Sudan. However, <strong>the</strong>ir myths and beliefs are quickly fad<strong>in</strong>g away with education.<br />

Rank Belief System Share <strong>of</strong> Population <strong>in</strong> South Sudan<br />

1 Roman Catholic <strong>Christianity</strong> 37.2%<br />

2 Episcopal Churches and O<strong>the</strong>r Forms <strong>of</strong> <strong>Christianity</strong> 36.5%<br />

3 Traditional African Beliefs and Animism 19.7%<br />

4 Islam 6.2%<br />

5 O<strong>the</strong>r Beliefs 0.4%<br />

The above study is taken from<br />

https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/religious-beliefs-<strong>in</strong>-south-sudan.html updated on 2017.<br />

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SOUTH SUDAN'S STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM<br />

In order to understand <strong>the</strong> history <strong>of</strong> <strong>Christianity</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> South Sudan we need to know <strong>the</strong>political<br />

background <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> country.<br />

1 January 1956 Independence <strong>of</strong> Sudan.<br />

1963 Sou<strong>the</strong>rn separatist Anyanya rebels step up attacks.<br />

1972 Peace agreement signed between Khartoum and Anyanya rebels, giv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> south limited<br />

autonomy; but <strong>the</strong> agreement swiftly crumbles.<br />

1983 Sou<strong>the</strong>rn army <strong>of</strong>ficers rebel <strong>in</strong> Bor, form<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> Sudan People's Liberation Army and spark<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>the</strong> start <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> second civil war.<br />

9 January 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed to end 21 years <strong>of</strong> war.<br />

9 January 2011 Week-long South Sudan <strong>in</strong>dependence referendum held.<br />

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7 February 2011 F<strong>in</strong>al results released: almost 99 per cent vote for separation.<br />

9 July 2011 Independence <strong>of</strong> South Sudan proclaimed.<br />

.<br />

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Led by <strong>the</strong> Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dependence movement brought to an<br />

end <strong>the</strong> longest-runn<strong>in</strong>g civil war <strong>in</strong> Africa, establish<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> world's newest nation.<br />

But <strong>the</strong> jubilant mood was short lived as almost immediately after <strong>in</strong>dependence, divisions emerged<br />

with<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> SPLM. A power struggle between President Salva Kiir and Vice President Riek Machar<br />

resulted <strong>in</strong> President Kiir sack<strong>in</strong>g his vice president and <strong>the</strong> entire cab<strong>in</strong>et <strong>in</strong> July 2013.<br />

By December 2013, President Kiir accused Machar <strong>of</strong> plott<strong>in</strong>g a coup and a full civil war broke out. The<br />

country was split along ethnic l<strong>in</strong>es. Kiir is from <strong>the</strong> D<strong>in</strong>ka ethnic group, which constitutes roughly a<br />

third <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> population, while Machar is from <strong>the</strong> Nuer, which constitutes about a fifth. But with nearly<br />

60 ethnic groups, <strong>the</strong> ma<strong>in</strong> factions have broken up <strong>in</strong>to even smaller fight<strong>in</strong>g factions over <strong>the</strong> years <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> conflict, and some analysts say <strong>the</strong> major players have begun los<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>ir grip over <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

A peace agreement was negotiated <strong>in</strong> August 2015 on <strong>the</strong> condition that Riek Machar would return to<br />

South Sudan as vice president, but <strong>the</strong> process was delayed on numerous occasions.<br />

Machar returned to <strong>the</strong> capital <strong>in</strong> April 2016 as part <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> peace deal, where he was sworn <strong>in</strong> as vice<br />

president aga<strong>in</strong>, and a transitional government <strong>of</strong> national unity was established with Machar and Kiir<br />

com<strong>in</strong>g to a power shar<strong>in</strong>g agreement.<br />

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But clashes cont<strong>in</strong>ue between armed groups. In <strong>the</strong> most recent flare up <strong>in</strong> June, dozens <strong>of</strong> people<br />

were killed and more than 120,000 displaced from <strong>the</strong>ir homes <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> city <strong>of</strong> Wau dur<strong>in</strong>g fight<strong>in</strong>g<br />

between D<strong>in</strong>ka SPLA fighters and o<strong>the</strong>r tribes. The lack <strong>of</strong> organized government able to control <strong>the</strong><br />

state has given rise to tribal based atrocities and sheer loot<strong>in</strong>g and kill<strong>in</strong>g for ga<strong>in</strong> result<strong>in</strong>g from <strong>the</strong><br />

fam<strong>in</strong>e and survival.<br />

At <strong>the</strong> end <strong>of</strong> June, <strong>the</strong> government announced <strong>the</strong> cancellation <strong>of</strong> <strong>in</strong>dependence day celebrations for<br />

<strong>the</strong> five year anniversary ow<strong>in</strong>g to <strong>the</strong> economic and political situation <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> country.July 8, a day<br />

before <strong>the</strong> fifth anniversary <strong>of</strong> South Sudan’s <strong>in</strong>dependence, a fresh wave <strong>of</strong> violence hit Juba, and<br />

more than 300 people were killed <strong>in</strong> just a few days. While <strong>the</strong> fight<strong>in</strong>g has been dampened to some<br />

extent, <strong>the</strong> pressures beh<strong>in</strong>d it are still <strong>the</strong>re. This threatens <strong>the</strong> very existence <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> South Sudanese<br />

state.<br />

Tribal war and struggle for power replaced <strong>the</strong> Nor<strong>the</strong>rn Islam's sharia and negligence.<br />

The African Union has now taken <strong>the</strong> drastic step <strong>of</strong> approv<strong>in</strong>g a regional military force to help pacify<br />

<strong>the</strong> country, someth<strong>in</strong>g it generally only does with a government’s agreement. The force will be made<br />

up <strong>of</strong> troops from Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan and Uganda, and will complement a<br />

12,000-strong UN peacekeep<strong>in</strong>g force already <strong>in</strong> place.<br />

The <strong>in</strong>ternal conflict has been devastat<strong>in</strong>g for South Sudan, kill<strong>in</strong>g tens <strong>of</strong> thousands and displac<strong>in</strong>g<br />

one <strong>in</strong> five <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> population. More than 2.3m people have fled <strong>the</strong>ir homes; more than 720,000 have<br />

fled to neighbour<strong>in</strong>g countries.<br />

The fight<strong>in</strong>g itself is superficially between troops loyal to Machar and those loyal to Kiir, but <strong>in</strong> reality<br />

it’s closer to outright chaos. Both men are reported to have ordered an end to <strong>the</strong> fight<strong>in</strong>g, but it’s not<br />

clear whe<strong>the</strong>r <strong>the</strong> troops are follow<strong>in</strong>g orders or act<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>dependently <strong>of</strong> a command structure that<br />

hasn’t paid <strong>the</strong>m for some time and are engag<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> loot<strong>in</strong>g and settl<strong>in</strong>g scores.<br />

"Millions <strong>of</strong> children <strong>in</strong> South Sudan are suffer<strong>in</strong>g unth<strong>in</strong>kable hardships and setbacks <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

education, nutrition, health and <strong>the</strong>ir rights," said Mahimbo Mdoe, South Sudan representative for <strong>the</strong><br />

UN children's agency, UNICEF.<br />

An estimated two million children have been uprooted dur<strong>in</strong>g more than three-and-a-half years <strong>of</strong> war<br />

and at least 2,500 have been killed, UNICEF said.<br />

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)charity said <strong>the</strong>re was little to celebrate as South Sudan<br />

marked its sixth <strong>in</strong>dependence anniversary.<br />

"South Sudan's <strong>in</strong>dependence is overshadowed by conflict and an unprecedented food crisis," said<br />

NRC country director Rehana Zawar.<br />

"While <strong>in</strong>dependence brought hopes <strong>of</strong> peace and development... today's ongo<strong>in</strong>g conflict has<br />

resulted <strong>in</strong> four million South Sudanese hav<strong>in</strong>g to flee <strong>the</strong>ir homes.<br />

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"With more people fac<strong>in</strong>g a severe food crisis every month, <strong>the</strong>re is unfortunately little reason to<br />

celebrate,"<br />

In <strong>the</strong> midst <strong>of</strong> all this is placed <strong>the</strong> Christian Churches ready to take over <strong>the</strong> problem <strong>of</strong> South Sudan<br />

<strong>in</strong> all its complexities to lead <strong>the</strong>m to peace and to a community <strong>of</strong> love over rid<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> tribal wars.<br />

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CHAPTER FIFTEEN<br />

ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSION<br />

The Roman Catholic Church was <strong>in</strong>troduced through <strong>the</strong> efforts <strong>of</strong> Sa<strong>in</strong>t Comboni even to South<br />

Sudan through <strong>the</strong> comboni missionaries after his death..<br />

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Orphans and destitutes <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> civil war<br />

http://combonisouthsudan.org<br />

Daniel Comboni reached South Sudan on February 14, 1858 at Holy Cross mission on <strong>the</strong> banks <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> White Nile (lat. 7°). For health reasons he left it on January 15, 1859. His first contact with South<br />

Sudan was marked by suffer<strong>in</strong>gs and <strong>the</strong> death <strong>of</strong> his companion, Fr. Oliboni. He and his companions<br />

went back to Italy very sick. In his missionary commitment, Comboni always cherished <strong>the</strong> wish to<br />

return to <strong>the</strong> equatorial regions <strong>of</strong> Central Africa. This earnest aspiration was not to be fulfilled by him<br />

personally, but by his followers as soon as <strong>the</strong> historical circumstances made it possible.<br />

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First missionary presence (1901–1964)<br />

HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

The first missionary station <strong>in</strong> South Sudan was opened by <strong>the</strong> Comboni Missionaries <strong>in</strong> Lul among<br />

<strong>the</strong> Shilluk <strong>in</strong> 1901. Kayango and Mbili, near Wau, among <strong>the</strong> Jur were opened <strong>in</strong> 1904. To <strong>the</strong>se<br />

followed many more foundations <strong>of</strong> missions all over South Sudan and many missionaries worked and<br />

established Christian communities.<br />

Wau Catholic Church<br />

St.Joseph Catholic Church, Juba<br />

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In January 1, 1956, Sudan became <strong>in</strong>dependent from <strong>the</strong> British-Egyptian rule. But <strong>the</strong> civil war, called<br />

later <strong>the</strong> Anyanya One, had already begun <strong>in</strong> 1955. ( Anyanya means "snake venom" <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Madi<br />

language). It was caused by unjust and unfair treatment <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sou<strong>the</strong>rn population by <strong>the</strong> Government<br />

<strong>of</strong> Sudan. The rapid expansion <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Church <strong>in</strong> Sou<strong>the</strong>rn Sudan received a severe blow <strong>in</strong> 1964,<br />

when all expatriate missionaries work<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sou<strong>the</strong>rn regions were expelled from <strong>the</strong> area.<br />

In 1969 General Jaffer Nimeiri entered <strong>of</strong>fice through a political coup and <strong>in</strong> 1972 accepted <strong>the</strong> Addis<br />

Ababa Peace Agreement directly brokered by a partnership between <strong>the</strong> Sudan Council <strong>of</strong> Churches,<br />

<strong>the</strong> All Africa Conference <strong>of</strong> Churches and <strong>the</strong> World Council <strong>of</strong> Churches, conclud<strong>in</strong>g Anya-Nya I, <strong>the</strong><br />

first civil war.<br />

Second missionary presence (1971–1994)<br />

In 1971, a Comboni community was formed <strong>in</strong> Nzara formed by Sudanese confreres. With <strong>the</strong> Addis<br />

Ababa Peace Agreement (1972), expatriate missionaries could go back to Sou<strong>the</strong>rn Sudan but at a<br />

ra<strong>the</strong>r slow rhythm, due to <strong>the</strong> many difficulties <strong>in</strong> obta<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g entry permits from <strong>the</strong> Khartoum<br />

Government.<br />

In 1979, <strong>the</strong>re were 15 priests and seven bro<strong>the</strong>rs work<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> South Sudan and <strong>the</strong>ir number kept<br />

<strong>in</strong>creas<strong>in</strong>g year by year. In 1980, <strong>the</strong> General Council <strong>of</strong> Roman Catholic Church, follow<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> advice<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Khartoum Prov<strong>in</strong>ce, divided <strong>the</strong> Sudan <strong>in</strong>to two adm<strong>in</strong>istrative missionary areas, i.e. <strong>the</strong><br />

Khartoum Prov<strong>in</strong>ce and <strong>the</strong> South Sudan Region, at first headed by a representative <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Superior<br />

General (Fr. Raffaele Cefalo – 1 June 1981) and subsequently by a Delegate (October 15, 1982).<br />

Second Civil War<br />

In 1983, <strong>the</strong> second phase <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> war between North and South began with <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>surrection <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Bor<br />

Garrison led by John Garang and <strong>the</strong> beg<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> activities <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sudan People’s Liberation Army<br />

(SPLA). In <strong>the</strong>se years, <strong>the</strong> Delegation <strong>in</strong>creased <strong>in</strong> personnel and commitments and on March 12,<br />

1985 it was elevated to <strong>the</strong> status <strong>of</strong> a prov<strong>in</strong>ce. The elected prov<strong>in</strong>cial was Fr. Cesare Mazzolari who<br />

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was succeeded by Fr. Abel Modi <strong>in</strong> 1990 when <strong>the</strong> former was appo<strong>in</strong>ted Apostolic Adm<strong>in</strong>istrator <strong>of</strong><br />

Rumbek.<br />

The conflict broke <strong>the</strong> prov<strong>in</strong>ce <strong>in</strong>to two: <strong>the</strong> communities <strong>in</strong> territories controlled by <strong>the</strong> government<br />

under <strong>the</strong> jurisdiction <strong>of</strong> Fr. Modi, and <strong>the</strong> communities <strong>in</strong> territories controlled by <strong>the</strong> SPLA that did not<br />

have contact with <strong>the</strong> prov<strong>in</strong>cial superior. For this reason <strong>in</strong> 1991 <strong>the</strong> General Adm<strong>in</strong>istration decided<br />

to appo<strong>in</strong>t Fr. Calligari coord<strong>in</strong>ator <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> New Sudan Group that comprised <strong>the</strong> missionaries work<strong>in</strong>g<br />

under SPLA held areas. The New Sudan group <strong>of</strong> Comboni Missionaries consisted <strong>of</strong> 13 confreres<br />

with four communities: Nzara, Loa, Isoke and Yirol.<br />

In 1992 SPLA tried twice to take Juba with <strong>the</strong> only result to make life more miserable for <strong>the</strong> poor<br />

citizens <strong>of</strong> Juba. For safety reasons all <strong>the</strong> expatriate missionaries were asked to leave <strong>the</strong> town.<br />

Some Sudanese confreres rema<strong>in</strong>ed <strong>in</strong> Juba up to 1994.<br />

Third missionary presence (1995 – 2017)<br />

By <strong>the</strong> end <strong>of</strong> May 1992, an escalation <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> conflict forced all <strong>the</strong> Comboni missionaries, except for<br />

<strong>the</strong> community <strong>of</strong> Nzara, left South Sudan. These confreres met <strong>in</strong> Nairobi for an assessment. As a<br />

result, some were assigned to o<strong>the</strong>r prov<strong>in</strong>ces, and some rema<strong>in</strong>ed to take care <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sudanese<br />

refugees <strong>in</strong> Kakuma (Kenya) and Kocoa (Uganda). By <strong>the</strong> end <strong>of</strong> July, <strong>the</strong>re were n<strong>in</strong>e confreres left <strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> New Sudan Group. Fr. Francesco Chemello was appo<strong>in</strong>ted coord<strong>in</strong>ator <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> group and <strong>the</strong> ma<strong>in</strong><br />

target was to keep <strong>the</strong> little flame alive by be<strong>in</strong>g close to <strong>the</strong> people <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir suffer<strong>in</strong>g wherever was<br />

possible. Head-quarters were <strong>in</strong> Jacaranda House, Nairobi.<br />

On January 1, 1995, <strong>the</strong> General Adm<strong>in</strong>istration erected <strong>the</strong> delegation South Sudan Delegation out <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> confreres belong<strong>in</strong>g to <strong>the</strong> New Sudan Group (16 confreres). Fr. Francesco Chemello was<br />

appo<strong>in</strong>ted Superior <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Delegation. The General Council took to heart <strong>the</strong> situation <strong>of</strong> South Sudan<br />

by send<strong>in</strong>g more confreres: <strong>the</strong> confreres were already 28 by <strong>the</strong> end <strong>of</strong> 1996 and became 36 <strong>in</strong> 2000.<br />

On January 1, 1999, Fr Ezio Bett<strong>in</strong>i was appo<strong>in</strong>ted Superior <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> delegation. Dur<strong>in</strong>g this time, new<br />

presences were opened: Agang Rial, Marial Lou and Mapuordit among <strong>the</strong> D<strong>in</strong>ka; Nyal and Old<br />

Fangak among <strong>the</strong> Nuer; Narus among <strong>the</strong> Topossa; and Lom<strong>in</strong> among <strong>the</strong> Kuku. In <strong>the</strong>se period <strong>the</strong><br />

Hospital <strong>of</strong> Mapuordit was started and <strong>the</strong> Comprehensive Comboni College <strong>in</strong> Lom<strong>in</strong>.<br />

The General Council approved <strong>the</strong> proposal <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> confreres presented dur<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> Intercapitular<br />

Assembly <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> year 2000 and erected <strong>the</strong> prov<strong>in</strong>ce <strong>of</strong> South Sudan Prov<strong>in</strong>ce as from January 1,<br />

2002. Fr. Ezio Bett<strong>in</strong>i appo<strong>in</strong>ted <strong>the</strong> Prov<strong>in</strong>cial Superior. On January 9, 2005, <strong>in</strong> Nairobi (Kenya), <strong>the</strong><br />

Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) signed <strong>the</strong> historical Comprehensive Peace Agreement<br />

(CPA) with <strong>the</strong> Government <strong>of</strong> Khartoum which brought about <strong>the</strong> end <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> second civil war. This<br />

same year, Fr. Luciano Per<strong>in</strong>a started his term <strong>in</strong> <strong>of</strong>fice as prov<strong>in</strong>cial superior. Agang Rial was closed<br />

to open Yirol, Old Fangak was erected as a community, <strong>the</strong> community <strong>of</strong> Nyal moved back to Leer,<br />

<strong>the</strong> mission <strong>of</strong> Talì was opened, St. Mart<strong>in</strong> workshop established <strong>in</strong> Lom<strong>in</strong> and <strong>the</strong> Catholic Radio<br />

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Network started its service. In January 2008 <strong>the</strong> prov<strong>in</strong>ce head-quarters were formally moved back to<br />

<strong>the</strong> Comboni House <strong>in</strong> Juba.<br />

On January 1, 2011, Fr. Daniele Moschetti took over and led <strong>the</strong> prov<strong>in</strong>ce up to December 2016. He<br />

worked with great energy and gave a crucial contribution to <strong>the</strong> establishment <strong>of</strong> a Justice and Peace<br />

<strong>of</strong>fice <strong>in</strong> Juba, <strong>the</strong> build<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> centre <strong>of</strong> Moroyok for <strong>the</strong> vocation promotion and pre-postulancy,<br />

promoted many activities <strong>of</strong> ongo<strong>in</strong>g formation and workshops characterized by various m<strong>in</strong>istries,<br />

ecclesiastical collaboration <strong>in</strong> many projects and <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>stitution <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Religious Superior Association <strong>of</strong><br />

South Sudan with <strong>the</strong> build<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Good Shepherd Peace Centre. In this period <strong>the</strong> communities <strong>of</strong><br />

Wau and Raga came to be part <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> prov<strong>in</strong>ce <strong>of</strong> South Sudan.<br />

On January 1, 2017, Fr. Louis Okot Tony started his m<strong>in</strong>istry as Prov<strong>in</strong>cial Superior. At <strong>the</strong> moment<br />

<strong>the</strong>re are 10 communities: <strong>the</strong> prov<strong>in</strong>cial house <strong>in</strong> Juba, <strong>the</strong> pre-postulancy <strong>in</strong> Moroyok (Juba), Lom<strong>in</strong><br />

(Kajokeji), Talì, Yirol, Mapuordit, Wau, Nyal (Leer), Old Fangak and <strong>the</strong> presence <strong>of</strong> two confreres <strong>in</strong><br />

Mogok (Ayod).<br />

Almost all major cities has a Catholic Church <strong>in</strong> South Sudan<br />

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BISHOP PARIDE TABAN<br />

<strong>of</strong> Roman Catholic Church<br />

and<br />

THE PEACE VILLAGE<br />

The Holy Tr<strong>in</strong>ity Peace Village, Kuron<br />

One <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> major contribution to <strong>the</strong> society by <strong>the</strong> Catholic Community to <strong>the</strong> war torn South Sudan is<br />

<strong>the</strong> Holy Tr<strong>in</strong>ity Peace Village Program by one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Bishops- Paride Taban. Taban was born <strong>in</strong> a<br />

practic<strong>in</strong>g tribal religious family and converted to Roman Catholicism dur<strong>in</strong>g his school career. He was<br />

<strong>the</strong> first bishop <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Roman Catholic Diocese <strong>of</strong> Torit <strong>in</strong> what was <strong>the</strong>n sou<strong>the</strong>rn Sudan from 1983<br />

until 2004. In 1989, when <strong>the</strong> rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) overtook Torit, he was<br />

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arrested with three o<strong>the</strong>r Catholic priests by <strong>the</strong> SPLA so that <strong>the</strong>y can serve <strong>the</strong> SPLA community.<br />

Until 1990 he and Nathanael Garang were <strong>the</strong> only two Bishops active <strong>in</strong> areas held by <strong>the</strong> SPLA. He<br />

was one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> first leaders <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> New Sudan Council <strong>of</strong> Churches, which was founded <strong>in</strong> February<br />

1990<br />

“<br />

The vision <strong>of</strong> The Holy Tr<strong>in</strong>ity Peace<br />

Village <strong>in</strong> Kuron is to set up an oasis <strong>of</strong><br />

peace where people <strong>of</strong> diverse tribes,<br />

religious beliefs, cultures, and<br />

communities live toge<strong>the</strong>r <strong>in</strong> harmony and<br />

dignity. The goal <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Peace Village is to<br />

achieve peace and reconciliation between<br />

warr<strong>in</strong>g communities for <strong>the</strong>m to engage<br />

<strong>in</strong> susta<strong>in</strong>able development, for<br />

development is peace. The ma<strong>in</strong> objective<br />

<strong>of</strong> sett<strong>in</strong>g up <strong>the</strong> Peace Village is peace<br />

build<strong>in</strong>g through education, health<br />

services, food security, pastoral and<br />

spiritual care, and community<br />

participation <strong>in</strong> keep<strong>in</strong>g law and order.”<br />

In this context, Monsignor Taban decided to set up a centre <strong>of</strong>fer<strong>in</strong>g different services:<br />

firstly <strong>the</strong> school, where all children can benefit from proper education – <strong>in</strong> particular girls. No girl from<br />

<strong>the</strong> local tribes has ever reached university studies. The school provides <strong>the</strong> ideal atmosphere for<br />

mutual trust and knowledge beyond ethnic barriers or prejudices.<br />

It also addresses <strong>the</strong> root-causes <strong>of</strong> violence associated with cattle.<br />

The dispensary provides essential health care to communities that have never seen a medical doctor<br />

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or a nurse and whose health is badly affected by lack <strong>of</strong> proper care, many waterborne diseases, and<br />

general ignorance about basic sanitation and hygiene practices.<br />

The meet<strong>in</strong>g centre is a place for peace build<strong>in</strong>g activities. It br<strong>in</strong>gs toge<strong>the</strong>r chiefs and<br />

representatives <strong>of</strong> different tribal groups to hold meet<strong>in</strong>gs or discuss issues related to <strong>the</strong>ir lifestyle.<br />

Youths engage <strong>in</strong> sport<strong>in</strong>g competitions to replace violent confrontation.<br />

F<strong>in</strong>ally, <strong>the</strong> agricultural project aims at empower<strong>in</strong>g local tribes to produce <strong>the</strong>ir own food. This<br />

makes <strong>the</strong>ir livelihood less dependent on cattle, a<br />

source <strong>of</strong> rivalry and armed confrontation.<br />

So far, this <strong>in</strong>itiative has been very successful.<br />

People who come to <strong>the</strong> Peace Village have <strong>the</strong><br />

opportunity <strong>of</strong> learn<strong>in</strong>g basic agricultural<br />

techniques, gett<strong>in</strong>g to know new crop varieties,<br />

buy<strong>in</strong>g seeds, or ga<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g extra knowledge on how<br />

to start <strong>the</strong>ir own agricultural venture.<br />

Monsignor Paride said, “Eight years ago, <strong>the</strong> Toposa, Nyangatom, Kachipo, Jie, Koroma, and Murle<br />

tribes called one ano<strong>the</strong>r nyemoit <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> local dialect – enemy. Now <strong>the</strong>y coexist and call one ano<strong>the</strong>r<br />

lepai – friend. This experience is <strong>in</strong>fluenc<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> area <strong>of</strong> about 200 square kilometers where <strong>the</strong>re is no<br />

police or government agency to enforce law and order.”<br />

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It may be uncommon for a Catholic to receive an award from <strong>the</strong> Anglican Church, but 81-year-old<br />

Catholic Bishop Paride Taban’s work is exceptional <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> area <strong>of</strong> peace and reconciliation <strong>in</strong> war-torn<br />

South Sudan. In honour <strong>of</strong> his lifelong work, on 9 June <strong>the</strong> Archbishop <strong>of</strong> Canterbury’s Lambeth<br />

Awards presented Bishop Taban with <strong>the</strong> Hubert Walter Award for Reconciliation and Interfaith<br />

Cooperation.<br />

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CHAPTER SIXTEEN<br />

PROVINCE OF THE ANGLICAN CHURCH<br />

https://web.archive.org/web/20150616071310/http://www.combonisouthsudan.org/<strong>in</strong>dex.php/jpaic/symposium-2011/220-t<br />

he-episcopal-church-<strong>of</strong>-sudan-<strong>in</strong>-<strong>the</strong>-history-<strong>of</strong>-divided-sudan<br />

THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF THE SUDAN(ECS) IN THE HISTORY OF DIVIDED SUDAN<br />

BY RT. REV. ENOCK TOMBE STEPHEN<br />

DIOCESAN BISHOP, REJAF DIOCESE, EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF THE SUDAN<br />

Introduction: Plant<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> ECS by CMS Missionaries from 1899-1964<br />

The Episcopal Church <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sudan (ECS) was started by Church Missionary Society (CMS)<br />

from United K<strong>in</strong>gdom (UK) with <strong>the</strong> arrival <strong>of</strong> its first missionary Rev. Llwellyn Henry Gwynne <strong>in</strong><br />

Khartoum <strong>in</strong> December 1899. The mission to Sudan was called “Gordon Memorial Mission” meant to<br />

evangelize <strong>the</strong> Nor<strong>the</strong>rn Sudanese who killed Charles Gordon, <strong>the</strong> Governor General <strong>in</strong> Khartoum<br />

dur<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> Mahadiyya upris<strong>in</strong>g. Rev. L. H. Gwynne and Dr. F. J. Harpur opened a girl’s school and a<br />

dispensary <strong>in</strong> Omdurman <strong>in</strong> 1902. As <strong>the</strong> British colonial government could not allow evangelization <strong>in</strong><br />

Nor<strong>the</strong>rn Sudan for fear <strong>of</strong> Muslim reaction follow<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> defeat <strong>of</strong> Mahdist forces <strong>in</strong> 1898, <strong>the</strong> CMS<br />

moved to Sou<strong>the</strong>rn Sudan.<br />

Later on <strong>the</strong> CMS Missionaries opened mission stations <strong>in</strong> Malek (1906), Yambio (1910), Yei (1917),<br />

Opari, Lui and Juba (1920), Maridi (1922), Kajo-keji and Akot (1929), Leer and Port Sudan (1932),<br />

Salara (1935) and Katcha (1939) <strong>in</strong> Nuba Mounta<strong>in</strong>s, Gel River (1942), Paneker (1948) and Wad<br />

Medani <strong>in</strong> 1949. They also opened Juba Bookshop (Apaya) <strong>in</strong> 1914, Abu Rauf cl<strong>in</strong>ic for Lepers (1926),<br />

hospitals <strong>in</strong> Lui (1926) and Leer (1932), Bishop Gwynne Theological College (BGC) <strong>in</strong> Mundri and<br />

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Vocational Tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g Institute <strong>in</strong> La<strong>in</strong>ya <strong>in</strong> 1947, Mo<strong>the</strong>rs’ Union <strong>in</strong> 1948 and Revival Movement <strong>in</strong> 1949<br />

from Uganda…….<br />

In 1953, Bishop Oliver Allison became <strong>the</strong> second Bishop <strong>of</strong> Sudan. ….. In 1955, Rev. Daniel Deng<br />

Atong was consecrated as <strong>the</strong> first Sudanese Assistant Bishop <strong>in</strong> 1955 …..<br />

With <strong>the</strong> advent <strong>of</strong> Sudan’s Independence from Condom<strong>in</strong>ium rule by British and Egyptians <strong>in</strong> 1956,<br />

<strong>the</strong> national government <strong>in</strong> Khartoum took control <strong>of</strong> mission schools <strong>in</strong> 1957 and eventually expelled<br />

missionaries from <strong>the</strong> country <strong>in</strong> 1964. The few missionaries that were left were transferred to<br />

Khartoum for easy monitor<strong>in</strong>g and control <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir movement and activities.<br />

Growth and development <strong>of</strong> ECS to a Prov<strong>in</strong>ce <strong>of</strong> Anglican Communion 1964-76<br />

…..In 1965, Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) went on <strong>the</strong> rampage kill<strong>in</strong>g civilians at random <strong>in</strong> Juba, Wau<br />

and Malakal. They also targeted educated Sou<strong>the</strong>rn Sudanese. Thus many people fled to rural areas<br />

and neighbour<strong>in</strong>g countries as refugees. Some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> clergy followed <strong>the</strong>ir flock <strong>in</strong>to <strong>the</strong> country side or<br />

<strong>in</strong> exile. …..<br />

.… The Sou<strong>the</strong>rn Sudan was granted self-rule with<strong>in</strong> a united Sudan. ….. Resettlement <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

people and rehabilitation <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> churches went hand <strong>in</strong> hand…..<br />

In 1974, Bishop Oliver Allison retired and Bishop El<strong>in</strong>ana Ja’bi Ngalamu took over as <strong>the</strong> first<br />

Sudanese Bishop <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Diocese <strong>of</strong> Sudan. On 11th October 1976, <strong>the</strong> ECS received its ecclesiastical<br />

<strong>in</strong>dependence from Canterbury <strong>in</strong> UK.. … <strong>the</strong> second civil war broke out <strong>in</strong> Bor….<br />

After that <strong>the</strong> ECS entered <strong>in</strong>to leadership crises that lasted for six years from 1987-92. …The<br />

Archbishop was due for retirement after serv<strong>in</strong>g for 10 years <strong>in</strong> <strong>of</strong>fice and on atta<strong>in</strong>ment <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> age <strong>of</strong><br />

70 years by 1986. The retirement did not take place as expected and <strong>the</strong> ECS entered <strong>in</strong>to leadership<br />

crises….. . The first Archbishop passed away <strong>in</strong> Khartoum on 29th September 1992.<br />

In <strong>the</strong> meantime, <strong>the</strong> second civil war was <strong>in</strong>tensify<strong>in</strong>g and spread<strong>in</strong>g to many places <strong>in</strong> Sou<strong>the</strong>rn<br />

Sudan, Sou<strong>the</strong>rn Kord<strong>of</strong>an (Nuba Mounta<strong>in</strong>s) and Blue Nile. Many people were be<strong>in</strong>g displaced<br />

<strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> clergy from rural areas to urban centers such as Juba, Wau, Malakal and as far as<br />

Khartoum <strong>in</strong> Nor<strong>the</strong>rn Sudan. Thousands fled to exile as refugees. …<br />

By 1991 most rural areas came under <strong>the</strong> control <strong>of</strong> Sudan Peoples Liberation<br />

Movement/Army (SPLM/A) especially <strong>in</strong> Sou<strong>the</strong>rn Sudan. The churches found <strong>the</strong>mselves<br />

on both sides <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> conflict as <strong>the</strong> clergy <strong>of</strong>ten stayed with <strong>the</strong>ir congregations wherever<br />

<strong>the</strong>y fled. However, ECS Bishops and o<strong>the</strong>r senior clergy were ei<strong>the</strong>r displaced <strong>in</strong> Juba<br />

and Khartoum or took refuge <strong>in</strong> Uganda and Kenya. …<br />

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All Sa<strong>in</strong>ts Ca<strong>the</strong>dral, Juba<br />

Meet<strong>in</strong>g under <strong>the</strong> tree outside <strong>the</strong> Church<br />

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<strong>My</strong> first contact with <strong>the</strong> church <strong>in</strong> South Sudan was <strong>the</strong> Anglican Church. In fact I had several Bible<br />

studies with <strong>the</strong> young generations under this same tree. This group started <strong>the</strong> first radio-session <strong>in</strong><br />

Christian faith <strong>in</strong> 1984. The first Sudanese Arch Bishop El<strong>in</strong>ana was <strong>the</strong> bishop <strong>of</strong> Juba.<br />

The Most Rev. Daniel Deng Bul Yak. Archbishop <strong>of</strong> South Sudan and <strong>the</strong> Sudan and Bishop <strong>of</strong> Juba<br />

2017<br />

The Rt Rev Just<strong>in</strong> Badi Arama,<strong>the</strong> fifth archbishop <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> prov<strong>in</strong>ce.Enthroned by <strong>the</strong> Rt Rev Tim Thornton, Bishop <strong>of</strong><br />

Lambeth, represented <strong>the</strong> Archbishop <strong>of</strong> Canterbury.<br />

The occasion was attended by a number <strong>of</strong> archbishop and present are <strong>the</strong> primate <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Church <strong>of</strong> Uganda Archbishop<br />

Stanley Ntagali, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Anglican Church <strong>of</strong> Sou<strong>the</strong>rn Africa, Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> Church <strong>of</strong> Rwanda, and Archbishop Ezekiel Kumir Kondo from <strong>the</strong> Episcopal Church <strong>of</strong> Sudan. Representatives <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Archbishop <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Anglican Church <strong>in</strong> North America, <strong>the</strong> Episcopal Church <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> USA, Church <strong>of</strong> Ireland, a <strong>the</strong> World<br />

Council <strong>of</strong> Churches, <strong>the</strong> Catholic archbishop <strong>of</strong> South Sudan, and <strong>the</strong> Bishop <strong>of</strong> Lambeth represent<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> Archbishop <strong>of</strong><br />

Canterbury were also <strong>in</strong> attendance.<br />

One <strong>of</strong> press<strong>in</strong>g problems <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Christian faith <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> University <strong>of</strong> Juba was <strong>the</strong> conflict <strong>of</strong> science as<br />

oppos<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> faith. As such I have been called upon even on <strong>the</strong> first day <strong>of</strong> my arrival <strong>in</strong> Juba when I<br />

accidentally came to <strong>the</strong> room where a debate was on between "Science and Faith"<br />

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This was followed by <strong>the</strong> start <strong>of</strong> a Bible Study group <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> University Campus which grew <strong>in</strong> size and<br />

it not only survived my departure but is still active with<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> campus even today actively <strong>in</strong>volved both<br />

<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> bible studies and its practice <strong>in</strong> life. Here are two examples.<br />

JUBA UNIVERSITY BIBLE GROUP CALLS FOR FORGIVENESS<br />

http://catholicradionetwork.org/?q=node/6838<br />

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 17:29<br />

A Bible association had called on <strong>the</strong> students <strong>of</strong> Juba University to seek forgiveness and<br />

reconciliation <strong>in</strong> order to move ahead. The University <strong>of</strong> Juba was closed down <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> end <strong>of</strong> March due to<br />

ethnic clashes between students. Juba University Bible Study Association reporter Majdi Omer told Bakhita<br />

Radio that <strong>the</strong>y are work<strong>in</strong>g out to make sure students forgive and reconcile with one ano<strong>the</strong>r. He said <strong>the</strong>re<br />

are always mistakes, but, as children <strong>of</strong> God, <strong>the</strong> students need to forgive and look at <strong>the</strong>ir colleagues like<br />

<strong>the</strong>mselves. He added that <strong>the</strong> students should learn to say sorry to enable <strong>the</strong>m to built peace and stability <strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> University. Mr Omer said what happened <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> University reflects a very bad image <strong>of</strong> its students. He<br />

called upon <strong>the</strong> students to sort out <strong>the</strong>ir differences and take <strong>the</strong> responsibility <strong>of</strong> build<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> future <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

young nation. Mr Omer added that s<strong>in</strong>ce <strong>the</strong> problem started <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> University <strong>of</strong> Juba, <strong>the</strong> Bible Study<br />

Association formed a committee to meet with <strong>the</strong> conflict<strong>in</strong>g students. He said <strong>the</strong>y met several <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>m and<br />

discussed <strong>the</strong> problems at length and now are com<strong>in</strong>g towards a solution. Mr Omer called on <strong>the</strong> entire body <strong>of</strong><br />

students at <strong>the</strong> University <strong>of</strong> Juba to be peace builders as <strong>the</strong>y are <strong>the</strong> pillar <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> new nation.<br />

They were still active <strong>in</strong> 2013<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

EXODUS OF YEI UNDER<br />

BISHOP SEME SOLOMONA<br />

OF<br />

THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF SUDAN<br />

: Bishop Seme Luwate Solomona (Sololomon) was born <strong>in</strong> 1939 <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> village <strong>of</strong> Longaju, Longamere,<br />

<strong>in</strong> Yeyi County. He received <strong>the</strong>ological tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g beg<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sudan <strong>in</strong> 1960, and later <strong>in</strong> Nigeria.<br />

He was orda<strong>in</strong>ed a Deacon <strong>in</strong> 1964, and <strong>in</strong> 1985, was consecrated as Bishop <strong>of</strong> Yei I remember sitt<strong>in</strong>g<br />

beside Seme, two days before his consecration <strong>in</strong> a function <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> University. I casually mentioned<br />

that perhaps we may not be able to sit <strong>in</strong> relaxation and talk after <strong>the</strong> consecration. His reaction was<br />

swift. He said that if that happens he will take his vestments out and be with all his friends and with his<br />

people. I did attend his consecration two days later and enjoyed his support and prayers throughout<br />

my mission <strong>in</strong> Juba. He was <strong>the</strong>re with me when <strong>the</strong> Sudan Pentecostal Church consecrated <strong>the</strong>ir new<br />

pastors before my leav<strong>in</strong>g Sudan <strong>in</strong> 1988. He was with me when we first sat toge<strong>the</strong>r at <strong>the</strong> first<br />

meet<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sudan Council <strong>of</strong> Churches.<br />

The Bishop Seme built a Health Centre, and an Orphanage Centre <strong>in</strong> Yei. He was a found<strong>in</strong>g member <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> follow<strong>in</strong>g: The New Sudan Council <strong>of</strong> Churches (NSCC), <strong>the</strong> Bishop Alison Theological College <strong>in</strong> Arua<br />

(now <strong>the</strong> Pastor’s Tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g Institute for ECS clergy <strong>in</strong> New Sudan, Nyaŋiliya Secondary School (<strong>in</strong> Ko’buko<br />

District), and West Nile Vocational Tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g Institute <strong>in</strong> Arua etc.<br />

Bishop Seme Solomon died on August 10, 2003,<br />

Exodus <strong>of</strong> Yei under Bishop Seme.<br />

It was dur<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> second civil war time when <strong>the</strong> war was <strong>in</strong> full sw<strong>in</strong>g<br />

between <strong>the</strong> Sudan rul<strong>in</strong>g government army and <strong>the</strong> SPLA rebels that Bishop<br />

Seme was told <strong>in</strong> 1990 about an impend<strong>in</strong>g fight <strong>in</strong> Yei area. In order to avoid<br />

a massacre Bishop Seme organized <strong>the</strong> village for a mass exodus<br />

Anglicanism<br />

Rev. Dr. Marc R. Nikkel (1950–2000) describes <strong>the</strong><br />

work <strong>of</strong> Bishop Seme.<br />

“OT images <strong>of</strong> exile and exodus, <strong>of</strong> div<strong>in</strong>e protection<br />

and lead<strong>in</strong>g, are as pervasive as those <strong>of</strong>. In <strong>the</strong> Dioceses<br />

<strong>of</strong> Yei and Kajo-Keji, where <strong>the</strong> ECS has long been<br />

established, touched by currents <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> East African Revival,<br />

visions <strong>of</strong> Exodus merge with contemporary pilgrimage.<br />

See also: Bombs, Ru<strong>in</strong>s and Honey: Journeys <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Spirit with<br />

Sudanese Christians<br />

By Andrew C. Wheeler, Pheroze Nowrojee<br />

In I990, as <strong>the</strong> SPLA planned an attack on <strong>the</strong> government garrison at Yei, Bishop Seme Solomona<br />

(ECS, Diocese <strong>of</strong> Yei) and Fa<strong>the</strong>r Peter Dada (Vicar-General <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Catholic Diocese <strong>of</strong> Yei) were<br />

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encouraged to evacuate <strong>the</strong>ir people. Depart<strong>in</strong>g by night for fear <strong>of</strong> government attack, <strong>the</strong> churchmen,<br />

<strong>in</strong> a convoy <strong>of</strong> some l00 vehicles under SPLA guidance, accompanied <strong>the</strong> masses southward toward<br />

Kaya. The settlement on <strong>the</strong> Ugandan border soon became a burgeon<strong>in</strong>g community <strong>in</strong> exile, home to<br />

some 30,000, <strong>in</strong> which <strong>the</strong> two Churches were essential to all aspects <strong>of</strong> life. By 1995, however, Kaya<br />

itself came under threat and <strong>the</strong> two leaders determ<strong>in</strong>ed to lead <strong>the</strong>ir throngs fur<strong>the</strong>r southward,<br />

across <strong>the</strong> Ugandan border. In <strong>the</strong> midst <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> ra<strong>in</strong>y season, suffer<strong>in</strong>g from cold and exposure,<br />

Koboko became <strong>the</strong> new encampment. As has become custom <strong>in</strong> exile, churches were constructed<br />

first, tak<strong>in</strong>g precedence over houses. Gradually stability grew, but by 1996 <strong>the</strong> pilgrimage veered back<br />

toward Sudan. As <strong>in</strong>security <strong>in</strong>creased <strong>in</strong> Nor<strong>the</strong>rn Uganda <strong>the</strong> fortunes <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> SPLA shifted, result<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> recapture <strong>of</strong> Kaya. Yei itself came under SPLA control for first time.<br />

Among Christians grounded <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Bible, exodus and ‘wilderness journey’ became bywords. As an<br />

estimated 80,000 souls trekked homeward a ‘faithful people ‘acknowledged <strong>the</strong>ir ‘faithful God’ whose<br />

div<strong>in</strong>e presence accompanied <strong>the</strong>m throughout <strong>the</strong>ir sojourn.”<br />

><br />

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/migrants/pom2009_111/rc_pc_migrants_pom1<br />

11_sagovsky.html gives <strong>the</strong> follow<strong>in</strong>g description:<br />

Pontifical Council for <strong>the</strong> Pastoral Care <strong>of</strong> Migrants and It<strong>in</strong>erant People,<br />

People on <strong>the</strong> Move, N° 111, December 2009<br />

MESSAGE OF THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION,<br />

Revd. Dr. Nicholas SAGOVSKY,<br />

Canon Theologian <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Westm<strong>in</strong>ster Abbey – Great Brita<strong>in</strong><br />

“Let me take just one example <strong>of</strong> many: <strong>the</strong> story <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> pilgrimage <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> people <strong>of</strong> Yei between 1990<br />

and 1997. Early <strong>in</strong> 1990, when Yei was under threat <strong>of</strong> attack, Bishop Seme Solomona <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Episcopal Church <strong>of</strong> Sudan and Fa<strong>the</strong>r Peter Dada, Vicar-General <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Catholic Diocese <strong>of</strong> Yei, led<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir people out <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> town. A convoy <strong>of</strong> more than 100 vehicles, with 10,000 people on foot, set out.<br />

For three days <strong>the</strong> convoy travelled by night until <strong>the</strong>y came to <strong>the</strong> deserted border town <strong>of</strong> Kaya. The<br />

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community, led by Bishop Seme and Fa<strong>the</strong>r Dada stayed <strong>the</strong>re for three years, grow<strong>in</strong>g to 30,000. On<br />

3 August 1993, aga<strong>in</strong> under threat <strong>of</strong> attack, it crossed <strong>the</strong> border <strong>in</strong>to Uganda. Bishop Seme<br />

compared <strong>the</strong> sight to <strong>the</strong> exodus <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> children <strong>of</strong> Israel from Egypt. Not a life was lost – and several<br />

babies were born. When <strong>the</strong> community re-established itself <strong>in</strong> Uganda <strong>the</strong> first build<strong>in</strong>gs to be<br />

constructed were churches. By 1996-7 <strong>the</strong> refugees were be<strong>in</strong>g targeted by Ugandan rebels. The way<br />

opened, miraculously, to go back to Yei. Bishop Seme returned to his ca<strong>the</strong>dral <strong>in</strong> time to celebrate<br />

communion on Easter Day, 1997. With<strong>in</strong> a short time 80,000 refugees had returned from Uganda full<br />

<strong>of</strong> gratitude for <strong>the</strong> Lord’s deliverance. Throughout <strong>the</strong> time <strong>of</strong> exile leadership and pastoral care had<br />

been provided by Bishop Seme and Fa<strong>the</strong>r Dada, work<strong>in</strong>g toge<strong>the</strong>r.“<br />

E = Episcopal Church (Anglican)<br />

R= Roman Catholic Church<br />

Distribution <strong>the</strong> Episcopal and Roman Catholic Churches <strong>in</strong> South Sudan 1017<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

A<br />

LOST BOYS OF SUDAN<br />

In 1987, some 20,000 Sudanese children fled a bloody civil war <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir homeland. Known as "The Lost<br />

Boys," nearly 4,000 <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>m eventually found refuge <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> United States.<br />

http://www.rescue.org/blog/lost-boys-sudan See also Wikipedia, <strong>the</strong> free encyclopedia<br />

“The Lost Boys <strong>of</strong> Sudan is <strong>the</strong> name given to <strong>the</strong> groups <strong>of</strong> over 20,000 boys <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Nuer and D<strong>in</strong>ka<br />

ethnic groups who were displaced and/or orphaned dur<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> Second Sudanese Civil War<br />

(1983–2005); about 2.5 million were killed and millions were displaced. The e name "Lost Boys <strong>of</strong><br />

Sudan" was colloquially used by aid workers <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> refugee camps where <strong>the</strong> boys resided <strong>in</strong> Africa.<br />

The term was revived, as children fled <strong>the</strong> post-<strong>in</strong>dependence violence <strong>of</strong> South Sudan with Sudan<br />

dur<strong>in</strong>g 2011–13<br />

Most <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> boys were orphans separated from <strong>the</strong>ir families when government troops and rebels <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> south systematically attacked villages <strong>in</strong> sou<strong>the</strong>rn Sudan, kill<strong>in</strong>g many <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>habitants. Many<br />

avoided capture or death because <strong>the</strong>y were away from <strong>the</strong>ir villages tend<strong>in</strong>g cattle at <strong>the</strong> cattle camps<br />

(graz<strong>in</strong>g land located near bodies <strong>of</strong> water where cattle were taken and tended largely by <strong>the</strong> village<br />

children dur<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> dry season) and were able to flee and hide <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> dense African bush. Some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

unaccompanied male m<strong>in</strong>ors were conscripted by <strong>the</strong> Sou<strong>the</strong>rn rebel forces and used as soldiers <strong>in</strong><br />

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<strong>the</strong> rebel army, while o<strong>the</strong>rs were handed over to <strong>the</strong> government by <strong>the</strong>ir own families to ensure<br />

protection, for food, and under a false impression <strong>the</strong> child would be attend<strong>in</strong>g school.<br />

Presumably orphaned, <strong>the</strong>y traveled by foot for years <strong>in</strong> search <strong>of</strong> safe refuge, on a journey that<br />

carried <strong>the</strong>m over a thousand miles across three countries to refugee camps where <strong>the</strong>y resided <strong>in</strong><br />

Ethiopia and Kenya and <strong>in</strong> various villages where <strong>the</strong>y sought refuge <strong>in</strong> South Sudan. Over half died<br />

along <strong>the</strong>ir epic journey, due to starvation, dehydration, sickness and disease and attack by wild<br />

animals and enemy soldiers. Experts say <strong>the</strong>y are <strong>the</strong> most badly war-traumatized children ever<br />

exam<strong>in</strong>ed.” Wiki<br />

“Cont<strong>in</strong>ually under threat, <strong>the</strong>y would flee for <strong>the</strong>ir lives, los<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>ir way <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> wilderness. Often <strong>the</strong>y<br />

lost everyth<strong>in</strong>g en route—blankets, sheets, shoes, clo<strong>the</strong>s and pots—to soldiers, sw<strong>in</strong>dlers or bandits.<br />

Many fell victim to killer diseases. O<strong>the</strong>rs were so weakened by hunger and lack <strong>of</strong> sleep that <strong>the</strong>y<br />

could go no fur<strong>the</strong>r and sat down by <strong>the</strong> roadside—prey for lions and o<strong>the</strong>r animals.<br />

The survivors who reached <strong>the</strong> camps <strong>in</strong> Ethiopia started to lead a relatively peaceful life. But it was<br />

not to last. Follow<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> change <strong>of</strong> government <strong>in</strong> Ethiopia <strong>in</strong> May 1991 <strong>the</strong>y had to flee aga<strong>in</strong>, back to<br />

camps <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sudan. This time <strong>the</strong> journey was dur<strong>in</strong>g heavy ra<strong>in</strong>s, and many perished cross<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong><br />

swollen rivers or were hit by aerial bombardment. The luckier ones made it to a camp where <strong>the</strong>y<br />

received help from <strong>the</strong> International Committee <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Red Cross.<br />

This relative security was shattered aga<strong>in</strong> late <strong>in</strong> 1991 when fight<strong>in</strong>g erupted around <strong>the</strong>m, and <strong>the</strong>y<br />

and children from o<strong>the</strong>r camps were on <strong>the</strong> move once more, eventually head<strong>in</strong>g for Kenya.<br />

S<strong>in</strong>ce 1992, UNICEF has managed to reunite nearly 1,200 boys with <strong>the</strong>ir families. But approximately<br />

17,000 rema<strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong> camps <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> region. The harsh memories rema<strong>in</strong> as well. As 14-year-old Simon<br />

Majok puts it: "We were suffer<strong>in</strong>g because <strong>of</strong> war. Some have been killed. Some have died because <strong>of</strong><br />

hunger and disease. We children <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sudan, we were not lucky." unicef report<br />

“The war impacted girls too. When villages were attacked, girls were raped, and women and small<br />

children (boys and girls) were taken to <strong>the</strong> north to be used or sold as slaves. When arriv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

camps <strong>in</strong> Ethiopia, <strong>the</strong> boys were placed <strong>in</strong> boys-only areas <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> camp, but accord<strong>in</strong>g to Sudanese<br />

culture, <strong>the</strong> girls could not be left alone and were placed with surviv<strong>in</strong>g family members or adopted by<br />

o<strong>the</strong>r Sudanese families. When <strong>the</strong> resettlement program to <strong>the</strong> US was <strong>in</strong>itiated <strong>in</strong> 1999, one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

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requirements was that <strong>the</strong> children must be orphans. Because <strong>the</strong>se girls had been liv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>se<br />

family units for up to 9–14 years, <strong>the</strong>y were no longer considered orphans and <strong>the</strong>refore, were not<br />

eligible for <strong>the</strong> resettlement program. As a result, relatively few <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Lost Girls were deemed eligible<br />

for <strong>the</strong> resettlement program to <strong>the</strong> US.<br />

From 1992 to 1996, UNICEF had reunited almost 1200 Lost Boys with <strong>the</strong>ir families. However, about<br />

17,000 were still <strong>in</strong> camps <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> area as <strong>of</strong> 1996.<br />

In 2001, as part <strong>of</strong> a program established by <strong>the</strong> United States Government and <strong>the</strong> United Nations<br />

High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), approximately 3800 Lost Boys were allowed to resettle <strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> United States. They are now scattered over at least 38 cities.” Wiki<br />

B<br />

GENOCIDE IN DARFUR<br />

http://www.unitedhumanrights.org/genocide/genocide-<strong>in</strong>-sudan.htm<br />

Darfur is <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> western part <strong>of</strong> Sudan, border<strong>in</strong>g on Libya, Chad, and <strong>the</strong> Central African Republic.<br />

Darfur is a region <strong>in</strong> Sudan <strong>the</strong> size <strong>of</strong> France. It is home to about 6 million people from nearly 100<br />

tribes. Some nomads. Some farmers. All Muslims. In 1989, General Omar Bashir took control <strong>of</strong><br />

Sudan by military coup, which <strong>the</strong>n allowed The National Islamic Front government to <strong>in</strong>flame regional<br />

tensions. In a struggle for political control <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> area, weapons poured <strong>in</strong>to Darfur. Conflicts <strong>in</strong>creased<br />

between African farmers and many nomadic Arab tribes.<br />

In 2003, two Darfuri rebel movements- <strong>the</strong> Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and <strong>the</strong> Justice and Equality<br />

Movement (JEM)- took up arms aga<strong>in</strong>st <strong>the</strong> Sudanese government, compla<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g about <strong>the</strong><br />

marg<strong>in</strong>alization <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> area and <strong>the</strong> failure to protect sedentary people from attacks by nomads. The<br />

government <strong>of</strong> Sudan responded by unleash<strong>in</strong>g Arab militias known as Janjaweed, or “devils on<br />

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horseback”. Sudanese forces and Janjaweed militia attacked hundreds <strong>of</strong> villages throughout Darfur.<br />

Over 400 villages were completely destroyed and millions <strong>of</strong> civilians were forced to flee <strong>the</strong>ir homes.<br />

In <strong>the</strong> ongo<strong>in</strong>g genocide, African farmers and o<strong>the</strong>rs <strong>in</strong> Darfur are be<strong>in</strong>g systematically displaced and<br />

murdered at <strong>the</strong> hands <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Janjaweed. The genocide <strong>in</strong> Darfur has claimed 400,000 lives and<br />

displaced over 2,500,000 people. More than one hundred people cont<strong>in</strong>ue to die each day; five<br />

thousand die every month. The Sudanese government disputes <strong>the</strong>se estimates and denies any<br />

connection with <strong>the</strong> Janjaweed.<br />

Janjaweed Militia<br />

Janjaweed. Literal translation = devils on horseback.<br />

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The victims<br />

The Sudanese government appears unwill<strong>in</strong>g to address <strong>the</strong> human rights crisis <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> region and has<br />

not taken <strong>the</strong> necessary steps to restrict <strong>the</strong> activities <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Janjaweed. In June 2005, <strong>the</strong> International<br />

Crim<strong>in</strong>al Court (ICC) took <strong>the</strong> first step <strong>in</strong> end<strong>in</strong>g impunity <strong>in</strong> Darfur by launch<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>vestigations <strong>in</strong>to<br />

human rights violations <strong>in</strong> Darfur. However, <strong>the</strong> government <strong>of</strong> Sudan refused to cooperate with <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>in</strong>vestigations.<br />

On March 4, 2009 Sudanese President Omar al Bashir, became <strong>the</strong> first sitt<strong>in</strong>g president to be <strong>in</strong>dicted<br />

by ICC for direct<strong>in</strong>g a campaign <strong>of</strong> mass kill<strong>in</strong>g, rape, and pillage aga<strong>in</strong>st civilians <strong>in</strong> Darfur. The arrest<br />

warrant for Bashir follows arrest warrants issued by <strong>the</strong> ICC for former Sudanese M<strong>in</strong>ister <strong>of</strong> State for<br />

<strong>the</strong> Interior Ahmad Harun and Janjaweed militia leader Ali Kushayb. The government <strong>of</strong> Sudan has not<br />

surrendered ei<strong>the</strong>r suspect to <strong>the</strong> ICC.<br />

Darfur today cont<strong>in</strong>ue to suffer and <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>numerable problems fac<strong>in</strong>g Sudan cannot be resolved until<br />

peace is secured <strong>in</strong> Darfur. Accord<strong>in</strong>g to UN estimates, 2.7 million Darfuris rema<strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong>ternally<br />

displaced persons camps and over 4.7 million Darfuris rely on humanitarian aid. Resolv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> Darfur<br />

conflict is critical not just for <strong>the</strong> people <strong>of</strong> Darfur, but also for <strong>the</strong> future <strong>of</strong> Sudan and <strong>the</strong> stability <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> entire region.<br />

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CHAPTER SEVENTEEN<br />

THE REVIVAL IN THE SOUTH SUDAN<br />

AND<br />

THE SUDAN PENTECOSTAL CHURCH.<br />

Not long after I have started teach<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> University <strong>of</strong> Juba and <strong>the</strong> formation <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Bible Study<br />

Fellowship <strong>of</strong> Juba University, Bro<strong>the</strong>r Adi Sever<strong>in</strong>o Ambrose came home. He wanted me to go with<br />

him and be part <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> new fellowship that met every Sunday <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> veranda <strong>of</strong> a school. Every<br />

Sunday he came home and picked me up. The o<strong>the</strong>r person with him was Bro<strong>the</strong>r Benjam<strong>in</strong> who went<br />

round <strong>the</strong> town pick<strong>in</strong>g up those who are lay<strong>in</strong>g around <strong>the</strong> street under <strong>the</strong> effect <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> drugs and<br />

took <strong>the</strong>m home. It was not too long after that Benjam<strong>in</strong> was kidnapped by <strong>the</strong> SPLA and he became<br />

a Bishop lead<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> church group that was with<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> SPLA militia.<br />

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Soon <strong>the</strong> number <strong>of</strong> people com<strong>in</strong>g to <strong>the</strong> service <strong>in</strong>creased and we were forced to hire a house and<br />

started <strong>the</strong> service under a tent made <strong>of</strong> tarpol<strong>in</strong>e.<br />

From this ashes <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> broken world God through <strong>the</strong> power <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Holy Spirit ga<strong>the</strong>red a new Church. I<br />

was ushered <strong>in</strong>to this by Adi Ambrose. Meanwhile Benjam<strong>in</strong> was abducted by <strong>the</strong> Sudan Liberation<br />

Army and was orda<strong>in</strong>ed as its Bishop to serve <strong>the</strong> Army personals. Soon we had to move out <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

corridors <strong>in</strong>to a tent <strong>of</strong> Tarpaul<strong>in</strong>. Here are few scenes from our worship.<br />

Music was <strong>the</strong> center <strong>of</strong> worship and <strong>the</strong>y sang a new song pour<strong>in</strong>g out <strong>the</strong>ir pa<strong>in</strong>. There always was<br />

<strong>the</strong> mighty presence <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Power <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Spirit confirm<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> Word with signs and wonders. Miracles<br />

we never knew and signs that cannot be expla<strong>in</strong>ed away.<br />

I had two large loudspeakers ly<strong>in</strong>g waste <strong>in</strong> my house, which I brought from Gezira. Stack<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>m<br />

toge<strong>the</strong>r our people were able to make podium.<br />

Here is <strong>the</strong> audience scene. <strong>My</strong> daughter Preethy can be seen at <strong>the</strong> center <strong>of</strong> this picture. The<br />

worshipers were very <strong>of</strong>ten fluid, as people came and went, displaced, forced out, runn<strong>in</strong>g for life<br />

people, along with a few stable community who rema<strong>in</strong>ed. Tears <strong>of</strong> joy and sorrow flowed at every<br />

meet<strong>in</strong>g. God <strong>the</strong> Fa<strong>the</strong>r was meet<strong>in</strong>g His Sons and Daughters who returned.<br />

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The Sweedish Free Mission, an Association <strong>of</strong> several <strong>in</strong>dependent Churches came forward with<br />

f<strong>in</strong>ancial help to start <strong>the</strong> Sudan Theological College to provide Theological tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g for <strong>the</strong> future<br />

leaders <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Churches <strong>of</strong> South Sudan.<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Here is picture taken when <strong>the</strong> Sweedish Free Mission delegates came meet us. You can see Pastor Adi Ambrose talk<strong>in</strong>g<br />

to <strong>the</strong>m. This is <strong>the</strong> only picture <strong>of</strong> Adi Ambrose I have.<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

The Juba Christian Center today<br />

“This is <strong>the</strong> most '<strong>in</strong> fashion' church, where <strong>the</strong> youth flock to.<br />

They have <strong>the</strong> most lively sermon and a great band and a jump<strong>in</strong>g choir. The youth flock <strong>the</strong>re.<br />

Go early if you want a seat, most sit outside on plastic chairs as it is packed.<br />

Located <strong>in</strong> Bulluk, on <strong>the</strong> road that jo<strong>in</strong>s M<strong>in</strong>istries and Juba University beh<strong>in</strong>d <strong>the</strong> South Sudan Hotel.<br />

8.30 is <strong>the</strong> English service, 11 is <strong>the</strong> Arabic.”<br />

http://www.jubatravelguide.com/churches%20clubs%20and%20associations.html<br />

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Adi Ambrose is from Acholi Luo Magwi (Eastern Equatoria) and was born on Jan 20, 1950. He belonged to <strong>the</strong><br />

Episcopal Church and studied <strong>the</strong>ology <strong>in</strong> Kenya. With <strong>the</strong> help <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Assemblies <strong>of</strong> God <strong>in</strong> Kenya he was<br />

<strong>in</strong>strumental <strong>in</strong> start<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> Juba Christian Center and subsequently <strong>the</strong> Sudan Pentecostal Churches. He was<br />

appo<strong>in</strong>ted <strong>in</strong> 1983 to <strong>the</strong> National Assembly as a chairman for human rights committee and served it until 2001.<br />

He <strong>the</strong>n started to work at <strong>the</strong> M<strong>in</strong>istry <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Religious Affairs from 2001 until 2009, when he was appo<strong>in</strong>ted for<br />

<strong>the</strong> registration <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Churches <strong>in</strong> Khartoum.<br />

In 1984 he left Juba for Khartoum and lived <strong>the</strong>re along with <strong>the</strong> dispersed South Sudanese. He started <strong>the</strong><br />

branch <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sudan Pentecostal Churches <strong>in</strong> Khartoum. I was left alone to lead <strong>the</strong> SPC with <strong>the</strong> help <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

elders.<br />

Adi Ambrose was a NCP member, a close ‘friend <strong>of</strong> Turabi,’ and his family enjoyed a very strong protection from<br />

<strong>the</strong> Government dur<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> n<strong>in</strong>eties. Accord<strong>in</strong>g to his son, Adi Ambrose was “personal adviser <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> president<br />

<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> years 2000 and 2001, teach<strong>in</strong>g him English and German”. Adi Ambrose passed away on Dec 29, 2009<br />

By 2014 <strong>the</strong> membership <strong>of</strong> this Khartoum Christian Center (<strong>of</strong> Sudan Pentecostal Churches) grew to<br />

over 500. In <strong>the</strong> ensu<strong>in</strong>g persecution period <strong>the</strong> church was taken over by <strong>the</strong> Government and closed<br />

down. Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has said he wants to adopt a "100 percent" Islamic<br />

constitution now that <strong>the</strong> South has split <strong>of</strong>f. He wants all Christians to leave <strong>the</strong> country and started<br />

a connived project to close down and destroy forcibly all christian churches <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> North Sudan.<br />

Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) forcibly closed <strong>the</strong> Sudan Pentecostal<br />

Church (SPC) church build<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> Khartoum, which houses <strong>the</strong> Khartoum Christian Center (KCC) <strong>in</strong><br />

August 2014<br />

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Here I am jo<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> meal with <strong>the</strong> Sweedish Free Mission Team<br />

The construction <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> College and <strong>the</strong> development <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> campus was done <strong>in</strong> record time and we<br />

went <strong>in</strong>to serious teach<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Theology lead<strong>in</strong>g to a degree <strong>in</strong> B.Th. S<strong>in</strong>ce <strong>the</strong>re was a lack <strong>of</strong><br />

qualified teachers I was asked to jo<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> team dur<strong>in</strong>g my free time from <strong>the</strong> University <strong>of</strong> Juba.<br />

<strong>My</strong> <strong>the</strong>ological tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g was limited to <strong>the</strong><br />

completion <strong>of</strong> Bachelor <strong>of</strong> Div<strong>in</strong>ity from <strong>the</strong><br />

London Bible College. Apart from that <strong>the</strong>re<br />

were no text books nor detailed syllabus.<br />

Bro<strong>the</strong>r James who came from <strong>the</strong><br />

Assemblies <strong>of</strong> God Theological College <strong>of</strong><br />

Kenya took over as Pr<strong>in</strong>cipal. That year<br />

when I returned from India, a carried a lot<br />

<strong>the</strong>ological books from India and sat down to<br />

write <strong>the</strong>m anew <strong>in</strong> terms <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> local cultural<br />

terms. These later formed <strong>the</strong> core <strong>of</strong> many<br />

<strong>of</strong> my published work<br />


HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Scenes from <strong>the</strong> picnic<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

The Students <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sudan Theological College with <strong>the</strong>ir teacher N<strong>in</strong>an<br />

Here is <strong>the</strong> campus <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sudan Theological College<br />

Immanuel Waigo Wagon and me <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sudan Theological Campus. He was one <strong>of</strong> my favorite<br />

students. After his ord<strong>in</strong>ation as Pastor, he was forced to move down to Kenya with his wife where I<br />

am told he died leav<strong>in</strong>g his wife Margaret Toya who was also a member <strong>of</strong> our Church<br />

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I gave <strong>the</strong> first convocation address and <strong>the</strong> distribution <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> certificate<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

The first baptism<br />

ceremony <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> Sudan Pentecostal Churches<br />

Soon several assemblies took form <strong>in</strong> various villages <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> South Sudan under various Charismatic<br />

local elders number<strong>in</strong>g as much as 26 <strong>in</strong> 1985.and grow<strong>in</strong>g. It became necessary to organize <strong>the</strong><br />

church. The first event was a mass baptism <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Blue Nile. The elders brought <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir people who<br />

requested baptism which numbered 167. I gave <strong>the</strong> sermon <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> bank <strong>of</strong> Blue Nile and <strong>the</strong> baptism<br />

was adm<strong>in</strong>istered by <strong>the</strong> elders.<br />

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The formation <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sudan Council <strong>of</strong> Churches<br />

Formation <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sudan Council <strong>of</strong> Churches. This was <strong>the</strong> first meet<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sudan Council <strong>of</strong><br />

Churches. I along with several o<strong>the</strong>rs bro<strong>the</strong>rs, represented <strong>the</strong> SPC. Sudan is <strong>the</strong> only country <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

world where <strong>the</strong> Catholic, <strong>the</strong> Anglicans and <strong>the</strong> Pentecostals all sit toge<strong>the</strong>r to form <strong>the</strong> Council <strong>of</strong><br />

Churches. This understand<strong>in</strong>g and cooperation between all factions <strong>of</strong> Christian Churches grew right<br />

from <strong>the</strong> beg<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> missions.<br />

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Upon this council fell <strong>the</strong> responsibility <strong>of</strong> br<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g peace <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> war torn country <strong>of</strong> South Sudan as it<br />

obta<strong>in</strong>ed its freedom. In this <strong>the</strong> Sudan Pentecostal Churches carry <strong>the</strong> greatest responsibility<br />

As <strong>the</strong> war escalated it became more and more difficult to reach Juba for vacation back home and to<br />

come back to Juba. The civil air flights were long gone and <strong>the</strong> only way to and from Khartoum to Juba<br />

was by <strong>the</strong> military planes. With anti-aircraft guns <strong>the</strong> travel became too risky to undertake and we<br />

decided to term<strong>in</strong>ate <strong>the</strong> contract with <strong>the</strong> University and go back to India. I remember <strong>the</strong> note <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Vice Chancellor below my resignation letter. “Though we would not like to accept this letter, we have<br />

no o<strong>the</strong>r choice. It is his decision”. The Vice-Chancellor requested me to come back for one semester<br />

until <strong>the</strong>y can f<strong>in</strong>d a suitable Physics teacher which I did dur<strong>in</strong>g my vacation from India <strong>in</strong> 1989. As <strong>the</strong><br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

history developed, this decision came right at <strong>the</strong> correct time. The university was forced to be<br />

relocated to Khartoum, for safety <strong>of</strong> staff, students and <strong>in</strong>frastructure <strong>in</strong> 1990.<br />

This also brought <strong>in</strong> an issue with <strong>the</strong> Sudan Pentecostal Churches s<strong>in</strong>ce both Adi Ambrose and<br />

Bro<strong>the</strong>r Benjam<strong>in</strong> had gone I was <strong>the</strong> only orda<strong>in</strong>ed Pastor and <strong>the</strong>re were no orda<strong>in</strong>ed elders <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Church. The Govern<strong>in</strong>g body <strong>the</strong>refore decided to arrange ord<strong>in</strong>ation for 26 elders as <strong>the</strong> first group <strong>of</strong><br />

Pastors with<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Church. I got down and developed an ord<strong>in</strong>ation procedure. The 26 elders who<br />

were to be orda<strong>in</strong>ed went on a three-day fast<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> preparation <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> home <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Church.<br />

However, <strong>the</strong> SIL missionaries and o<strong>the</strong>rs <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> mission field felt that as a foreigner, I should not be<br />

orda<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g Pastors <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> public function. They felt that it will precipitate a repercussion <strong>of</strong> missionary<br />

expulsion as <strong>in</strong> 1965 by <strong>the</strong> Islamic government <strong>of</strong> Khartoum. As such we f<strong>in</strong>ally decided that <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>itial<br />

part <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> ord<strong>in</strong>ation as Pastor <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Universal Church may be done <strong>in</strong> private and <strong>the</strong> second part <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>stallation as Pastor <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sudan Pentecostal Churches may be done <strong>in</strong> Public by <strong>the</strong> President<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Govern<strong>in</strong>g body who was a local elder. I <strong>of</strong>ficiated <strong>the</strong> public ceremony and m<strong>in</strong>istered <strong>the</strong> word<br />

with explanation <strong>of</strong> “<strong>the</strong> qualifications and responsibilities <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Pastors <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Church.” M<strong>in</strong>isterial<br />

Credential<strong>in</strong>g was pr<strong>in</strong>ted and send back to Juba from India.<br />

From this group came <strong>the</strong> biggest church <strong>in</strong> South Sudan as <strong>the</strong> Sudan Pentecostal Churches. most<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> later leaders <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Church. Unlike <strong>the</strong> Pentecostal movements elsewhere <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> world, <strong>the</strong><br />

Sudan Pentecostal Churches became an Episcopalian hierarchy system follow<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> tribal tradition <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> country. The pastors are now called bishops and wear <strong>the</strong> traditional collars and colors <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

episcopal churches.<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

B<br />

Pr<strong>of</strong>.<br />

N<strong>in</strong>an and Leif Zetturland <strong>in</strong> 1880s<br />

The water pump project <strong>of</strong> Sweedish Free Mission. This was headed by a young missionary - Laif<br />

zetturland.. Laif stayed on <strong>the</strong> job when all o<strong>the</strong>rs fled from South Sudan under <strong>the</strong> severe pressure<br />

<strong>of</strong> war. He is still <strong>the</strong>re serv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> people. His son David has taken over now and helps out <strong>the</strong><br />

needy <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sudan and I am told now <strong>in</strong> many o<strong>the</strong>r countries - Chad, Niger etc.<br />

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Leif and Britt Zetterlund today<br />

http://leifzetterlund.com<br />

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Our Ref: Your Ref:<br />

11"‘ January 2014<br />

LET MY PEOPLE LIVE IN PEACE AND HARMONY<br />

STATEMENT OF THE SOUTH SUDANESE CHURCH ON THE CURRENT POLITICAL CRISIS AND VIOLENCE<br />

"Oh Lord, be gracious to us, we wait for you. Be our arm every morn<strong>in</strong>g, our salvation <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> time <strong>of</strong> trouble". Isa: 33:2.<br />

"Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it" Ps.34:14.<br />

Preamble: .<br />

We <strong>the</strong> South Sudanese Church, as <strong>the</strong> servants <strong>of</strong> God and <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> people, and compelled by <strong>the</strong> Gospel imperative for<br />

peace and justice under <strong>the</strong> umbrella <strong>of</strong> South Sudan Council <strong>of</strong> Churches, hereby affirm our solid faith <strong>in</strong> God, our<br />

lov<strong>in</strong>g Fa<strong>the</strong>r and <strong>in</strong> South Sudan, our beloved country,<br />

Recall<strong>in</strong>g our previous Pastoral messages;<br />

—1999, Here we Stand United for Peace,<br />

-2002, Let my People Choose,<br />

~20lO, Choose life: A vision for Peaceful Sudan. .<br />

We wholeheartedly believe that <strong>the</strong> human person is made <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> image <strong>of</strong> God and endowed with <strong>in</strong>alienable dignity.<br />

Human life is sacred and <strong>the</strong>refore no one has <strong>the</strong> right to take it. (Exodus: 20:13).<br />

We believe we are one nation and one people. We are all united by dest<strong>in</strong>y,hope and faith regardless <strong>of</strong> our<br />

backgrounds. This nation is a precious gift from God to all <strong>of</strong> us <strong>in</strong> our diversity. We should feel called <strong>in</strong>dividually and<br />

collectively to guard it jealously and commit ourselves to protect it from anyone bent on its destruction.<br />

But we are deeply saddened by <strong>the</strong> recent outbreak <strong>of</strong> violence <strong>in</strong> our young and beloved country. We are shocked to<br />

see bro<strong>the</strong>rs and sisters kill<strong>in</strong>g one ano<strong>the</strong>r. Those who toge<strong>the</strong>r <strong>in</strong> unity <strong>of</strong> purpose struggled and laid down <strong>the</strong>ir lives<br />

for liberation exercise <strong>the</strong>ir democratic rights <strong>in</strong> national elections <strong>in</strong> 2010; who were united <strong>in</strong> heart and m<strong>in</strong>d dur<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>the</strong> historic Referendum,<br />

2011; and who joyfully celebrated <strong>the</strong> hard won <strong>in</strong>dependence on 9th July 2011; have now turned aga<strong>in</strong>st one ano<strong>the</strong>r<br />

<strong>in</strong> targeted and revenge kill<strong>in</strong>gs.<br />

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This is an abom<strong>in</strong>ation! We <strong>the</strong>refore express our condolences and sympathy to <strong>the</strong> families and Nation <strong>of</strong> South Sudan<br />

for <strong>the</strong> lives lost <strong>in</strong> this crisis.<br />

We are deeply aggrieved to see our people flee <strong>the</strong>ir homes for fear <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir own countrymen to get crammed <strong>in</strong>to UN<br />

compounds or scattered <strong>in</strong>to <strong>the</strong> bushes or forced to seek for refuge <strong>in</strong> neighbour<strong>in</strong>g countries.<br />

We are heart-broken to see what was purely a political problem <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> rul<strong>in</strong>g party, SPLIVI, quickly slides <strong>in</strong>to an ethnic<br />

one on a rapid and frighten<strong>in</strong>g scale.<br />

We recommit ourselves to work for peace <strong>in</strong> our country and send out this pastoral message:<br />

Message to South Sudanese:<br />

1. 1- We have committed <strong>of</strong>fenses aga<strong>in</strong>st ourselves and our communities, and we need to repent to God and to each<br />

o<strong>the</strong>r, we need to br<strong>in</strong>g heal<strong>in</strong>g to ourselves and our communities. We are traumatized and <strong>in</strong> need <strong>of</strong> heal<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

2. Desist from spread<strong>in</strong>g rumors among <strong>the</strong> people and <strong>the</strong> communities <strong>in</strong> south Sudan.<br />

Message to Warr<strong>in</strong>g Parties (SPLM/A)<br />

ln <strong>the</strong> light <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> above, we call for:<br />

1- Speedy and unconditional cessation <strong>of</strong> all hostilities everywhere <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> country: we believe dialogue, is <strong>the</strong> best and<br />

<strong>the</strong> only<br />

justifiable way to resolve grievances and outstand<strong>in</strong>g issues between parties. Violence is not an option!<br />

2» The SPLMI to honour <strong>the</strong> trust and <strong>the</strong> privilege that God and <strong>the</strong> sovereign people <strong>of</strong> South Sudan have bestowed<br />

upon <strong>the</strong>m to<br />

lead <strong>the</strong> Nation at this time; earnestly, and <strong>in</strong> good faith to resolve all political differences peacefully.<br />

3. Both parties to <strong>the</strong> conflict and leaders to cease forthwith from mobiliz<strong>in</strong>g and encourag<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

supporters/communities for fur<strong>the</strong>r engagement <strong>in</strong> violence and destruction, and we urge both Parties to respect<br />

civilian lives with<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir combat areas.<br />

4. Anyone who has violated <strong>the</strong> constitution <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Republic <strong>of</strong> South Sudan to be brought to justice, and for <strong>the</strong><br />

government to ensure that <strong>the</strong> law expeditiously takes its course.<br />

5. The government and <strong>the</strong> parties to <strong>the</strong> conflict to urgently open space corridors so that relief and o<strong>the</strong>r humanitarian<br />

assistance can reach those <strong>in</strong> need.<br />

6. We urge <strong>the</strong> leaders from conflict<strong>in</strong>g parties to speak <strong>the</strong> language <strong>of</strong> peace at all‘times. We believe that peace is not<br />

just made but it is also spoken <strong>in</strong> words and demonstrated <strong>in</strong> attitudes.<br />

Message to. IGAD, African Union. UN and International Partners:<br />

7. We appreciate IGAD, regional stakeholders and <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>ternational Community for <strong>the</strong>ir role <strong>in</strong> encourag<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong><br />

conflict<strong>in</strong>g parties to negotiate, and we call upon <strong>the</strong>m to <strong>in</strong>crease <strong>the</strong>ir efforts towards a speedy solution to <strong>the</strong> conflict.<br />

Message to <strong>the</strong> Ecumenical Communities:<br />

We acknowledge and appreciate <strong>the</strong> accompaniment <strong>of</strong> our ecumenical partners dur<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> protracted civil war.<br />

We now call upon our ecumenical partners to cont<strong>in</strong>ue <strong>the</strong>ir role <strong>in</strong> support<strong>in</strong>g us by:<br />

1- Promot<strong>in</strong>g spaces and plat forms through which South Sudanese will engage <strong>in</strong> dialogue for peace and reconciliation.<br />

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2- Mobiliz<strong>in</strong>g Act Alliance and CARITAS Networks to support humanitarian and relief work <strong>in</strong> South Sudan.<br />

3- Advocate with <strong>the</strong>ir respective governments and <strong>in</strong>ter-governmental bodies for support <strong>of</strong> Peace.<br />

OUR COMMITMENT<br />

We as <strong>the</strong> South Sudanese Church solemnly commit ourselves to:<br />

1. Cont<strong>in</strong>ue to pray ceaselessly until <strong>the</strong> warr<strong>in</strong>g parties ceasefire and end all hostilities<br />

2. Back our prayers with action by roll<strong>in</strong>g out a people to people peace process. We will mobilize our members to<br />

participate <strong>in</strong> ethnically mixed peace delegations to <strong>the</strong> villages and communities <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> country. Peace build<strong>in</strong>g is first<br />

and foremost <strong>the</strong> responsibility and duty <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> people <strong>of</strong> South Sudan.<br />

3. To fight aga<strong>in</strong>st negative ethnicity. God created us as members <strong>of</strong> diverse ethnic communities but leaders use <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

respective ethnic identities to sow hatred and divide <strong>the</strong> people along ethnic l<strong>in</strong>es. This tendency must be resisted by all<br />

means.<br />

4. To build on <strong>the</strong> outcome <strong>of</strong> this day <strong>of</strong> prayer by conven<strong>in</strong>g a stakeholders conference to reason toge<strong>the</strong>r and reach<br />

a national<br />

consensus on <strong>the</strong> South Sudan we want. Sovereignty belongs to <strong>the</strong> people and not to <strong>in</strong>dividual leaders or political<br />

parties. Hence <strong>the</strong> voice <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> people is critically important <strong>in</strong> determ<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> political dest<strong>in</strong>y <strong>of</strong> our beloved country.<br />

5. To actively participate <strong>in</strong> nation build<strong>in</strong>g, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g a people based constitution mak<strong>in</strong>g process that will lay <strong>the</strong><br />

foundation on which peace dividends will be realized for all <strong>of</strong> our people.<br />

6. Jo<strong>in</strong> hands with our ecumenical partners and <strong>the</strong> friends <strong>of</strong> South Sudan so that <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> spirit <strong>of</strong> Pan-Africans we shall<br />

contribute to good neighborl<strong>in</strong>ess and African solutions to African problems.<br />

Conclusion:<br />

God <strong>in</strong> your Grace forgive us our s<strong>in</strong>s and bless us with endur<strong>in</strong>g peace <strong>in</strong> new Year, 2014 and beyond We pray <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

name <strong>of</strong> Jesus Christ, and <strong>in</strong>voke our National An<strong>the</strong>m: Oh God, bless South Sudan... Amen.<br />

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South Sudan Council <strong>of</strong> Churches<br />

Rwanda, 1st – 7th June 2015<br />

June 12, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — We, twenty five leaders and representatives from <strong>the</strong> member<br />

churches <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> South Sudan Council <strong>of</strong> Churches, ga<strong>the</strong>red <strong>in</strong> Kigali, Rwanda for a retreat from 1 st to<br />

7 th June 2015 along with lay members and partners, issue this solemn statement <strong>of</strong> our <strong>in</strong>tent to<br />

achieve peace and reconciliation for our beloved nation. We speak with one voice as <strong>the</strong> united<br />

Church <strong>of</strong> South Sudan.<br />

We have listened to <strong>the</strong> voices <strong>of</strong> our Rwandan bro<strong>the</strong>rs and sisters. We thank <strong>the</strong>m for shar<strong>in</strong>g with<br />

us, and we particularly thank <strong>the</strong> Church <strong>of</strong> Rwanda for welcom<strong>in</strong>g us and <strong>of</strong>fer<strong>in</strong>g to walk with us on<br />

this journey. We have seen how <strong>the</strong>y developed <strong>the</strong>ir country after <strong>the</strong> genocide <strong>of</strong> 1994, and how <strong>the</strong>y<br />

addressed <strong>the</strong> pa<strong>in</strong>, anger and bitterness <strong>of</strong> those terrible events.<br />

We have visited <strong>the</strong>ir genocide memorials; such <strong>in</strong>human acts, whe<strong>the</strong>r <strong>in</strong> Rwanda or South Sudan,<br />

must never be forgotten; we must know, learn from and take responsibility for our history. We have<br />

learned many th<strong>in</strong>gs from <strong>the</strong>m: <strong>the</strong> need for reconciliation, forgiveness, humility, unity and leadership.<br />

We have seen how important forgiveness is: <strong>the</strong> person who does not forgive rema<strong>in</strong>s a prisoner <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong>ir own bitterness, and only he or she holds <strong>the</strong> key to that prison.<br />

To free ano<strong>the</strong>r person is to free yourself; reconciliation must beg<strong>in</strong> with yourself; only if you heal<br />

yourself can you hope to heal o<strong>the</strong>rs. We have been challenged to exam<strong>in</strong>e ourselves, to question<br />

whe<strong>the</strong>r we have colluded <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> conflict ei<strong>the</strong>r by omission or commission, and to beg<strong>in</strong> to transform<br />

ourselves. We confess and repent <strong>of</strong> our own wrongdo<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

Forgiveness seems foolish <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> world <strong>of</strong> politics and militarism, but for <strong>the</strong> Church <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Crucified<br />

Christ who, even as he was dy<strong>in</strong>g, said, “Fa<strong>the</strong>r, forgive <strong>the</strong>m; <strong>the</strong>y do not know what <strong>the</strong>y are do<strong>in</strong>g”<br />

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(Luke 23:34), forgiveness is <strong>the</strong> only way. In a world which correctly focuses on human rights, it is<br />

<strong>of</strong>ten forgotten that we can at times choose to sacrifice some <strong>of</strong> our rights for <strong>the</strong> common good. To<br />

choose forgiveness and sacrifice is to choose greatness. But forgiveness is not <strong>the</strong> same as impunity;<br />

accountability, particularly through restorative justice, can still be pursued. A heavy burden is upon all<br />

<strong>of</strong> us to create a positive future for our young people, for our children and for future generations. We<br />

came to Rwanda to learn because we must prevent such a terrible atrocity from happen<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> our own<br />

country: “Never aga<strong>in</strong>!”<br />

Prophetic Voice.<br />

Just as <strong>the</strong> Prophet Ezekiel was appo<strong>in</strong>ted watchman by <strong>the</strong> Lord, we too are appo<strong>in</strong>ted watchmen<br />

and women by div<strong>in</strong>e authority. At <strong>the</strong> 2010 meet<strong>in</strong>g between Church and Government <strong>in</strong> Juba (Kajiko<br />

2), a South African bishop advised us that we could be like ‘watch dogs’ or ‘guide dogs’. A watchdog<br />

barks when <strong>the</strong>re is trouble, but a guide dog leads you away from trouble <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> first place. We have<br />

tried to be like guide dogs. We have consistently tried to help our nation to move <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> right direction<br />

by <strong>of</strong>fer<strong>in</strong>g guidance to our leaders.<br />

We spoke powerfully at <strong>the</strong> Nyakuron meet<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> December 2013, urg<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> SPLM leadership to<br />

resolve <strong>the</strong>ir differences peacefully. After <strong>the</strong> current conflict began, we issued our first statement<br />

with<strong>in</strong> 48 hours, on 17 th December 2013. S<strong>in</strong>ce <strong>the</strong>n <strong>the</strong> SSCC and member churches have issued<br />

numerous statements, culm<strong>in</strong>at<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> SSCC statement on 26 th May 2015 and an ECSSS statement<br />

on 31 st May 2015.<br />

All our guidance has been ignored. To fulfil <strong>the</strong> mandate given to us by <strong>the</strong> Lord, we must cease to be<br />

like ‘guide dogs’ and become like ‘watch dogs’. Not only will we warn our leaders and our people to<br />

renounce wickedness and evil ways, we will take action to br<strong>in</strong>g peace and to beg<strong>in</strong> reconciliation. All<br />

<strong>of</strong> this we do out <strong>of</strong> love, not anger. The leaders <strong>of</strong> this nation are our sons and daughters, our bro<strong>the</strong>rs<br />

and sisters, our parishioners and congregants; we are <strong>the</strong>ir pastors and shepherds.<br />

The Church’s Position on <strong>the</strong> War<br />

We have repeatedly stated that this is a senseless war which must stop immediately. There is no<br />

moral justification to cont<strong>in</strong>ue kill<strong>in</strong>g ourselves, regardless <strong>of</strong> any legitimate political issues with<br />

government or opposition. A cessation <strong>of</strong> hostilities must be implemented before any detailed<br />

negotiations for <strong>the</strong> future; it is unacceptable to negotiate posts and positions while people are kill<strong>in</strong>g<br />

and be<strong>in</strong>g killed. Negotiations are about to beg<strong>in</strong> aga<strong>in</strong> while <strong>in</strong>nocents cont<strong>in</strong>ue to suffer. What will be<br />

different this time? The needs <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> people must be met, not <strong>the</strong> needs <strong>of</strong> political and military elites. It<br />

appears that pride, power and politics have become a greater priority than peace.<br />

As we analyse our conflict, we see many root causes. We see a power struggle between leaders<br />

surrounded by an immediate circle <strong>of</strong> advisors, aides, politicians, generals, hangers-on, and spoilers.<br />

We see ethnic communities follow<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>ir leaders, while grassroots communities and armed youth are<br />

caught up <strong>in</strong> cycles <strong>of</strong> revenge kill<strong>in</strong>g. We see military commanders, each with <strong>the</strong>ir own agendas, not<br />

necessarily under <strong>the</strong> control <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> pr<strong>in</strong>cipals. We see communities which have not yet taken sides <strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> conflict put under <strong>in</strong>creas<strong>in</strong>g pressure by a lack <strong>of</strong> effective governance, <strong>the</strong> failure <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> rule <strong>of</strong><br />

law, and by direct provocation from government or opposition forces.<br />

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We also see <strong>the</strong> terrible effects <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> recent upsurge <strong>of</strong> fight<strong>in</strong>g; a rapidly deteriorat<strong>in</strong>g economic<br />

situation lead<strong>in</strong>g to hardship for ord<strong>in</strong>ary citizens; national assets destroyed; human rights abused at<br />

every level; people killed and tortured; women raped; children recruited <strong>in</strong>to armed groups; loot<strong>in</strong>g;<br />

arrests for no reason; security organs act<strong>in</strong>g as if <strong>the</strong>y are above <strong>the</strong> law; a shr<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g space for citizens<br />

and civil society to speak out; a deteriorat<strong>in</strong>g humanitarian situation; <strong>in</strong>creas<strong>in</strong>g militarization <strong>of</strong> society;<br />

new armed groups spr<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g up; and <strong>in</strong>creased conflict between and with<strong>in</strong> communities. Much <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

country is lawless, and so people take <strong>the</strong> law <strong>in</strong>to <strong>the</strong>ir own hands. There is an <strong>in</strong>crease <strong>in</strong> crime with<br />

no action taken, and people are afraid <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> authorities who should protect <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

Peace Processes<br />

We acknowledge all <strong>the</strong> peace negotiations, whe<strong>the</strong>r <strong>in</strong> Addis Ababa or Arusha, and we hope that <strong>the</strong><br />

steps taken to implement <strong>the</strong> Arusha agreement <strong>in</strong>dicate a new commitment, but overall <strong>the</strong>re appears<br />

to be little real progress. There is a complete lack <strong>of</strong> trust between <strong>the</strong> parties. They are not ready to<br />

make peace; both still see advantages to armed conflict. They talk about talks ra<strong>the</strong>r than talk<strong>in</strong>g about<br />

peace. There is no political will for peace. Fur<strong>the</strong>rmore, we believe that <strong>the</strong>y have no idea how to make<br />

peace. They have no exit strategy; <strong>the</strong>y are unable to f<strong>in</strong>d a face-sav<strong>in</strong>g compromise that will conv<strong>in</strong>ce<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir followers <strong>the</strong>y have ga<strong>in</strong>ed someth<strong>in</strong>g. If <strong>the</strong> two pr<strong>in</strong>cipals sign an agreement, <strong>the</strong>re is no<br />

guarantee that <strong>the</strong>ir commanders and o<strong>the</strong>r followers will actually agree to implement it. People are<br />

completely polarised. The Church must play a significant role and <strong>the</strong> process must be owned by<br />

South Sudanese stakeholders.<br />

Church Action<br />

The Church has historically played a significant role <strong>in</strong> peace mak<strong>in</strong>g. This <strong>in</strong>cludes <strong>the</strong> People to<br />

People Peace Process, <strong>the</strong> Entebbe Process which shadowed <strong>the</strong> IGAD negotiations <strong>in</strong> Naivasha, our<br />

paper ‘Let <strong>My</strong> People Choose’ which put <strong>the</strong> right to self-determ<strong>in</strong>ation at <strong>the</strong> centre <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> CPA, and<br />

our advocacy to br<strong>in</strong>g about <strong>the</strong> referendum. We wish to <strong>in</strong>form our leaders, our people and <strong>the</strong><br />

regional and <strong>in</strong>ternational community that <strong>the</strong> Church is now tak<strong>in</strong>g serious steps to br<strong>in</strong>g about a<br />

home-grown solution for peace and reconciliation.<br />

Advocacy<br />

Start<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> South Sudan and reach<strong>in</strong>g out to <strong>the</strong> region, <strong>the</strong> rest <strong>of</strong> Africa and beyond, we will embark<br />

on a process <strong>of</strong> advocacy. We appreciate <strong>the</strong> role <strong>of</strong> regional states and express our gratitude for <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

efforts to br<strong>in</strong>g peace. However we are also aware <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir own political, military and economic<br />

<strong>in</strong>terests <strong>in</strong> South Sudan, which might cause difficulties and suspicions; <strong>the</strong>re are elements <strong>of</strong> a proxy<br />

war. We will go to regional church bodies, national councils <strong>of</strong> churches and <strong>in</strong>dividual churches and,<br />

through <strong>the</strong>m we will reach out to key regional leaders. We also appreciate <strong>the</strong> role <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>ternational<br />

community, and will reach out to <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

Neutral Forum<br />

We will f<strong>in</strong>d ways to br<strong>in</strong>g stakeholders toge<strong>the</strong>r <strong>in</strong> a less politically charged atmosphere and to build<br />

bridges between <strong>the</strong>m to overcome mistrust and disagreements. Any successes <strong>in</strong> this process will<br />

feed back <strong>in</strong>to <strong>the</strong> IGAD negotiations.<br />

Reconciliation<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

A political settlement is a necessary first step, but reconciliation at all levels, vertically and horizontally,<br />

is essential. Only <strong>the</strong> Church can br<strong>in</strong>g about true forgiveness and reconciliation. We will spearhead<br />

reconciliation, where necessary <strong>in</strong>corporat<strong>in</strong>g exist<strong>in</strong>g mechanisms so as not to lose what has already<br />

begun on <strong>the</strong> ground. We must transform ourselves, transform our people and transform our nation.<br />

We are wounded, but we must become wounded healers. We commit ourselves to modell<strong>in</strong>g<br />

reconciliation and forgiveness <strong>in</strong> our words and actions.<br />

Throughout our country, and amongst our people <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> diaspora, we will call for prayer and fast<strong>in</strong>g to<br />

change <strong>the</strong> hearts <strong>of</strong> ourselves, our leaders and our people. Only through forgiveness and<br />

reconciliation can we live as one nation, and only through God’s help can we forgive and reconcile.<br />

Message <strong>of</strong> Hope and Forgiveness<br />

The leaders <strong>of</strong> South Sudan council <strong>of</strong> Churches meet<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> Kigali, Rwanda(Photo:<br />

SSCC/Nyamilepedia)<br />

We ask forgiveness for anyth<strong>in</strong>g we may have done to divide our nation, and for all <strong>the</strong> times we have<br />

failed to speak and act <strong>in</strong> love to heal our nation.<br />

We br<strong>in</strong>g you a message <strong>of</strong> hope. We have been <strong>in</strong>spired by <strong>the</strong> spirit <strong>of</strong> love and forgiveness we have<br />

seen <strong>in</strong> our bro<strong>the</strong>rs and sisters <strong>in</strong> Rwanda. Their testimonies have shown us that forgiveness is not<br />

just a <strong>the</strong>ory, but that it actually works. The past does not need to control us any more!<br />

In our struggle for liberation we had a strong spirit <strong>of</strong> unity; let us once aga<strong>in</strong> accept ourselves as one<br />

united people. The Grace and Power <strong>of</strong> God will prevail.<br />

We love you, we bless you and we forgive you all.<br />

Given this day, 7 th June 2015, <strong>in</strong> Kigali, Rwanda.<br />

Rt Rev Peter Gai Lual Marrow, Chairman, South Sudan Council <strong>of</strong> Churches (SSCC)<br />

His Grace Paol<strong>in</strong>o Lukudu Loro, Metropolitan Archbishop <strong>of</strong> Juba, Catholic Church<br />

Rt Rev Dr Daniel Deng Bul, Archbshop and Primate, Episcopal Church <strong>of</strong> South Sudan and Sudan<br />

(ECSSS)<br />

Rt Rev Dr Archangelo Lemi Wani, Presid<strong>in</strong>g Bishop, African Inland Church (AIC)<br />

Rt Rev Dr Isaiah Majok Dau, General Overseer, Sudan Pentecostal Church (SPS)<br />

Rt Rev Jame Par Tap Hon, Moderator, Presbyterian Evangelical Church <strong>of</strong> South Sudan (PECoSS)<br />

Rev James Kuong N<strong>in</strong>rew, Moderator. Presbyterian Church <strong>of</strong> South Sudan (PcoSS)<br />

Fr James Oyet Latansio, General Secretary. South Sudan Council <strong>of</strong> Churches (SSCC)<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

B<br />

The SIL guest house with <strong>the</strong> meet<strong>in</strong>g Tukul <strong>in</strong> Juba, South Sudan<br />

SIL is an extension <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Wycliffe’s Bible translators whose primary objective is to translate <strong>the</strong> bible<br />

<strong>in</strong>to every language <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> tribe. But to be effective <strong>the</strong>y have to first develop <strong>the</strong> language’s grammar<br />

and script. Most <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> dialects, traditions and literature has been transmitted orally through<br />

generations. Thus <strong>in</strong> order to be effective <strong>the</strong>y need to analyze <strong>the</strong> grammar and develop <strong>the</strong><br />

transcription methods. The missionaries who are l<strong>in</strong>guists have to master <strong>the</strong> language by liv<strong>in</strong>g with<br />

<strong>the</strong> people and <strong>the</strong>n <strong>the</strong>y translate <strong>the</strong> bible <strong>in</strong>to those languages. This is <strong>the</strong> greatest gift anyone<br />

can give to any culture.<br />

178<br />

A weekly prayer meet<strong>in</strong>g on <strong>the</strong> SIL<br />

Juba Centre.


HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Juba International Christian Fellowship which <strong>in</strong>cluded mostly foreigners who met Sunday even<strong>in</strong>gs<br />

for worship, prayer and Bible study from 5:15pm on Sunday at <strong>the</strong> SIL compound, near <strong>the</strong> Juba<br />

University. Our family lived with SIL guest house until <strong>the</strong> University provided a house. The house<br />

itself was next door to SIL. S<strong>in</strong>ce <strong>the</strong>n we were close to <strong>the</strong>m. Here are a few pictures <strong>of</strong> our family<br />

with <strong>the</strong> missionaries <strong>of</strong> SIL<br />

N<strong>in</strong>ans with Cheesebro<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Jonathan Arensen was raised <strong>in</strong> Africa and thus <strong>in</strong>troduced<br />

to African languages and cultures from a young age. Early<br />

<strong>in</strong> his career, he taught <strong>in</strong> Kenya and <strong>the</strong>n moved on to<br />

Sudan, work<strong>in</strong>g under <strong>the</strong> Summer Institute <strong>of</strong> L<strong>in</strong>guistics<br />

(SIL) as a l<strong>in</strong>guist survey<strong>in</strong>g various languages. His<br />

research resulted <strong>in</strong> a master’s degree from Central<br />

Wash<strong>in</strong>gton State University. From <strong>the</strong>re, he spent eight<br />

years liv<strong>in</strong>g with <strong>the</strong> Murle people <strong>in</strong> eastern Sudan,<br />

study<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>ir language and culture. Dur<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>se years,<br />

he attended Oxford University, earn<strong>in</strong>g an additional<br />

master’s degree as well as a D. Phil. <strong>in</strong> Social<br />

Anthropology. His work with <strong>the</strong> Murle people cont<strong>in</strong>ued until a complete New Testament was<br />

published <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir language. After serv<strong>in</strong>g as anthropology coord<strong>in</strong>ator for SIL <strong>in</strong> Africa, cover<strong>in</strong>g 24<br />

countries and tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g new personnel as <strong>the</strong>y entered, he became pr<strong>of</strong>essor <strong>of</strong> anthropology at<br />

Houghton College.<br />

Sandra and<br />

Pr<strong>of</strong>. Richard L. Watson<br />

L<strong>in</strong>guistics Pr<strong>of</strong>essor <strong>in</strong> SIL.<br />

Workers Biajio (L) and Tartisio rema<strong>in</strong>ed faithfully at <strong>the</strong>ir posts<br />

s<strong>in</strong>ce 1988 when all <strong>the</strong> foreign missionaries left Juba because <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> civil war and <strong>the</strong>y were still on duty when everybody came<br />

back <strong>in</strong> 2007 - http://www.wycliffe.net<br />

Now that South Sudan is an Independent Country<br />

South Sudan is <strong>the</strong> newest country <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> world. Formally part <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> large African nation <strong>of</strong> Sudan, it broke <strong>of</strong>f from <strong>the</strong> north to become an <strong>in</strong>dependent country <strong>in</strong> July<br />

<strong>of</strong> 2011. South Sudan is a country where much <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> population is <strong>in</strong> serious need; follow<strong>in</strong>g years <strong>of</strong><br />

civil war when it was part <strong>of</strong> Sudan, and cont<strong>in</strong>ued conflict on <strong>the</strong> boarder between <strong>the</strong> two countries.<br />

South Sudan’s recent <strong>in</strong>dependence has opened doors for religious freedom not previously seen. Of<br />

<strong>the</strong> 62 languages <strong>in</strong> South Sudan, only eight have a Bible. Some translations are <strong>in</strong> process right<br />

now, but we still have a lot <strong>of</strong> work to do <strong>in</strong> this country to br<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> Scriptures to every language who<br />

desires <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

WHAT WENT WRONG WITH PROPHET MOHAMED'S<br />

COVENANT TO CHRISTIANS?<br />

Reliable estimates <strong>in</strong>dicate that anywhere from 100-200 million Christians are<br />

persecuted every year.<br />

One Christian is martyred every five m<strong>in</strong>utes.<br />

Approximately 85% <strong>of</strong> this persecution occurs <strong>in</strong> Muslim majority nations.<br />

In 1900, 20% <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Middle East was Christian. Today, less than 2% is.<br />

In one week <strong>in</strong> Egypt alone, <strong>the</strong> Muslim Bro<strong>the</strong>rhood launched a kristallnacht —<br />

attack<strong>in</strong>g, destroy<strong>in</strong>g, and/or torch<strong>in</strong>g some 82 Christian churches (some <strong>of</strong> which were<br />

built <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> 5th century, when Egypt was still a Christian-majority nation before <strong>the</strong><br />

Islamic conquests).<br />

Al-Qaeda’s black flag has been raised atop churches.<br />

Christians—<strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g priests, women and children—have been attacked, beheaded,<br />

and killed.<br />

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