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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY

IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL

PROF.M.M.NINAN

NORMAL, IL

MAY, 2018


TABLE OF CONTENTS

PREFACE

CHAPTER ONE ANCIENT RIVER CIVILIZATIONS 1

CHAPTER TWO EGYPT, NUBIA, SUDAN 14

CHAPTER THREE THE HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN EGYPT 29

CHAPTER FOUR CUSH, ETHIOPIA AND THE SOLOMON CONNECTION 37

CHAPTER FIVE KING NEGUS NEGASTE EZANA OF AXUM

THE FIRST ETHIOPIAN CHRISTIAN KING 51

CHAPTER SIX THE CHRISTIANIZATION OF NUBIA 57

CHAPTER SEVEN ENCROACHING ISLAM 64

CHAPTER EIGHT BATTLE OF OMDURMAN 69

CHAPTER NINE COPTIC CHRISTIANS OF SUDAN 75

CHAPTER TEN CATHOLIC MISSIONS TO SUDAN 78

CHAPTER ELEVEN ANGLICAN CHURCH MISSIONARY SOCIETY (C.M.S.) 85

CHAPTER TWELVE SUDAN INTERIOR MISSION AND

SUDAN INTERIOR CHURCH 94

CHAPTER THIRTEEN CHRISTIANITY IN YEMEN 106

CHAPTER FOURTEEN SOUTH SUDAN 115

CHAPTER FIFTEEN ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSION 131

CHAPTER SIXTEEN THE ANGLICAN CHURCH 142

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN THE REVIVAL IN THE SOUTH SUDAN

AND THE SUDAN PENTECOSTAL CHURCH 155


PREFACE

This story is taken right out of my life in everyday living as a teacher travelling from country to country.

Even though I did not realize it as it went, there seems to be a sequence and a plan which I certainly

did not make, but was evolved.

I was born in a christian family and embedded in me was its doctrine and social morality. Like every

other rational being, I rebelled against the institutional church and the doctrines only to relearn them

and be a defender of faith, as a process of growth. It was the beginning of the air travels as opposed to

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

Ethiopia, Ghana, Jamaica, Sudan, Yemen and South Sudan - places where Christian missions

treaded to enter. But it was these places that joyfully received me. I found myself defending the

faith of my fathers. To which was added my wife, who happened to be the great grand daughter of one

of famous reformer of Mar Thoma Church. Invariably she started a Bible Study at home gathering all

those who are interested in every place we happened to be. In the process we studied with the

London Bible College to equip ourselves.

This book is an attempt to trace the history of Christianity of those countries where I was called into

and my place in the history of Christianity in those countries. I acknowledge the love, care and

hospitality of my hosts in every country.

Prof.M.M.Ninan

Normal, IL

May 2018


HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

.

CHAPTER ONE

ANCIENT RIVER CIVILIZATIONS

Early in the beginning of creation Elohim created men and women and placed them all over the earth.

They survived as hunters and gatherers . Humans lived in small groups, banding together to survive

by gathering food, hunting and fishing. Later as we come to the 4 th millenium BC we come across

agricultural settlements which developed cultures of their own , They developed communities in the

valleys of essentially four large rivers of Asia and Africa, widely separated from each other, took to

growing crops systematically. Increased food production led to increase in population, rise of cites and

government, and development of writing and art.

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These ancient civilizations are:

HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

The Mesopotamian civilization in the Tigris-Euphrates valley (c. 3300 BC - c. 2000 BC),

The Egyptian civilization in the Nile valley (c. 3200 BC - c. 1000 BC),

The Harappan civilization in the Indus valley (c. 3200 BC - c. 1300 BC), and

The Yellow River (Chinese) civilization in the Yellow River valley (c. 2000 BC - c. 200 BC).

1. The Mesopotamian civilization

The Mesopotamian civilization was the first to spring onto the historical scene. Situated in the

Tigris-Euphrates valley, its history is broadly divided into three phases –

(a) the Sumerians

(b) the Akkadian empire, and

(c) the Third dynasty of Ur

Ruins of Mesopotamia.

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

Sumerians

The Sumerians were the first people to form a city-based civilization c. 3300 BC. Among the cities

they established were Ur, Uruk and Lagash. The Sumerians were based in south Mesopotamia. They

developed the cuneiform script, the earliest known writing system in the world.

Akkadian Empire

The Akkadians from north Mesopotamia, under Sargon, conquered the Sumerians around 2350 BC

and established the world's first empire, the Akkadian empire

Third Dynasty of Ur

In 2100 BC, the Sumerians were back as the Third Dynasty of Ur. The most impressive monument of

this period is the Ziggurat of Ur, a type of stepped pyramid with successively receding levels. The

dynasty lasted for only a hundred years before being overthrown by nomadic tribes, clearing the way

for the later emergence of the Babylonian Empire.

Sumerian Achievements

When we refer to the earliest Mesopotamian civilization, we are actually referring to the Sumerian

civilization Sumerians were very inventive…they

added 3 great achievements to early human

history

1. The Wheel

Before people had to move objects by hand or

logs

Sumerian wheels were made by attaching

wooden planks together in a circle Then they

could be added to carts

2. Irrigation and Flood Control

Sumerians needed a way to keep crops watered

during dry summers. Also needed protection from

floods. Sumerians dug canals and built dams to

water crops and to control flooding.

river

3. Written Language Earliest writing used

pictures to stand for words

4. Number system based on 60

5. They started the Lunar calendar based on the phases of the moon Sail Plow

6. The developed into large City-States - 12 cities in Sumer

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

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

In the center of each city, was the Ziggurat. The Ziggurat was a temple which may have been the

"Tower of Babel" referred to in the Bible. The ancient Sumerians, believed that gods lived in the sky

in the third heavens.

Hammurabi was the sixth king of the First Babylonian Dynasty,

reigning from 1792 BC to 1750 BC. Hammurabi of Babylon wrote the

Law Codes containing over 280 laws

first

The Mesopotamian civilization around the Euphrates Tigris River

city-based civilization c. 3300 BC

4


2. The Egyptian civilization

HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

King Menes (c. 3150 BC) is the legendary first king of Egypt who is thought to have united Upper and

Lower Egypt through conquest and founded both the First Dynasty and the great city of Memphis.. By

3000 BC, the Egyptians had developed a system of writing called hieroglyphics, based on pictures and

symbols.

The Old Kingdom

The Old Kingdom lasted from c. 2700 BC to 2200 BC. The rule was centralized, with the title of

Pharaoh given to the monarch. The pharaoh was considered to be divine origin. Three pharaohs of

note are Kufu, Khafra and Menkaura.

King Menes (c. 3150 BC)

The Three pyramids of Giza are the tombs of these three Pharaohs.

The Pyramids

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

The Pyramids at Giza, Egypt.

( Wikipedia, Egyptian pyramids)

I remember to have refused go down

these steep steps which my wife

dared to do.

The pyramids – the most visible and magnificent symbols of the Egyptian civilization – were build

during the Old Kingdom. In Fig. 3 (showing the pyramids at Giza), in among the three large pyramids

at the back, the rightmost is the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the middle is the Pyramid of Khafra, and the

leftmost is the Pyramid of Menkaura.

THE WONDER OF EGYPTIAN PYRAMIDS

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

one really knows for certain exactly how they were constructed. The current estimates of mainstream

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

using ropes, pulleys, ramps, ingenuity and brute force.

The building of the pyramids still remain a paradox and a wonder.

stones that high?

How did they move those large

The 10th century Arab historian, Abul Hasan Ali Al-Masudi, known as the Herodotus of the Arabs

mentions that they moved it by resonance.

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

metal rod that caused the stone to levitate and move along a path paved with stones and fenced on

either side by metal poles. The stone would travel along the path for a distance of about 50 meters and

then settle to the ground. The process would then be repeated. Or did some extraterrestrial help

them. May be the Nephilims were there at that time who are mentioned in the Bible. There are other

construction in which these Nephilims were involved.

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++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++>

Here are a few.

OTHER ASTONISHING MEGALITHS

HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

The Egyptian pyramids are not the only ancient structures constructed of huge blocks of stone. Far

from it. Great temples and monuments around the world contain stone components of incredible size,

yet little is known about their means of construction.

The Temple of Jupiter at Baalbek, Lebanon

This has a foundation that contains the three largest stone blocks ever used in a man-made structure.

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

one, yet they are positioned together with such precision that not even a needle could fit between them.

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

abandoned in its quarry, never used. But the giant rectangular block is the largest piece of stone ever

cut by humans, weighing an incredible 1,200 tons. It is estimated that it would require the strength of

16,000 men to even budge it, and represents a formidable challenge to 20th century machines and

technology.

Puerta del Sol, or Sun Gate at Tiahuanaco, Bolivia

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

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

tons, and how it arrived at its present location is a mystery.

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

The Machu Pichu of the Pacific of Micronesia

Nan Madol, sometimes called "the Machu Pichu of the Pacific," is a great ruins on the island of

Pohnpei, capital of the Federated States of Micronesia. This lost city, constructed around 200 B.C., is

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

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

estimated to weigh about 2.5 tons. How they were moved and lifted into position is unknown.


HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

The Middle Kingdom

The Middle Kingdom stretched from c. 2050 BC to 1650 BC. This period saw the beginning of

expansion of Egyptian empire through conquests. However, invasions from western Asia by a warring

group called Hyksos put an end to this kingdom.

The New Kingdom

The New Kingdom covered the period from c. 1565 BC to 1085 BC. The Pharaohs expanded the

empire to make Egypt the most powerful state in south-west Asia. Hatshepsut, the first woman

pharaoh, was of this kingdom. Other notable pharaohs were Akhenaton (whose wife was Queen

Nefertiti), his son Tutankhamun (King Tut), and Ramses II. Magnificent buildings and temples were

constructed during this period. Akhenaton instituted the first monotheistic religion within known history

by making the Sun as the symbol of God.

The Egyptian pantheon of gods were in human or animal form or as part human part animal figures.

The sun god Aten was one of these gods and had grown in importance during the New Kingdom.

Akhenaten raised Aten to the position of sole god, bringing monotheism to Egypt. He and his family

are frequently shown worshipping Aten by reaching out to him. Aten's rays radiate out resolving into

hands holding the Ankh, the symbol for life.

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

Depictions of the royal family show them invariably under the rays of Aten.

The Date of the Exodus: 1446 BC

Pharaoh who killed Hebrew children: Amunhotep I: 1532-1511 BC

Pharaoh's Daughter who adopted Moses: Hatshepsut: 1526 BC

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

Pharaoh of the Exodus: Thutmoses III: 1485/1464 - 1431 BC

Hereafter, the civilization lost its way as external powers dominated over Egypt, till, in the 1st century

BC, it became a province of the Roman empire.

3. Indus Valley Civilization

his civilization boasts of the world's first planned cities and townships, conforming to a regular grid

pattern. This was a Dravidian Civilization. The bricks were of standard dimensions. The width of

main roads, streets and lanes were standardized too, and most run either north-south or east-west.

The housed followed the same plan, and the drainage system was advanced. The Harappan

civilization was also much more extensive than its contemporaries – Mesopotamia's Sumeria and

Egypt's Old Kingdom. All this points to a very high degree of organization, and centralization, of

governance.

The Harappans were the world's pioneers in the spinning and weaving of cotton. They had trade

relationships with the Mesopotamians. They used a form of pictographic script, which, unlike the

cuneiform script of Sumerians and the hieroglyphics of Egypt, has not yet been deciphered.

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

It appears that the Biblical patriarch Abraham originated from here who later moved over to Ur of the

Chaldees. Because of this when Sarah died, he took a second wife Keturah from this place.

According to tradition she must have been a niece of Abraham. We are told that Abraham sent his

children by Keturah to the east into Mohenjodero-harappa of India. There is a tradition that these

became the Brahmins Genesis 25 1 Brahamin means worshippers of Brahma - God of Abram. Later

the invading Vedics took it over and called themselved Hindus.

The Austrian Carmelite Paulinus a Sancto Bartholomaeo in his book "Darstellung der

Brahmanisch-Indischen Götterlehre, Religionsgebräuche und bürgerliche Verfassung" (1797) states

that Epiphanius was the first writer to link the Brahmins of India with the children of Abraham and his

concubine Keturah (Genesis 25:1-4; 1 Chronicles 1:32-33), an identification appears in the Zohar

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

Newton, Voltaire and others). Epiphanius has tied the magi of Matthew 2 to the descendants of

Abraham through Keturah. And Indian traditions of Dravids claim three of the magi from India. There is

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

one church which claims to have been built by one of them in Kerala, India in a mountain top called

Piravam meaning "birth"

The Dravidian civilization was taken over by the Aryans who came from middle east Persian area

probably by the Hittites who were displaced by the nomadic Israelites,

A tomb in Pind Dadan Khan, Pakistan has been claimed by local residents to be the site of Ham's

burial since 1891, when Hafiz Sham-us-Din of Gulyana, Gujrat claimed Ham had revealed this to him

in a dream. A plaque on the tomb since erected over the 78 foot long grave site states that Ham,

locally revered as a prophet, was buried there after living 536 years

Dravidians are the children of Ham. In ancient times there were known to be two types of Ethiopians,

Western Ethiopians, in Africa, (who were black with woolly hair and fine features) and their brethren,

the Eastern Ethiopians, of India, who also were black with fine features but possessed straight hair.

Both Western and Eastern Ethiopians were descended from the biblical Cush, one of the sons of Ham.

The Dravidians most likely emigrated from Africa to India and, later, many returned to Africa where

they claim to have developed the Egyptian culture and civilization.

(http://www.hinduwisdom.info/India_and_Egypt.htm).

Before the Aryans (a Caucasian race who were barbaric and illiterate) invaded India, India was

composed mainly of various black "races" (the Dravidians, the Veddoids, also known as Australoids,

and the Negrito proples) who built the ancient Indus Valley civilization. Today, the majority of India's

population is a mixture of both Indo-Aryan and Dravidian with pure Aryans mainly in the extreme North

and pure Dravidians mainly in the extreme South. The Veddoids mainly live in the hill regions of India

and the Negritos mainly live off coast in the Andaman and Nicobar islands.

http://www.bestsyndication.com/?q=20080812_history_of_egypt.htm

4. Yellow River (Chinese) civilization

Yellow River was the birthplace of ancient Chinese civilizations in the Xia (2100–1600 BC) and Shang

(1600–1046 BC) eras — the most prosperous region in early Chinese history.

The Chinese developed a unique system of writing, in which there was no link between the written and

spoken language. This meant that people in different regions could learn the same set of characters,

yet speak in very different ways.

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

The Zhou dynasty carried on much of the culture of the Shang dynasty. Cast iron production, for the

first time in the world, was started in China, and the iron was used to create weapons and agricultural

tools. Large scale water projects for irrigation were undertaken. Silk became the most important item

of trade, and was traded with dominions as far away as Greece. Silk routes across the Asian strip was

one of the major trade routes. Gunpowder, the compass, paper making, and printing — all of these

inventions not only promoted Chinese cultural development, but also spread to the rest of the world,

making an important contribution to the development of humankind.

An invasion by the north nomads in 771 BC broke this dynasty's back, and it never recovered, finally

ending in 256 BC

.

Yellow River Mother

The sculpture was carved out of a huge piece of granite in 1986 in Beijing. It is 6 meters long and 2.6 meters high.

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

CHAPTER TWO

EGYPT, NUBIA, SUDAN

https://dacb.org/histories/sudan-christianity/

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

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

The Nile River is an international river that flows through 11 countries if we take into consideration all its

tributaries, that include Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Ethiopia,

Eritrea, South Sudan, Sudan and Egypt.

The Nile has two major tributaries, the White Nile and Blue Nile. The White Nile is considered to be the

headwaters and primary stream of the Nile itself. The Blue Nile, however, is the source of most of the

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

most distant source still undetermined but located in either Rwanda or Burundi. It flows north through

Tanzania, Lake Victoria, Uganda and South Sudan. The Blue Nile begins at Lake Tana in Ethiopia and

flows into Sudan from the southeast. The two rivers meet just north of the Sudanese capital of

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

Khartoum. South Sudan was part of Sudan until very recently though culturally they were different to

some extent. the borders of the four countries were not well defined and historically a continuous

struggle was going on for this.

White Nile starts from Lake Victoria in Uganda and Blue Nile starts from Lake Tana in Ethiopia.

Nubia, ancient region in northeastern Africa, extending approximately from the Nile River valley (near

the first cataract in Upper Egypt) eastward to the shores of the Red Sea, southward to about Khartoum

(in what is now Sudan), and westward to the Libyan Desert. Nubia is traditionally divided into two

regions. The southern portion, which extended north to the southern end of the second cataract of the

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

ancient Egypt and was called Ethiopia by the ancient Greeks. Lower Nubia was the northern part of

the region, located between the second and the first cataract of Aswān; this was called Wawat.

Nubia in itself is today a history which was shared as part of Egypt and Sudan.

Addis Ababa Feburary 21/2016 Leaders of Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan have held tripartite talks on the sidelines of the

Africa 2016 Forum in Sharm el Sheikh. Egypt.

This is Butana Nubia, Nubian Landscape,the area of ancient Meroe,

known today as Butana

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

View of the chapel and pyramid from southeast with window at top and chamber behind

North Pyramid Group of Tarekeniwal at Meroe

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

The pyramid culture extended all the way south even beyond Meroe.

Nubia was home to some of Africa’s earliest kingdoms. Known for rich deposits of gold, Nubia was

also the gateway through which luxury products like incense, ivory, and ebony traveled from their

source in sub-Saharan Africa to the civilizations of Egypt and the Mediterranean. Archers of

exceptional skill provided the military strength for Nubian rulers. Kings of Nubia ultimately conquered

and ruled Egypt for about a century. Monuments still stand—in modern Egypt and Sudan—at the sites

where Nubian rulers built cities, temples, and royal pyramids.

Nubians Lived in the Central Nile Valley

African people from what is now the Sahara began to move toward the Nile in Nubia by around 5000

BC. They brought with them the art of making pottery.

Hunting for the Elusive Nubian A-Group People

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

The people that lived in Lower Nubia--the region between the First and the Second Cataract of the Nile

and the surrounding deserts--during predynastic times are called the A-Group. (Cataract is a large

waterfall) Their main activity along the Nile was agriculture, but in the deserts they herded cattle. Thus

it provided for both the settled agricultural culure and the wandering nomadic cattle culture. They also

provided a highway water route all the way from all interior countries. In fact Nile provides the major

long distance transportation in those areas until the coming of the aircraft. Along the Nile their

settlements and cemeteries are clustered in strategic areas, mostly in connection with transport routes

through the desert. Surrounding the graves were cattle burials sites also indicative of the culture of the

area.

Originally herdsmen and hunters of large animals, eventually became fishermen and farmers. Over

time, new people moved into the region from the south, so that Nubia’s population was often a diverse

mix of African people.

The River Was the Lifeline

Many Nubians lived along the Nile. Farmers grew grains, peas, lentils, dates, and possibly melons. But

especially important were their herds of cattle, a measure of wealth and social status. In the deserts,

Nubians mined carnelian and gold, as well as other mineral resources. Bartering cattle, gold, carnelian,

ivory, animal skins, hardwood, incense, and dates, Nubians traded with the Egyptians, their neighbors

to the north, for grain, vegetable oils, wine, beer, linen, and other manufactured goods.

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

Nubians developed alphabetic writing systems around 200 BC during the Meroitic period. The Meroitic

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

documentation on Meroitic Nubia can be found in the art and literature of Greece and Rome, whose

empires touched on the borders of Nubia after 330 BC.

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

Nubia

The Name "Nubia" came into use in the Roman period.

The origin of the name Nubia is obscure. Some have linked it to nwb, the ancient Egyptian word for

gold.

Others connect it with the term Noubades, the Greek name for people who moved into northern Nubia

sometime in the 4th century AD.

Kush

Noah had three sons Ham, Shem, Japheth. The order of birth is not clearly defined but Ham

probably was the youngest ( Genesis 5:32 ; comp Genesis 9:22 Genesis 9:24 ) One of the most

important facts recorded in Genesis 10 is the foundation of the earliest monarchy in Babylonia by

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

cognate race with the primitive inhabitants of Arabia and of Ethiopia.

The names itself suggests the color.

Shem means "dusky,"

Japheth "fair,"

Ham meant, "black."

This is supported by the evidence of Hebrew and Arabic, in which the word "chamam" means "to be

hot" or "burnt" and "to be black,"

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

son of Noah.

Kush was the eldest son of Ham,who was a son of Noah, probably the youngest of them. He was the

brother of Canaan (land of Canaan), Mizraim (Egypt) and Phut (land of Libya), and the father of the

Biblical Nimrod mentioned in the "Table of Nations" in the Genesis 10:6 and I Chronicles 1:8.

Biblical record defines Egypt as the Land of Ham.

-- Psalm 105: 23 "Israel also came into Egypt...the land of Ham."

Four Sons of Ham occupied the following areas:

1. Mizraim (Egypt)

2. Cush (Sudan, Ethiopia)

3. Put (Lybia)

4. Canaan (Hivites, Jebusites, Arvadites, Girgashites, Amorites, Arkites, Sinites, Hittites,

Sidonians, Perizzites, Zemarites)

During dispersion soon after the Noah's flood Cush occupies these areas in Africa. Cush is

traditionally considered the eponymous ancestor of the people of the "land of Cush," an ancient

territory that is believed to have been located on either side or both sides of the Red Sea. As such,

"Cush" is alternately identified in Scripture with the Kingdom of Kush, ancient Sudan, and/or the

Arabian Peninsula. The region south of the 1st cataract of the Nile was called from ancient of days

called "Kush."

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

According to Genesis, Cush's other sons were Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabtechah. The

Book of Numbers 12:1 calls the wife of Moses "an Ethiopian woman", whereas Moses's wife Zipporah

is usually described as hailing from Midian.

The rhetorical question "Can the Cushite change his skin?" in Jeremiah 13:23 implies brown skin color,

of most likely a Nubian people; also, the Septuagint uniformly translates Cush as Αἰθιοπία "Aithiopia."

[Another person named Cush in the Hebrew Bible is a Benjamite who is mentioned only in Psalm 7,

and is believed to be a follower of Saul]

Josephus gives an account of the nation of Cush, son of Ham and grandson of Noah: "For of the four

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

even at this day, both by themselves and by all men in Asia, called Cushites." (Antiquities of the Jews

1.6).

The name is found as far as India where the mountains of Himalaya region are called Hindu-Kush.

Explorer James Bruce, who visited the Ethiopian Highlands c. 1770, wrote of "a tradition among the

Abyssinians, which they say they have had since time immemorial", that in the days after the Deluge,

Cush, the son of Ham, traveled with his family up the Nile until they reached the Atbara plain, then still

uninhabited, from where they could see the Ethiopian table-land. There they ascended and built Axum,

and sometime later returned to the lowland, building Meroë. He also states that European scholars of

his own day had summarily rejected this account on grounds of their established theory, that Cush

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

Arabian Peninsula, and Djibouti and Eritrea on the Horn of Africa. Further, the great obelisk of Axum

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

said to have been buried there, according to the Book of Aksum, which Bruce asserts was revered

throughout Abyssinia equally with the Kebra Nagast.

Hebrew oral tradition says that Moses, in his younger years, led an Egyptian military expedition into

Sudan (Kush), as far as the city of Meroe, which was then called Saba. The city was built near the

confluence of two great rivers and was encircled by a formidable wall, and governed by a renegade

king. To ensure the safety of his men who traversed that desert country, Moses had invented a

stratagem whereby the Egyptian army would carry along with them baskets of sedge, each containing

an ibis, only to be released when they approached the enemy's country. The purpose of the birds was

to kill the deadly serpents that lay all about that country. Having successfully laid siege to the city, the

city was eventually subdued by betrayal of the king's daughter, who had agreed to deliver the city unto

Moses on condition that he would consummate a marriage with her, under the solemn assurance of an

oath.

CURSE OF CANAAN

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

2. Genesis 9:25-27 "...servitude to his brothers..."

3. Exodus 20:5 --" A curse lasts three to four generations..."

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

4. Canaan does not exist as a nation today.

Other three nations exist -- Egypt, Ethiopia and Lybia.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++>

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/moses-african-king/

Simcha Jacobovici is a Canadian-Israeli filmmaker and journalist. He mentions that:

"according to Jewish sources (Yalkut Me’am Loez on Shemot 2:15), when Moses fled Egypt prior to

the Biblical Exodus, he didn’t go directly to the Sinai desert. Rather, he fled to Kush (ancient Sudan),

where he became a general and then a king. In other words — and this is not known by the majority of

people, including Jews — according to Jewish tradition Moses was an African king for almost 40 years.

After he left Sudan, he went to the Sinai, married Zipporah, daughter of a former Midianite priest, and

then returned to Egypt to lead the Exodus and climb Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments.

But take note, before all this, for decades, he was a king in Sudan.

"Historically, the Jewish tradition makes sense. At least, it makes sense that a fugitive from Pharaoh

would flee south into Nubian-Kushite territory. The Kushites were forever at war with the Egyptians

and, in fact, at one time Egypt was ruled by a Kushite Pharaoh named Taharqa who, centuries after

Moses, showed up like the cavalry to save Jerusalem from the Assyrians (Isaiah, chapter 37, verse

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

Kushite (Numbers 12:1) by name Zipporah, the queen

of Sudan."


HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

The city of Meroe was on the edge of Butana and there were two other Meroitic cities in Butana:

Musawwarat es-Sufra and Naqa. The first of these sites was given the name Meroe by the Persian

king, Cambyses, in honor of his sister who was called by that name. The city had originally borne the

ancient appellation Saba, named after the country's original founder. The eponym Saba, or Seba, is

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

within the western Butana region and on the border of Butana proper is significant to the settlement of

the core of the developed region. The orientation of these settlements exhibit the exercise of state

power over subsistence production.

The site of the city of Meroe is marked by more than two hundred pyramids in three groups, of which

many are now in ruins. They have the distinctive size and proportions of Nubian pyramids.

Pyramids of Meroe - Northern Cemetery

As is easily seen, the Egyptian Pyramids have wide square base and have almost equal sides in

triangular structure. Nubian Pyramids stands on small squares and are taller than the Egyptian ones.

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

These were family burial places.

presumably used at sunrise.

They also had eastern-facing temples for offerings, facing and

Meroe was the south capital of the Napata/Meroitic Kingdom, that spanned the period c. 800 BC – c.

350 CE. According to partially deciphered Meroitic texts, the name of the city was Medewi or Bedewi.

Excavations revealed evidence of important, high ranking Kushite burials, from the Napatan Period (c.

800 – c. 280 BC) in the vicinity of the settlement called the Western cemetery. The culture of Meroe

developed from the Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Ancient Egypt, which originated in Kush. The importance

of the town gradually increased from the beginning of the Meroitic Period, especially from the reign of

Arakamani (c. 280 BC) when the royal burial ground was transferred to Meroe from Napata (Gebel

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

mother city of the other Ethiopians." The city of Meroe was located along the middle Nile which is of

much importance due to the annual flooding of the Nile river valley and the connection to many major

river systems such as the Niger which aided with the production of pottery and iron characteristic to the

Meroitic kingdom that allowed for the rise in power of its people.

Rome's conquest of Egypt led to border skirmishes and incursions by Meroe beyond the Roman

borders. In 23 BC the Roman governor of Egypt, Publius Petronius, to end the Meroitic raids, invaded

Nubia in response to a Nubian attack on southern Egypt, pillaging the north of the region and sacking

Napata (22 BC) before returning home. In retaliation, the Nubians crossed the lower border of Egypt

and looted many statues (among other things) from the Egyptian towns near the first cataract of the

Nile at Aswan. Roman forces later reclaimed many of the statues intact, and others were returned

following the peace treaty signed in 22 BC between Rome and Meroe. One looted head though, from a

statue of the emperor Augustus, was buried under the steps of a temple. It is now kept in the British

Museum.

The next recorded contact between Rome and Meroe was in the autumn of 61 AD. The Emperor Nero

sent a party of Praetorian soldiers under the command of a tribune and two centurions into this country,

who reached the city of Meroe where they were given an escort, then proceeded up the White Nile

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

until they encountered the swamps of the Sudd. This marked the limit of Roman penetration into

Africa.

The period following Petronius' punitive expedition is marked by abundant trade finds at sites in Meroe.

L.P. Kirwan provides a short list of finds from archeological sites in that country. However, the kingdom

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

and the decline of its traditional industries.

Meroe is mentioned succinctly in the 1st century AD Periplus of the Erythraean Sea:

2. On the right-hand coast next below Berenice is the country of the Berbers. Along the

shore are the Fish-Eaters, living in scattered caves in the narrow valleys. Farther inland

are the Berbers, and beyond them the Wild-flesh-Eaters and Calf-Eaters, each tribe

governed by its chief; and behind them, farther inland, in the country towards the west,

there lies a city called Meroe. — Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, Chap.2

The last period of the city is marked by the victory stele of an unnamed ruler of Aksum (almost

certainly Ezana) erected at the site of Meroe; from his description, in Greek, that he was "King of the

Aksumites and the Omerites," (i.e. of Aksum and Himyar) it is likely this king ruled sometime around

330.

Meroitic script

The Meroïtic alphabet was derived from ancient Egyptian writing sometime during the 4th century BC

in around 315 BC. A cursive form developed in 185 BC and the alphabet was used until about 440 AD.

The alphabet was deciphered by the British Egyptologist Francis Llewellyn Griffith in 1909.

There are two versions of the alphabet - one based on the Egyptian hieroglyphic script, the other a

cursive version based on the Egyptian demotic script. The hieroglyphic form of the alphabet was

written in vertical columns from top to bottom and from right to left, while the cursive form was

generally written in horizontal lines running from right to left.

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

Stamp or thumb ring in the form of 3 cartouches (enclosing dot pattern). Each topped with 2 plumes and sun disc. Faience.

From Meroe. Meroitic period. Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology

Meroitic was the main language of the kingdom of Kush, in ancient Sudan. Although it appeared

probably in the 3rd millennium BC, it was endowed with a specific writing-system only in its late stage,

namely the Kingdom of Meroe (3rd cent. BC / 4th cent. AD) and superseded Egyptian, which has been

previously the only written language in Kush (25th Dynasty and Kingdom of Napata). Although the

signs were developed from their Egyptian counterparts (the cursive script from Demotic and the

hieroglyphic script from Egyptian hieroglyphs), the writing system was completely different. It was an

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

alpha-syllabary, such as in the Indian and Ethiopian scripts, and therefore, it comprised only signs with

phonetic values, 23 in each set, cursive and hieroglyphic

The Meroitic language was spoken in Meroe and the Sudan during the Meroitic period (attested from

300 BC). It became extinct about 400 AD. The language was written in two forms of the Meroitic

alphabet: Meroitic Cursive, which was written with a stylus and was used for general record-keeping;

and Meroitic Hieroglyphic, which was carved in stone or used for royal or religious documents. It is not

well understood due to the scarcity of bilingual texts. The earliest inscription in Meroitic writing dates

from between 180-170 BC. These hieroglyphics were found engraved on the temple of Queen

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

orthographies.

By the 3rd century BC, a new indigenous alphabet, the Meroitic, consisting of twenty-three letters,

replaced Egyptian script. The Meroitic script is an alphabetic script originally derived from Egyptian

hieroglyphs, used to write the Meroitic language of the Kingdom of Meroe/Kush. It was developed in

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

also possibly used to write the Nubian language of the successor Nubian kingdoms.

It is uncertain to which language family the Meroitic language is related. Claude Rilly has proposed

that it, like the Nobiin language, belongs to the Eastern Sudanic branch of the Nilo-Saharan family.

Kirsty Rowan suggests that Meroitic, like the Egyptian language, instead belongs to the Afro-Asiatic

family. She bases this on its sound inventory and phonotactics, which are similar to those of the

Afro-Asiatic languages and dissimilar from those of the Nilo-Saharan languages.

Iron Industry

Meroe was the base of a flourishing kingdom whose wealth was centered around a strong iron industry,

as well as international trade involving India and China. At the time, iron was one of the most

important metals worldwide, and Meroitic metalworkers were among the best in the world. Meroe also

exported textiles and jewelry. Their textiles were based on cotton and working on this product reached

its highest achievement in Nubia around 400 BC. Furthermore, Nubia was very rich in gold. It is

possible that the Egyptian word for gold, nub, was the source of name of Nubia. Trade in "exotic"

animals from farther south in Africa was another feature of their economy.

Potteries

Apart from the iron trade, pottery was a widespread and prominent industry in the Meroe kingdom.

One of the a major craft of the region was potteries. Nubian pottery from Meroe, SudanSuch

productions carried considerable social significance and are believed to be involved in mortuary rites.

The King of Meroe was an autocratic ruler who shared his authority only with the Queen Mother, or

Candace. People of Meroe worshiped ancient Egyptian gods Amun, Tefnut, Horus, Isis, Thoth and

Satis, they also had their own deities The collapse of their external trade with other Nile Valley

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

states may be considered as one of the prime causes of the decline of royal power and disintegration

of the Meroitic state in the 3rd and 4th centuries CE

http://sudanembassyke.org/index.php/sudan/history-of-sudan/

Kush was the most powerful state in the Nile valley around 1700 BC. Conflict between Egypt and

Kush followed, culminating in the conquest of Kush by Thutmose I (1504–1492 BC). In the west and

south, Neolithic cultures remained as both areas were beyond the reach of the Egyptian rulers.

Egypt withdrew in the eleventh century BC and the Sudanese kings grew powerful. They invaded

Egypt and ruled as Pharaohs (about 747-656 BC). At its greatest, their empire united the Nile valley

from Khartoum to the Mediterranean. King Taharqo’s sphinx remains a testament to Kushite power

and authority.

The Kushites were expelled from Egypt by the Assyrians, but their kingdom flourished in Sudan for

another thousand years. Kush monuments and art display a rich combination of Pharaonic,

Greco-Roman and indigenous African traditions, and two are UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Meroe

and Jebel Barkal. Tall pyramids, gigantic mud-brick buildings, rock-cut painted tombs, and ornately

carved temples.

The Lion Temple

Pyramids of Meroe

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

Kiosk showing Phraonic, Kushite & Greco-Roman Influences – Naga, Sudan

The Nubian Pharaohs: Black Kings of the Nile

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

Nubian Archers

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

CHAPTER THREE

THE HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN EGYPT

St.Mark Coptic Church Cathedral in Cairo

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea, in his Ecclesiastic History states that Saint Mark first came to Egypt

between the first and third year of the reign of Emperor Claudius, which would make it sometime

between AD 41 and 44. The traditional date is 42 AD which is within 10 years of the Pentecost and

the great commission by Jesus to the Apostles.

St. Mark healing Anianus the shoe maker.

Saint Mark's first convert in Alexandria was Anianus, a shoemaker who

later was consecrated a bishop and became the Patriarch of Alexandria

after Saint Mark's martyrdom. He moved westward to Lybia, passing

through the countries of Marmarcia, Pentapolis, and others adjacent, and

established the churches there before returning to Alexandria some

twenty years later. The Coptic Church developed separately from other

Eastern Churches. A patriarch, referred to as the pope, heads the church,

and is traditionally based in Alexandria. A synod or council of senior

priests is responsible for electing or removing popes.

This succession of Patriarchs has remained unbroken down to the

present day, making the Egyptian Christian, or Coptic, Church one of the

oldest Christian churches in existence. Evidence for this age comes in

the form of the oldest Biblical papyri discovered in remote regions of

Upper Egypt. These papyri are written in the Coptic script and are older

than even the oldest Greek copies of the Bible ordered by Constantine in

AD 312.

The Egyptians before Christianity had always been a deeply religious people, and many readily

embraced the young religion, having had their old beliefs effectively destroyed by the coming of the

Roman Empire and the final dethroning of the god-king Pharaohs.

Many of the concepts of Christianity were already familiar to the Egyptians from their ancient religion,

such as





the death and resurrection of a god,

the idea of the judgement of souls and

a paradisiacal afterlife for the faithful, and

The ankh as the symbol of eternal life

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

The ankh too, the Egyptian symbol for eternal life, is very similar to that of the cross revered by

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

life.The Ankh was one of the earliest forms of the Christian cross called the "Crux Ansata" or 'cross

with a handle'. It was adopted by early Coptic Christians." Furthermore, the belief that God had chosen

Egypt as a safe place for His infant son to hide him from Herod was a great source of pride to the

Egyptian Christians. It was through Christianity that the Egyptian culture survived the Roman

Dominion.

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

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The Church Suffering and Victorious

HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

Yet these formative years were not without problems. Throughout this time Christianity in Egypt was

locked in an often deadly struggle against the polytheistic religions of the Greco-Roman culture as well

as the Hellenistic movement that began in Alexandria spread to other large cities. To counter

Hellenistic philosophy that often criticized the young religion the Christian leaders in Egypt established

a catechetical school in Alexandria, the Didascalia, founded in the late second century AD.

http://www.touregypt.net/chiste1.htm

(Didascalia Apostolorum, -translated as Teachings of the Apostle - is a Christian treatise which belongs to the

genre of the Church Orders. It presents itself as being written by the Twelve Apostles at the time of the Council

of Jerusalem; however, scholars agree that it was actually a composition of the 3rd century, perhaps around

230 AD)

This school became the heart of what can only be called Christian philosophy, and great teachers and

orators such as Clement and Origen were able to battle the Hellenistic philosophers on their own

ground and advocate Christianity in an orderly and intellectual manner.

It was also in this great university of Christian learning that Christianity first underwent rigorous studies

that created its first theology and dogma, as well as making the new faith accessible to all. Pantaenus,

the founder and first dean of the Didascalia, helped the Egyptian people bridge the gap between

Dynastic Egypt and the new era by promoting the use of the Greek alphabet instead of the Demotic

("cursive" hieroglyphics) in translations of the Bible as well as in the writing of religious theses and

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

letters. Additionally, the school educated everyone who came to it in Greek, opening the study of

religion to just about everyone, and making as many people as possible literate.

Yet the greatest persecutions on the young religion came at the hands of the Roman government.

Emperor Nero had set the precedent in AD 64, about the same time as the martyrdom of Saint Peter.

Nero unleashed heavy punishments to all who refuse to pay homage to the Roman gods.

It was in Egypt that some of the greatest defiances of the Romans by Christians were done. While their

Roman counterparts worshiped in catacombs and underground vaults, the Egyptian Christians built

their churches openly and performed their ceremonies in full view of the Empire. And for every one that

the Empire struck down, more would be converted by the example of the martyr.

Diocletian was particularly brutal, executing so many Christians in 284 alone that the Coptic Church

dates its calendar, the Calendar of the Martyrs (Anno Martyri) from that time. Despite these

persecutions, Christianity seems to have grown rapidly in Egypt, spreading to Fayoum in 257 via

Patriarch Dionysius, and in 260 even down into the Thebaid. In 306 Constantine became emperor and

Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire which included Egypt and Nubian areas.

The Nicene Creed, defined the faith which was the great contribution of the Council of Nicea.

Athanasius of Alexandria was traditionally thought to be the author of the Athanasian Creed, which

defined the Trinity doctrine of the church. Saint Athanasius, who composed it was a young Egyptian

deacon who would later follow Alexandros as patriarch of Alexandria.

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The Foundations of Monasticism

HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

Christian monasticism emerged as a genuine movement during the early fourth century

The anonymous work, History of the Monks in Egypt, written at

some time in the fourth century, says of Egypt: "There is no town

or village in Egypt or the Thebaid that is not surrounded by

hermitages as if by walls, and the people depend on their

prayers as if on God Himself...Through them the world is kept in

being."It is Saint Anthony of Egypt who is credited with the

founding of monasticism, along with his fellow countryman Saint

Pachomius. Indeed, it is

women who are to be

truly credited with the

origin of the monastic

vocation. Yet Anthony

was the one who gave

the idea to move the

monastic community

away from the

distractions of society and the city and into the wilderness,

which he did, founding his first hermitage in AD 305.

Today there are two types of monasteries. There was the

eremetical, or hermit, style sytem where the hermits left the

community and lived an isolated meditational life and the

cenobitic, monasteries in which the residents led a communal

life.

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

The eremetical Hermits

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

The monastery at Debre Damo in Tigrayan Mountains of Northern Ethiopia.

Getting to it is arduous – the last stretch is achieved via an 80 foot rope.

The eremetical hermits lived an isolated life away from the active community either in the wilderness or

in grave yards ofter taking vows of not talking for days together and spending time in meditation.

Almost every graveyard in Ethiopia was inhabited by a monk who remain isolated and lives just on the

food supplied by the believers who rely on their prayers. I don’t know whether it is still true today.

Fifty years ago I have seen them there.

The Cenobitic Ascetics

The cenobitic ascetics lived very similar lives to the others of their type. They took vows of chastity

and poverty, and if part of a monastic community, obedience to the abbot. They practiced long and

frequent fasts, some abstained from alcohol and meat, and they supported themselves by doing

services for the lay people nearby, such as helping with labor or the selling of some small handicrafts.

The largest monasteries were often self-sufficient, owning farms and herds, as well as making

everything they needed, from the clothes they wore to the bread that was on their table. If they did

make any money for anything they did, they kept only what they needed to subsist and gave the rest to

the poor.

Apostle Matthew and Ethiopian Ministry

http://www.mcah.columbia.edu/courses/medmil/pages/non-mma-pages/text_links/gl_matthew.html

A book called Pseudo-Abdias recounts that Matthew traveled to Naddaver, Ethiopia. With the help of

Candacis, the eunuch whom Philip had converted (Acts 8:26-40), Matthew defeated the two magicians

in the city and their dragons. After this the king’s son died, and the magicians could not raise him.

Matthew was successful in raising the prince, and rather than allowing the people to sacrifice to him as

if he were a god, he persuaded them to build a church. They did, and Matthew presided there for many

years, and many people, including the royal family, were baptized. The king was succeeded by his

brother, who wanted to marry the princess Ephigenia. The new king asked Matthew to persuade her to

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

marry him, and at first it seemed that Matthew would comply. He preached about the merits of

marriage, which pleased the king, but then Matthew declared that because Ephigenia had vowed

chastity and was presiding over two hundred sacred virgins, it would be sacrilegious for her to marry

the king. Enraged by his inability to marry the princess, the king sent a soldier that stabbed Matthew in

the back while he was praying, and Matthew died. Despite the many efforts of the king, Ephigenia

never married him, and the king died at his own hand.

There are disagreement about his martyrdom among the scholars. In the alternative story the the

ennuch mentioned in Acts was the minister in the court of the Queen of Nuba.

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

CHAPTER FOUR

CUSH, ETHIOPIA

AND THE SOLOMON CONNECTION

In the Bible we are introduced to an unnamed queen from the land of Sheba who traveled to

Jerusalem to meet King Solomon (see 1 Kings 10; 2 Chronicles 9). Accompanied by many attendants

and camels, the Queen of Sheba brought a large quantity of spices, gold and precious stones with her.

She was drawn to Jerusalem because of Solomon’s fame, and she tested the king with hard questions.

Solomon was able to answer them all. Impressed by Solomon’s wisdom—and by the riches of his

kingdom—she proclaimed, “Your wisdom and prosperity far surpass the report that I had heard” (1

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

Kings 10:7). The Queen of Sheba gave King Solomon 120 talents of gold, precious stones and the

largest quantity of spices ever brought to Jerusalem (1 Kings 10:10). In return King Solomon gives the

Queen of Sheba gifts and “every desire that she expressed” (1 Kings 10:13). After receiving these gifts,

the queen returned to the land of Sheba with her retinue. This is the story as given in the Bible.

https://www.thoughtco.com/who-was-the-queen-of-sheba-3528524

http://www.pbs.org/mythsandheroes/myths_four_sheba.html

But the question remained was. What was the name of the Queen of Sheba?.

Where is this kingdom known as Sheba? Old testament gives the name of Seba/Sheba in its table of

nations among the children of Noah and their descendance.

Seba is the grand son of Ham and we also have a Sheba as the great grandson of Ham.

There are however several suggestion in the Table of nations given in. Genesis 10:7 There is person

called 'Seba'. But 'Sheba' is mentioned as a grandson of Cush via Raamah in the same list. Cush

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

associated with the North Indian mountainous territories of Hindukush. We can identify the wide area

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

an unknown date, entered southern Arabia from the north, imposing their Semitic culture .

The country Sheba or Saba, whose name means Host of Heaven and peace, was Abyssinia. Located

in southwest Arabia on the eastern tip of the Red Sea, Sheba was thriving about 3000 years ago and

occupied 483,000 square miles of mountains, valleys (wadis) and deserts in the area of present day

Yemen. Ethiopia, on the western end of the Red Sea, was also part of Sheba's territory.

Incense Route

Sheba was a wealthy country with an advanced irrigation system. Its people, the Sabaeans, built dams

as high as 60 feet with spans of almost a mile. They cut large earthen wells into the Earth, which

allowed them to irrigate their abundant gardens. Sheba was also rich in gold and other precious stones.

But her real wealth was in her exclusive trade in frankincense and exotic spices sought by neighboring

kingdoms.

Sheba also had a very lucrative caravan trade. By 1000 B.C., camels frequently traveled the 1400

miles up the "Incense Road" and along the Red Sea to Israel. The Road began in the port of Al

Mukulla and Bir Ali where ships would bring goods from distant India and the Orient.

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

Frankincense (Boswellia) and Myrrh (Commiphora) species are economically and ecologically

important plant species found mainly in the horn of Africa: Ethiopia and also in Yemen . They are

obtained from aromatic gum resins. Frankincense was used as an offering to the gods and its rich

perfumed smoke would rise like prayers to the heavens. It's aroma also made it valuable during

cremations and it was often heaped on funeral pyres. Another Sabaean spice was Myrrh, an ingredient

in fragrant oils and cosmetics. It was also used in preparing bodies for burial.

The kingdom of Saba was so dependent on the spice route that when the caravans stopped arriving

during the 6th century BC, as a result of new trails, the Sabaean economy collapsed. Nevertheless,

the kingdom continued to exist until the 3rd century AD, when it was conquered by the Himyarites.

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

Sabaeans were Black people

The Sabaeans have been described as a tall and commanding people, both woolly-haired and

straight-haired. Semitic in origin, they are believed to have been descendents of the Cush of the Bible.

The sacred Ethiopian book which establishes the founder of the Ethiopian dynasty as the son of

Solomon and Sheba, suggests that the Sabaeans were black.

"Ye are black of face - but if God illumineth your hearts, nothing can injure you," priest Azariah says to

the Queen and her people in the Kebra Negast.

Religion: Sun and Moon worship

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

Their main temple - Mahram Bilqis, or temple of the moon god (situated about three miles from the

capital city of Marib) - was so famous that it remained sacred even after the collapse of the Sabean

civilisation in the sixth century BC - caused by the rerouting of the spice trail. They also worshipped the

Sun god. The circular sun within a crescent moon was the symbol of the Sabaens everywhere until it

was replaced by the Abrahamic religions.

Since Sheba was a center of astronomical wisdom and the Queen or King was chief Astronomer and

Astrologer. Religious life involved worship of the Sun and Moon. Shams was the Sun god.

In the Kebra Negast, the Queen tells Solomon, "We worship the sun...for he cooketh our food, and

moreoever he illumineth the darkness, and removeth fear; we call him 'our King,' and we call him 'our

Creator'....And there are others among our subjects.... some worship stones, and some worship trees,

and some worship carved figures, and some worship images of gold and silver."

The Great Goddess who dwelt in the sacred black aniconic stone was given the title Shayba by the

Arabic-Aramaen people. Shayba represented the Moon in its threefold aspect - waxing, (maiden), full

(pregnant mother), and waning (old wise woman or crone). But the primary Sabaean Moon god was

Ilmukah or Ilumguh, identified with the god Sin of Assyro-Babylonian mythology. Sin was portrayed as

an old man with an azure beard, the color of lapis lazuli, and a turbaned head. Wearing a crown

shaped like a full moon, Sin rode a crescent moon-boat from which he navigated the night sky. Also

called He-Whose-Deep-Heart-No-God-Can-Penetrate, he dispersed evil and darkness, and inspired

his believers with dreams and prophecies.

http://www.windweaver.com/sheba/Sheba.htm

A Moon goddess worshiped by the Sabaeans was Astarte, or Ashtart, whom they called Astar, which

means "womb." The giver and destroyer of life, Astar was Queen of Heaven and Mother of all Deities.

Arriving from heaven as a ball of fire, and accompanied by a lioness, she was pictured with horns, and

a disc of the sun above her forehead.

The earliest known Arabian temple was at Marib, capital of Sheba, and was called Mahram Bilqus,

"precincts of the Queen of Sheba." In Arab lore, this queen was named Bilqus or Balkis; in Ethiopia,

Makeda (also Magda, Maqda and Makera), meaning "Greatness." Years later, the historian Josephus,

referred to her as Nikaulis, Queen of Ethiopia and Egypt.

Saba was known by the Hebrews as Sheba, and it survives today in a slight modified name Saba =

Sa'abia = Saudi Arabia. Marib the capital of Seba still remain with the Yemen.

http://www.historyfiles.co.uk/KingListsMiddEast/ArabicSaba.htm

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

Left: Marib Dam

Right: Redesign of what Marib Dam was

by the University of Calgary and the American Foundation for Anthropology. ( CC BY SA 4.0 )

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

meters (196.85 ft.) The dam ran 720 meters (2362.2 ft.) across the Dhana valley. The dam broke in

450 AD, and once more in 542 AD. The Himyarites repaired the dam on both occasions. In 570 AD,

however, the dam broke for the third and last time. The cause of the collapse is a matter of debate

amongst scholars. Some argue that it was an earthquake that destroyed the dam, whilst others blame

it on exceptional rains. Yet local legends claim it was large rats that caused the breach by biting and

scratching at the dam’s base. At some point the dam, now in a poor state of repair, was finally

breached. The irrigation system was lost, the people abandoned the site within a year or so, and the

temple fell into disrepair and was eventually covered by sand.

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

Governorate of Yemen. It was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Saba, which was in the trade route

and practically controlled it. Dating from at least 1050 BC, Marib was then a lush oasis teeming with

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

of vast proportions. It was also one of only two main sources of frankincense (the other being East

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

Africa), so Saba had a virtual monopoly of it.

Solomon.

This was one of the gifts of the Queen of Sheba to

c.1020 BC Legends, folk memories and religious accounts contain various versions of Saba's most

famous ruler. Generally, she is believed to have been born in 1020 BC in Ophir and educated in

Ethiopia which was part of the country of Saba or

Sheba.. Her mother was Queen Ismenie, Her name was

Balkis who ruled Sheba from c 1005 to 965 BC,

According to the Old Testament, in c.1000 BC the

Queen of Sheba visited Solomon of Israel, bearing

riches, and was seduced by him. Nine months after her

return from Israel she bore a son, and was named

Menelik. When he came of age Menelik was given the

territory of African cushite area known as Ethiopia with

its capital as Aksum as his people.

A medieval depiction of the Queen of Sheba riding a horse

http://www.viewzone.com/sheba.country.html

Sheba:

Matriarchial Kingdom with Virgin Queens

Because of its isolation, Sheba was secure from military invasion for at least 500 years, and was

independent and at peace with its neighbors during the 11th and 10th century B.C. History reveals that

at least five kings preceded the Queen of Sheba - among them Iti'amra and Karibi-ilu. Yet Arabian

documents portray all of Arabia as matriarchal and ruled by queens for over 1000 years. In Ethiopia,

the Kebra Negast even refers to a law established in Sheba that only a woman could reign, and

that she must be a virgin queen.

Numerous legends refer to the female-centered clans, matriarchal practices, and matrilineal

inheritance of ancient Arabia and surrounding countries. In Assyria, the head of a family was called the

"shebu," and was originally a female, or matriarch. In other mideastern lands, polyandry was

sanctioned - a woman could marry several husbands, who left their own families to live with hers; she

could also initiate divorce by turning her tent to face east for three nights in a row. Before the onset of

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

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

Kebra Nagast- The Glory of the Kings

http://www.yorku.ca/inpar/kebra_budge.pdf

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

http://www.salvationanointed.com/thief-in-the-night-newsletter-halloween/1922-the-kebra-nagast-by-e-a-w-budge-historyof-ethiopia/

Kebra Nagast (KN) was to enhance the prestige of the Ethiopian monarchs as descendants of

Solomon and Makeda (the Queen of Sheba) and guardians of Judeo-Christianity. It was written in

Ethiopia by the six century A.D.

There seems to be difference of opinion.

According to the Kebra Nagast,we have a description of

(Matt. xii, 42), who was shrewd, intelligent in

mind, beautiful in face and form, and exceedingly rich. She carried on a large business on land by

means of caravans, and on sea by means of ships, and she traded with the merchants of India and

Nubia and Aswân (Syene). As the Queen came from the south her home was probably in Southern

Arabia, and she is far more likely to have been of Arab than Ethiopian origin.

The head of her trading caravans was Tâmrin, a clever man of affairs who directed the operations of

520 camels and 73 ships (Chap. 22)

Having heard of Solomon's wisdom Queen Makeda travelled to Jerusalem herself to see and hear

Solomon.

During her stay in Jerusalem Mâkëdâ conversed daily (Chaps. 26, 27) with Solomon, and she learned

from him about the God of the Hebrews, the Creator of the heavens and the earth. She herself

worshiped the sun, moon and stars, and trees, and idols of gold and silver, but under the influence of

Solomon’s beautiful voice and eloquent words she renounced Sâbâism, and worshiped not the sun but

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

the Tabernacle of the God of Israel, the abode of God upon earth.

Solomon had 400 wives and 600 concubines from all parts of the world.

a 1000 children who would grow like the stars of heaven and the sands of the earth.

The idea was to get at least

Queen Makeda had a love affair with King Solomon. Makeda then returned to the land of

Sheba—gave birth to a son, Menelik,in due time.

http://www.viewzone.com/huge-sheeba.html

The Yemen Museum in Sana'a displays this stone which speaks of Menelik as the son of Solomon and

Sheba.

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

This picture on the right, of young child, was found in a

dessert temple - the Mahram Bilqis or Temple of the Moon God

- in Yemen which dates back to the period of Queen of Sheba's

visit to Solomon. The script on it reads; " But the miracle is

the son redeemed the dwelling place the Lord and mother

Love. The Universe of god's house is produced from

love.

Menelik was raised in Ethiopia, but when he turned 22, he traveled to Jerusalem to meet his father.

King Solomon was delighted with his firstborn son and tried in vain to convince Menelik to remain in

Israel and succeed him as king. However, Menelik chose to return to the land of Sheba. Before he was

allowed to go back as King of Ethiopia, Zadok the priest and Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada,

anointed Bayna-Lekem king in the Holy of Holies (Chap. 39); the name which he received at his

anointing was David II, the name of his grandfather. Then Solomon commanded Zadok to describe to

the young King of Ethiopia the curses that would fall upon him if he failed to obey . God’s commands

(Chap. 40), and the blessings if he followed God's commands. Then he was allowed to go to his

mother"s Kingdom. According to the Kebra Nagast, King Solomon send one son of each of his nobles

and one son of each temple priest to go with Menelik upon his return to his mother's kingdom.

Solomon also had a replica of the Ark of the Covenant made for him to take with them so that he can

have a prayer room made with it..

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

The boy however stole the original Ark of the Covenant which were carried by Levites and went back

to Ethiopia - his Kingdom. He had the copy of the Ark placed in the temple and took the original Ark.

Solomon requested all the first born of levites to go with Menelik to his Empire and help him. These

levites carried the original Ark in accordance with the Law of Moses safely to Ethiopia. The Tslate Musi

- the Ark of the Covenant, was kept on the island of Tana Kirqos in Lake Tana, near Gondar, for

more than 900 years. . Those who came with Menelik I, form the Jews of Ethiopia who were called

Beta Israel. To this day, many Ethiopians believe that the Ark of the Covenant resides within the

Chapel of the Tablet next to the Church of Maryam Tsion in Aksum, Ethiopia. Every Orthodox Church

of Ethiopia has a copy of the Ark. Even when Haile Selassie was in exile in England at the time of

Italian occupation of Ethiopia, he took a copy of the Ark with him to his home so that he can worship as

if he is in an Ethiopian Church.

“The Ethiopian kings are seen as direct descendants of the House of David, rulers by divine right.”

Archaeological and historical sources document a Kingdom of Saba (Sheba) during Biblical times in

modern-day Yemen. Menelik I, first Solomonic Emperor of Ethiopia, is traditionally believed to be the

son of King Solomon of ancient Israel and Makeda, ancient Queen of Sheba. He is alleged to have

ruled around 950 BC, according to traditional sources.

The inscriptions translated by archeologist Gary Vey in recent years seem to indicate that Menelik I

took the Ark of the covenant with him when he was old to Yemen and placed the Ark in a room and

closed himself with it.

++++++++++++++++++++++>

This inscription on large area is in the Museum of Yemen

http://www.viewzone.com/yemenasitis.html

http://www.viewzone.com/yemenasitis2.html

"Here is the story:

Menelek, the only son of Queen Saba (i.e. Queen Sheba) and Solomon, was depressed when he

learned that his father's kingdom had been overcome and the Temple in Jerusalem was sacked. His

grief was deep ("...the happiness of the Son was poisoned...") and this worried his mother. Shortly

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

after this invasion of Jerusalem, Menelik received word that the Ark of the Covenant (the "box/cell

of the Lord" AT-EL), formerly housed in Solomon's Temple, was relocated for its protection.

The text refers to an "oath" that was taken by Menelik to protect the Ark, apparently consummated by

a ring that was given to Menelik when he visited Solomon as a young man. Menelik also received a

warning from Nathan, his half-brother, that the Ark could be harmful to his health and that it had

caused vision problems and "trembling" when Nathan had attempted to interact with it. Menelik

retrieves the Ark but has none of these adversities and eagerly interacts with this "box of El",

eventually constructing a special underground chamber where he stores the Ark and converses

through it with the Lord.

As the danger of invading enemies becomes real for the kingdom of Saba, Menelik announces that the

Lord has instructed him to enter the underground chamber with the Ark, and to have the entire

construction covered with sand to conceal it from hostile forces. Menelik informs his mother, Queen

Saba, that he will remain buried with the Ark for a long period of time, until a "friendly" nation is

overhead.

Following her only son's instructions, Menelik is buried with the Ark. However, his mother has a

smaller chamber constructed adjacent to the Ark chamber with a secret peephole ("...aperture...") so

that she can monitor his condition. She secretly plans to open the chamber and rescue her son should

he be in danger and has had one of the chamber walls constructed without mortar.

On many occasions, Queen Saba viewed her son inside the chamber. She mentions that he received

a future revelation from the Ark, which sounded to her like thunder. As she watched Menelik interact

with the Ark, she noted that he trembled and shook from the visions that were being shown to him.

As time passed, the thundering noise and movement of her son ceased. Upon opening the secret

peephole, the Queen saw a worm crawl out. This suggested that maybe Menelik had died. The Queen

was determined to open the chamber and rescue her son but she recalled his faith and remembered

his words, that he would be buried for "a long time." She wept ("...cried an ocean of tears...") that his

vision of the future also included the revelation that she had doubted his word and she prayed that he

would forgive her for her doubts.

Determined to honor her son's wishes, Queen Saba has the chamber reinforced with more stone and

mortar. She consults with the builders and masons to design an enclosure that would protect the

buried chamber from future earthquakes, floods, salt (?) and other natural disasters. The chamber was

thus made more sturdy and a large dam was constructed around the buried chamber to protect it from

water and floods. This oval dam bares the story, inscribed in the old language.

The Queen then "dimmed" her kingdom [see right Translation: The Mother (M) dimmed (AMYM) her

nation (LM) because of (YN) the good Lord's (ligature-EL) goodness/sign (TV).] in Yemen and moved

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

her entourage to Ethiopia, confounded her language to Himyaritic, a copy of the Ark was made and

she allowed the buried palace and its courtyard to be consumed by the desert sands. There it

remained for almost 3000 years until it was discovered by Wendell Philips, ironically the character on

whom Indiana Jones was based in the movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark.

(Inscription [right] describes the mother "M" dimming her nation for the Lord.)


https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21976-genes-reveal-grain-of-truth-to-queen-of-sheba-story/

Luca Pagani of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Hinxton, UK, examined samples of Ethiopian

genomes and noticed that some individuals had components of both African and non-African lineages.

Delving deeper, Pagani and his colleagues discovered that the non-African genetic components had

much more in common with people living in Syria and around the eastern Mediterranean than in the

nearer Arabian peninsula. What’s more, the gene flow probably took place around 3000 years ago.

One of the four language families of Ethiopia migrated from the same region about 3000 years ago.

“Middle Eastern language came to Ethiopia along with Middle Eastern genes,” Pagani says. “And that

is when the Queen of Sheba legend is supposed to have happened.”


HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

installed a Christian king in Yemen. This kingdom gave way to Islamic onslaught eventually. .

Menelik I founded the Solomonic dynasty of Ethiopia that ruled Ethiopia with few interruptions for close

to three thousand years (and 225 generations later ended with the fall of Emperor Haile Selassie in

1974). But we have little documentation till 1270 AD on this dynasty.

In AD 1270 Emperor Yekuno Amlak (Amharic:throne name Tasfa Iyasus) an Amhara prince from Bet

Amhara province (in today's Wollo region) defeated the last Zagwe king and restored the Kingdom to

the Solomonic dynasty.

Yekuno Amlak and the Coat of Arms of the Solomonic dynasty

He traced his ancestry through his father, Tasfa Iyasus, to Dil Na'od, the last King of Axum. Following

a series of coupe the communists came to power. I was in Addis Ababa during the early coupe d'eta

of Magustu. We left the country because of the uncertainties these coupes produced.

In the sacred Ethiopian city, Aksum, lies the Chapel of the Ark of the Covenant which holds the Ten

Commandments. Despite early records claiming that the Ark of the Covenant disappeared during the

destruction of Solomon’s Temple, 45 million Orthodox Christian Ethiopians believe that the Ark was

taken to Aksum and has been highly guarded by the monks of the Saint Mary of Zion church.

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

CHAPTER FIVE

KING NEGUS NEGASTE EZANA OF AXUM

THE FIRST ETHIOPIAN CHRISTIAN KING

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

The Ethiopian branch of Christianity first emerged in the kingdom of

Aksum in the northern corner of the Ethiopian highland. The person

who introduced Christianity to Aksum is said to be Fremnatos of Syria -

known as Frumentius in Europe, later a saint. He is variously described

as a trader, philosopher and theologian.

The story goes Fremnato was on his way to India when he was kidnapped in Aksum (Axum) and

was taken as a slave to the King of Aksum. He obviously made a good impression, because he ended

up being the tutor to the future King Ezana. The King adopted Christianity as the official religion in 333

AD. Fremnatos was rewarded for this by being consecrated Bishop of Aksum at a ceremony in

Alexandria. When the Aksum dynasty collapsed the Ethiopian centre of power moved south and east,

taking the Christian tradition with it.

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

Ezana ruled from c. 330 – 356 AD. It is said that he succeeded his father, Ella Amida, and started

ruling Axum when he was just a child with his mother as his supervisor and regent. When he was a

child, he had a tutor who was a Syrian Christian called Frumentius. Frumentius was one of Ezana’s

father’s counselors. Frumentius later converted Ezana and Ezana became a Christian at around 333

AD. Frumentius even baptized Ezana and his brother, Sheazana. Frumentius gave Ezana the name

of Abreha, meaning Lightbearer, and Sheazana, the name of Asbeha, meaning Dawnbreaker.

Sheazana co-ruled Axum with Ezana and both of them were often called Abreha and Asbeha. Ezana

then made the state religion of Axum, Christianity. He made Frumentius the head of the Ethiopian

Church. Frumentius and Ezana were both responsible for the increase in Christians in Axum. Ezana

even made coins with crosses on them to spread his religion around the kingdom. These were the first

coins in the world to have the Christian symbol on them.

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

King Ezana ll ofthe Axumite Ethiopian Empire became one of the first nations to become a Christian

state beginning 330 AD. and one of the oldest surviving Christian nations in the world. Several

Christian monuments date back to King Ezana's time such as the Ta'akha Maryam {The Cathedral of

Saint Mary of Zionj one of the oldest Christian cathedrals on earth. which existed nearly three hundred

years before Islam and 700 years before Christianity was brought to Europe by North African

missionaries.

King Ezana’s granite steele (obelisk)

Ezana also had success in military campaigns. He conquered many kingdoms along the Red Sea and

its area. It is also recorded that in the 300 ADs, he conquered the Kingdom of Kush, which is now

modern Sudan. Meroe, also fell into the hands of the Axumites. In 350 AD, Ezana invaded the island

of Meroe and conquered it. Not only was Ezana successful in battle, he created several amazing and

beautiful structures such as King Ezana’s granite steele (obelisk), which is the tallest standing steel,

standing up to about 78 feet. Ezana is also credited as finding the Ark of the Covenant from the island

of Tana Kirkos. He brought it back to place it in the Cathedral of St. Mary of Zion which he built and

gave it to Ethiopian Christians.

In the 4th century AD the Ethiopian King Ezana made Christianity the kingdom's official religion. In

312 Emperor Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire.

Since then it has maintained its long Christian witness in a region dominated by Islam; today it has a

membership of around forty million and is rapidly growing. The Church of Ethiopia (or formally, the

Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church) has a recognized place in worldwide Christianity as one of

five non-Chalcedonian Orthodox Churches.As Dr Binns shows, it has developed a distinctive

approach which makes it different from all other churches.

++++++++>

The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is the largest of the Oriental Orthodox Christian Churches.

One of the few pre-colonial Christian Churches in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Ethiopian Orthodox

Tewahedo Church has a membership of between 45 and 50 million people, the majority of whom live

in Ethiopia. It is a founding member of the World Council of Churches. The Ethiopian Orthodox

Tewahedo Church is in communion with the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria having gained

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

autocephaly in 1959 at the instigation of Haile Selassie when it was granted its own Patriarch by the

Coptic Orthodox Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All Africa, Cyril VI. As one of Ethiopia is the

second country only after Armenia to have officially proclaimed Christianity as state religion (in 333

AD) though some argue it may even be the first; due to biblical references.

The word Tewahedo is a Ge'ez word meaning "being made one" - Miaphysitism. This word refers to

the Oriental Orthodox belief that there is one perfectly unified Nature of Christ, a complete union of the

Divine and Human Natures into one nature - hypostatic union - as opposed to the "two Natures of

Christ" coexisting in Christ a belief commonly held by the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox,

Anglican, Lutheran and most Protestant Churches. The Oriental Orthodox Churches adhere to a

Miaphysitic Christological view followed by Cyril of Alexandria.

Miaphysitism holds that in the one person of Jesus Christ, Divinity and Humanity are united in one

(μία, mia - "united") nature (φύσις - "physis") without separation, without confusion, without alteration

and without mixing where Christ is consubstantial with God the Father in as much as He is with

Mankind. Around 500 bishops within the Patriarchates of Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem refused

to accept the Dyophysitism (two natures) doctrine decreed by the Council of Chalcedon in 451, an

incident that resulted in the first major split in the main body of the Christian Church.

This argument is based on the assertion that in the beginning God alone existed and in order to create

all freewill being god contracted or hid himself to provide a space where all cosmos and creatures are

made. Thus even when God is not actively present in creation yet all creation is part of God even the

material dimensions. Where else could they be? In Christ God and Man joined into unity - God came

out of hiding

.

This idea is inherent in the definition of Church as the body of Christ.

as follows:

This is represented graphically

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

CHAPTER SIX

THE CHRISTIANIZATION OF NUBIA

North Africa was an early cradle of Christianity. The first preaching of the gospel is mentioned in the

Acts of Apostle (Acts. 8:26-40) where an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the

"Ethiopians", who was in charge of all her treasure was a Nubian . (Candace is a title for Queen

Mother, not a proper name), The candace in this instance was Amanitare (A.D. 25-41; Wead 1982:197;

Crocker 1986:67). Amanitore was a Nubian Kandake (queen) of the ancient Kushitic Kingdom of

Meroë. An alternate spelling is Kandace, Kandake, or Kentake. In Egyptian hieroglyphics the throne

name of Amanitore reads as Merkare.

Amanitare ruled from A.D. 25 - 41. This must have been soon after the Pentecost in 33 AD during her

rule. Christianity spread to North Africa less than 50 years after the death of Christ. However we

have no record of this man's christian influence in Nuba. Later missionaries from Jerusalem must

have followed him and Christianity was spread among the Jews of Alexandria, on the Egyptian and

Nubian Coast. As usually the case in all regions, the first converts would have been the Jewish

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

Greek speaking community. It reached as far as modern-day Morocco, where it was enthusiastically

embraced by the Berber people.

Egypt, bordering Nubia on the north become entirely Christian as early as the beginning of the 4th

century. Starting from the end of the 4th century and at the beginning of the 6th century, Christian

bishops resided on the island of Phile and Syene (Aswan), hermits probably settled in Nubia and we

also have archeologically confirmed presence of Christian graves in that territory. However official

acceptance of Christianity as a state religion took place in the second half of the 6th century (in the

years 540–580) thanks to missions send by the Byzantine Court The early Christian fathers in Egypt

developed a strong monastic tradition. There were hundreds of monasteries throughout the country as

well as cells and caves occupied by hermits. An anonymous fourth century writer observed: "There is

no town or village in Egypt that is not surrounded by hermitages as if by walls and the people depend

on their prayers as if on God himself, through them the world is kept going."

Meroe

During the 3rd Century many Egyptian Christians fled to Sudan during the persecutions of the Roman

emperors Decius (AD 250) and Diocletian (AD 297).

Diocletian Persecution

The Christian Martyrs' Last Prayer, by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1883)

A strong Christian community was flourishing in Philae from at least AD 350. Crosses and other

Christian objects have been found in the royal tombs of Meroe dating back to the 5th Century.

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

Following the collapse of the Kingdom of Meroe (in about AD 350) three smaller Kingdoms were

established - Nubia, Makuria and Alwa. Nobatia in the north, also known as Ballanah, had its capital

at Faras,; the central kingdom, Muqurra (Makuria), was centred

at Dunqulah, about 13 kilometres south of modern Dunqulah;

and Alawa (Alodia), in the heartland of old Meroe, which had its

capital at Soba (now a suburb of modern-day Khartoum).

The conversion of

the Nubians to

Christianity started

during the reign of

Empress

Theodora of

Byzantine Rome,

in the sixth century,

through her missionary Presbyter Julian

By the 6th century, fifty states had emerged as the political and

cultural heirs of the Meroitic Kingdom.

www.ancientsudan.org/history_13_christianization.htm

One early writer described the conversion of the Nubian king, Bahriya, as the key event: "When

Bahriya was converted to Christianity, all the Blacks of Nubia followed him, and he built for them

churches throughout the land of Nubia and many monasteries which are still flourishing." (Syrian

scholar Ephesus.)

According to Ephesus, Queen Thodora wife of the Byzantine emperor Justinian, who unlike her

husband fostered Monophysitism. sent the missionary Julian to convert the Nubians.

Julian met with the king and princes of the kingdom of Nobatia, in Lower Nubia. The Nubian king

converted to Christianity and was baptized. The king then publicly announced his new faith as

Christianity and confessed that "He is the one true God, and there is no other beside."

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

Julian continued his mission to convert all the Nubians and ended up spending two years. followed

up the mission. Bishop Alexandrian Longinus, the first bishop of the Nobades, who was ordained by

the patriarch of Alexandria succeeded Julian and evangelized all Nubia covering the kingdom of

Nobatia and farther south to the kingdom of Alwa. Bishop Longinus baptized the king of Alwa and his

nobles and all their families. The work continued until all the royal house of Makuria were converted.

He built the first churches in Nobadia and organized a liturgical cult. A network of bishoprics was

established in Nubia with seats in the major urban centers, including Faras, which functioned under

the name of Pachoras at the time.

Christianity greatly changed the Nubian way of life including burial traditions. Following the

Christianization of North Sudan, the Nubians began to bury their dead in tombstones as opposed to

pyramids. These tombstones in the Makurian kingdom reveal parts of the Orthodox liturgy indicating

that they joined the Orthodox Church.

DIVISIONS WITHIN CHRISTIANITY

Persecution of the Christians in Roman provinces ceased in 312, when the Roman Emperor

Constantine declared Christianity the official religion of the Empire. By now, different forms of Christian

belief were beginning to emerge and diverse groups of worshippers were beginning to congregate.

The most long lasting split over doctrine centred on the nature of God and developed in 451. The

Church in Constantinople (modern Istanbul), from where the Roman Empire was now administered,

held to the idea that God was both human - in the form of Jesus - and divine. In contradiction to this,

the church in North Africa said God was one indivisible unity and wholly divine. This Monophysite

belief became the central tenet of the Church in North Africa, which subsequently became known as

the Coptic Church.

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FARAS CATHEDRAL OF NUBIA

Faras Cathedral was a cathedral in the Lower Nubian city of Faras. It was active between the 7th and

14th centuries and was re-discovered by Polish archaeologists under Kazimierz Michalowski between

1960 and 1964. Its wall paintings were salvaged prior to the flooding of Lake Nasser and are today on

display in the Polish National Museum in Warsaw and in the Faras Gallery of the Sudan National

Museum in Khartoum. In addition, a major pottery works were found.

Eastern facade of the cathedral.

Northern nave.

The Cathedral as reconstructed from archeology

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Seventh-century sandstone frieze fragment from the former Faras Cathedral in Nubia.

Collection of the British Museum.

Fresco from the former Faras Cathedral in Nubia depicting the three youths in the fiery furnace.

Collection of the National Museum of Sudan

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The Birth of Jesus - fresco in the Cathedral (Sudan National Museum in Khartoum)

11th Century Faras Cathedral painting of Queen Martha of Makuria with the Holy Mary and Child Jesus.

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CHAPTER SEVEN

ENCROACHING ISLAM

In the Western regions of North Africa, a more militant, rigid form of Christianity grew up. It was

unforgiving of those who collaborated with Roman persecutors. This form of Christianity was known as

Donatism and it became identified by the newly christianized Byzantine authorities as a heresy and

equated with dissent and rebellion. It was outlawed by St Augustine of Hippo in his capacity as Bishop

of Hippo (in modern Algeria). These infighting within the Christians weakened them and fragmented

them without unity. When Islam came to North Africa in 639, Christian communities were not able to

resist conversion to the new faith.

Amr ibn al As

Soon after the death of Mohammed, Islamic armies continued rapidly to spread out throughout the

Middle East. Among the first countries to come under Islamic control was Egypt, which Arab forces

invaded in 640 A.D. – Amr ibn al As, who was a Sahaba (Companion) and contemporary of the

Prophet Muhammad, would be the military commander in charge of the conquest of Egypt. By 641

AD., he had conquered Cairo and renamed the city Al Fustat . By 647 AD., after the surrender of

Alexandria, the entire country was under Islamic rule. .

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The Islamic armies launched an attack on Nubia in AD 643. The Nubians steadfastly resisted and

threw back the invaders. Again in AD 652 a Muslim military expedition sought to conquer Nubia. Again

they were defeated by the Nubians. After their military failures the Muslims entered into an agreement

called the Baqt (Treaty) which established peaceful relations and trade between Muslim Egypt and

Christian Nubia.

Yet the treaty demanded tolerance of the Islam and a payment of slaves for keeping them away.

The treaty between the Nubians and Abdallah Ibn Saad, the Moslem leader.included this condition:

"A treaty binding on great and small among them from the frontiers of Assouan to the frontier of Alwa. Ye people of

Nubia. Ye shall dwell in safety under the safeguard of God and his apostle Mohommed the prophet whom God bless

and save. We will not attack you ; nor wage war upon you, nor make incursions against you so long as ye abide by the

terms settled between us and you. Ye shall protect those Moslems or their allies as shall come into your land. . . . Ye

shall put no obstacle in the way of a Moslem but render him aid till he quit your territory. Ye shall take care of the

mosque which the Moslems have built in the outskirts of your city and hinder none praying there. Ye shall clean it, light

it and honour it. Every year ye shall pay 360 head of slaves to the leader of the Moslems, of the middle class of slaves

of your country without bodily defects, males and females, but no old men nor old women nor young children."

The peace lasted almost 600 years until about AD 1250.

Amr allowed Coptic Christians and Jews to continue their beliefs as protected people. – Jews and

Christians in Muslim territories could live according to their own religious laws as dhimmis (tolerated

subject peoples) as they are all people of the book, provided they paid the zakat (tax) but would have

to give up certain political rights. By the 9 th century AD., most Egyptians had converted to Islam.

After 647 AD., all of Egypt was under Islamic rule. Christians and Jews were protected as the people

of the book, but did have to pay a tax (zakat) to the Muslim government. Most Coptic Christians

converted to Islam, and within 200 years, Coptic Christians became a minority. But since they

controlled most business, they were respected and formed a powerful minority all through Egypt and

the Sudan.

By the 10th century, the Arabic language replaced Coptic as the primary spoken language. Today,

this indigenous Christian sect. ranges from 3 - 10 million. Islam – Early Islam was intensely

expansionist. Religious fervor, as well as economic and social factors, fueled this expansionism.

Conquering armies and migrating tribes swept out of Arabia and spread Islam by sheer force. By the

end of the Islam’s first century, Islamic armies had reached far into North Africa and eastward and

northward into Asia.

The Arabs agreed a peace treaty with the Nubians, which allowed the Nubian kingdoms to flourish as

a Christian state for 700 years. The two northern kingdoms, Nobadia and Makuria merged into one -

Dongola. Dongola entered something of a golden age; the bible was translated from Greek into

Nubian and beautiful churches were built throughout the Nile Valley.

cejsh.icm.edu.pl/cejsh/element/bwmeta1.element.../249-265_Martens-Czarnecka.pdf

Małgorzata Martens-Czarnecka (Warszawa): The Christian Nubia and the Arabs

http://faras3d.pl/historia/nubia/?ln=en_EN

https://missiology.org.uk/pdf/e-books/cash/changing-sudan_cash.pdf

THE CHANGING SUDAN BY THE REV. W. WILSON CASH,CHURCH MISSIONARY SOCIETY SALISBURY SQUARE, LONDON 1931

http://www.hubert-herald.nl/SudanI.htm

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After the installation of king Say al-Din Abdullah in 1312 and the conversion to islam of the Nubians

in 1317 and after, the christian symbols of authority disappeared.

Inscription declaring the conversion of the Dongola Cathedral into a mosque on the 29 th May 1217

http://www.hubert-herald.nl/SudanI.htm

Dongola Cathedral now a mosque

The 13th century marks slow decline of the kingdom of Nubia. Fights weakened the kingdom; slow

islamization of the country followed, royal rule and Christian faith fell and subsequently culture and arts

deteriorated.

In the fourteenth century the last Christian king of Dongola was defeated by a Moslem force and sent

as a captive to Cairo. Arab settlers poured into the Sudan and rapidly overran the country as far as

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Darfur and Abyssinia, and the Kingdom of Nubia came to an end. The Church in Nubia finally yielded

to Islamic conversion in the 14th century and the massive Cathedral in Dongola was converted into a

mosque in 1317. While the Nubian church dissolved, with only a few architectural remnants to recall

its former glory, the Ethiopian Church not only persisted but acquired great significance outside the

Horn of Africa in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Based on Isichei, A history of Christianity in Africa, p 46

One can easily see that soon after the advent of Islam in seventh century Christianity began to weaken

everywhere in North African where Christianity existed except in Aksum and Ethiopia where they

remained strong.

In AD 1172 the Fatimid rulers in Egypt (who upheld the Baqt agreement) were overthrown by Saladin.

Then in 1260 another revolution in Egypt brought the Mamelukes to power. The Mamelukes then

waged a series of wars against the Nubians. Towns were burnt and confusion spread. Gradually the

weakened kingdom fell into chaos and under the control of the Mamelukes.

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The kingdom of Dotawo

The kingdom of Dotawo started to break up over the next 150 years. The last Christian king, Joel, fell

in 1484. Joel represents one of the last recorded kings of Christian Nubia. He is known from a graffiti in

the Cathedral of Faras, the inscription in the Church of Tamit, the letter from Jebel Adda, which is

dated to 1484 and an inscription from nearby Church.

Alwa (Aloa)Isolated

The southernmost Christian kingdom of Alwa survived successive attacks in the 14th and 15th

centuries. In 1450 a missionary to Ethiopia wrote this about Nubia: "The people are neither Christians,

Muslims or, Jews, but they live in the desire of being Christians."The recorded history indicates that

very few Nubians converted to Islam. Christianity began to die out because of internal weaknesses in

the Churches and not because of the external attacks of Islam.

The missionary Avares wrote of Sudanese who came to Ethiopia from Alwa: "While we were in

(Ethiopia) there came six men from (Alwa) as Ambassadors to the King, begging him to send them

ministers and monks to teach them. He did not choose to send them."This was the last we heard of the

Church in Northern Sudan. An island of Christianity in a sea of Islam, isolated and cut off - they

appealed to their Christian neighbours in Ethiopia. Tragically, this help was refused.

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CHAPTER EIGHT

BATTLE OF OMDURMAN

Gordon of Britain, Mahdi Movement and Kitchener

Major-General Charles George Gordon CB (28 January 1833 – 26 January 1885), also known as

Chinese Gordon, Gordon Pasha, and Gordon of Khartoum, was a British Army officer and

administrator. He saw action in the Crimean War as an officer in the British Army. However, he made

his military reputation in China, where he was placed in command of the "Ever Victorious Army," a

force of Chinese soldiers led by European officers. In the early 1860s, Gordon and his men were

instrumental in putting down the Taiping Rebellion, regularly defeating much larger forces. For these

accomplishments, he was given the nickname "Chinese Gordon" and honours from both the Emperor

of China and the British.

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+++++++++>

Here is something that is not widely known. Gordon was strong Christian Scholar. In 1883 he

discovered the Garden tomb, and the skull hill or Golgotha. "General Gordon on Golgotha -

Gordon's Letters to Sir John Cowell 1883" writes,

"Here at Skull Hill, close to the Slaughter House of Jerusalem was

Titus 1 to 2m. The Roman Eagle took the heart of Zion by throat, for

close was the breach. Jeremiah wrote Lamentations in the cave.

The Ark of the Covenant is there." page 55.

On page 47 Gordon says the Table of Shewbread is also in there,

"Golgotha on Hill was Jeremiah's Grotto.This hill is outside gates

near city where many roads pass. From long time back the

Slaughter House of City has been there. It is North. of City. The

Shewbread table is in it."

The Ark, I suspect is in Jeremiah's grotto. The Jews have a

tradition it is under the Dome of the Rock, but I think it is under the

true Altar, the Skull, where tradition places Jeremiah's writing of

Lamentations. The Ark will not be found by man. I think it will be

brought out again at the second coming,

Ron Wyatt who claims to have been inside this cave under the Skull hill (Golgotha) and has seen the

ark of the Covenant and was asked by the angels who serve in there to take a sample of the dried out

blood on the left top of he box and test it out. He got it done verifying the incarnation of the Son through

a human medium without a human father.

Ron did state that he saw evidence of General Gordon having conducted an excavation within ten feet

of the same location where he was digging. This statement by Gordon seems to indicate he did in

fact believe the ark was in a cave nearby. How he knew this we do not know. Perhaps the Lord

spoke to him in a dream? It was in the next year, 1884 that General Gordon died in a Muslim attack.


HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

become entrenched. Only when public pressure to act had become irresistible did the government,

with reluctance, send a relief force. It arrived two days after the city had fallen and Gordon had been

killed .

Then followed 13 years of miseries. Sudan was devastated and the inhabitants, through raids,

massacre, famine and the horrors of the slaves' long marches to Omdurman, reached the lowest level

of misery. The population of the country was reduced from eight and a half millions to two millions, and

whole tribes became practically extinct.

Christians were forced to convert to Islam. A little band of Roman Catholic missionaries refused to

obey the order to become Moslems and suffered untold horrors at the hands of a brutal Arab tribe.

One of their number, Father Ohrwalder, was ten years in captivity in Omdurman. Many outwardly

accepted islam while in hiding continued as Christians. When I went into Sudan 1972 I had known

many Christians who led underground churches during the Mahdi period and came out open

afterwards.

Battle of Omdurman

By the Anglo-Egyptian Conventions of 1899, a joint British and Egyptian administration was set up,

known as the Condominium Government. Kitchener was appointed the first governor-general in

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January 1899. He was followed the same year by Sir Reginald Wingate who remained as

governor-general until 1916.At the Battle of Omdurman (2 September 1898), an army commanded by

the British General Sir Herbert Kitchener defeated the army of

Abdullah al-Taashi, the successor to the self-proclaimed Mahdi,

Muhammad Ahmad. Kitchener was seeking revenge for the 1885

death of General Gordon. The Mahdist army, equipped with swords,

spears and ancient rifles was destroyed. 11,000 Sudanese soldiers

were killed and 16,000 wounded. It was a demonstration of the

superiority of a highly disciplined army equipped with modern rifles,

machine guns, and artillery over a force twice their size armed with

older weapons, and marked the success of British efforts to

re-conquer the Sudan. The Khalifa retreated with the remainder of

his troops into Kordofan where he was eventually hunted down and

killed in November 1898.

However, it was not until the 1899 Battle of Umm Diwaykarat that the

final Mahdist forces were defeated. Winston Churchill who later

became the Prime Minister of England was an officer in the army in

these wars. He has later written a book on his experience in "The

River War: An Historical Account of the Reconquest of the Soudan

(1899)", by Winston Churchill, which is over a 1000 pages.

Khartoum was retaken by Lord Kitchener who retook the city in 1898 and oversaw its rebuilding.

Kitchener had the Mahdi's tomb destroyed and his bones cast into the Nile, so as to leave nothing for

the Mahdi's followers to rally around. But the Mahdi's skull was presented to Kitchener, perhaps as a

souvenir. When the word got out, there was a howl of fury from the British press, unfriendly questions

in Parliament, and a condemnation even from Queen Victoria herself. Kitchener wrote an apologetic

letter to the queen and the head was secretly buried in an unknown Muslim cemetery. The tomb itself

was rebuilt as a memorial to Mahdi after the freedom of Sudan.

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The first act after the capture of Omdurman was to set free the prisoners, among whom were Charles

Neufeld, Joseph Ragnolli, and sister Teresa Gregnoli, a nun, and about thirty Greeks as well as a large

crowd of natives. In that day l0,854 prisoners were liberated.

University of Khartoum, was founded in 1903 as Gordon Memorial College.

In 1885 after the fall of Khartoum and the beheading of General Gordon, the Church Missionary

Society raised funds for a mission to Sudan in honour of General Gordon's pioneer work and witness.

They were followed by the United Presbyterian Church of America and later the Sudan Interior Mission

and Africa Inland Mission. Hospitals and schools became the focal points of the new Protestant

missions.

An agreement was signed between Egypt and Britain on January 1, 1899, both sides agreed to

administer the Sudan. Herbert Kitchener was appointed as the first Governor-General of the Sudan.

Revivals broke out in Yambio and Mundri County in 1938. Bible translations into Bari, Zande, Moru,

Acholi, Dinka and Nuer continued from the 1930's to the 1970's and to this day. So far, 11 languages

have full Bibles, 23 have only New Testaments and 35 have only portions of the Bible translated.

The work of the missions took form in three directions

1. Ministering to Christians by forming church facilities

There were many foreigners in Khartoum, Omdurman and the northern towns – not only from Europe

and America, but also from Egypt, Ethiopia and many countries of the Middle East, and many of these

were Christians. The Evangelical Church ministered to the many Egyptian Christians in Sudan, many

of whom were there in government service as teachers or administrators, or in commerce. The

Catholic missionaries sought to minister to many of the Christian groups who could be found in the

capital– Catholics, Copts, Ethiopians, Armenians, etc. ln time many of these formed their own

churches, but there has been until today a strong Catholic Church in Masalma, the Christian quarter of

Mahdist Omdurman, with a wide ministry to many Christian groups.

Anglican churches were opened for the British expatriate community in the Northern Sudanese towns

of Atbara, Wad Medani and Port Sudan. Today these churches belong to the Episcopal Church.

2. Education particularly to the girls.

The second form of witness that the missions developed in North Sudan that satisfied government

anxieties was in the field of education. The Government did little to encourage modern western

education. They were content to support the traditional Quranic education of mosque and Khalwa.

Gordon Memorial College in Khartoum was founded with the limited objective of training clerks and

craftsmen for government service. It has been upgraded over the years, later providing technical

education, and is today the home of Khartoum University.

The missions were responsible for the first modem schools in Sudan, seen as a service to the

Sudanese people and also as a low-key form of Christian witness. Soon these schools attracted

Muslim girls from both Egyptian and Sudanese homes.

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At first Sudanese families were reluctant to send their sons to mission schools. Then in the 1930s, as

the nationalist movement began to gain strength, they saw the advantages of western education and

many Sudanese Muslim boys began to enter the schools. The schools had always been popular for

the useful domestic skills that girls learned there.

3. Medical Services

The other sphere of work open to the missions within government restrictions was medical work.

Both the Catholics and CMS maintained clinic work in Khartoum and Omdurman. In 1912, CMS

opened a hospital in Omdurman that placed great emphasis on the training of Sudanese medical staff.

The site is now that of the government Psychiatric hospital.

Sir Francis Reginald Wingate, ( 1861 – 1953)

was a British general and administrator In

Egypt and the Sudan. In December 1899, on

Lord Kitchener being summoned to South

Africa, Sir Reginald Wingate succeeded him as

Governor-General of the Sudan till 1916

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CHAPTER NINE

COPTIC CHRISTIANS OF SUDAN

After the collapse of the Christian Kingdoms of Northern Sudan, the Christian communities

disappeared from Sudan. Christianity was revived in Sudan by the arrival of Coptic immigrants from

Egypt to the Sudan, in waves of refugees triggered by bouts of oppression from Moslem rulers of

Egypt. The peak of that movement was reached after the Turco-Egyptian invasion of the Sudan in

1821. These Coptic immigrants came as civil servants, craftsmen, and merchants, for whom Sudan

became the land of opportunity unity and tolerance. After the Mahdi seized power in 1885, however,

they were left with no choice but to convert to Islam at least outwardly. of them managed to

escape from the country. The Copts returned to Sudan once more after the Anglo-Egyptian troops

conquered the Mahdist State (1885 - 1898). Some of those who converted to Islam returned to

Christianity, but some could not, in view of the complications

The Sudanese Coptic community is a small but prominent minority (150-200,000) who have lived in

Sudan for more than one hundred years who are served by twenty three churches and two bishops.

Patriarch Pope Tawadros Sulaymān of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Egypt as of 2017

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Coptics are the followers of the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox church, the largest Christian group in the

Middle East. The Egyptian Coptic church was established between AD 42 and AD 62 after the order

of St John Mark who took Christianity to Egypt. Now the majority of them are found in Egypt,

Ethiopia, and the Northern Sudan.

Sudan has a native Coptic minority, although many Copts in Sudan are descended from more recent

Coptic immigrants from Egypt. Copts in Sudan live mostly in northern cities, including Al Obeid, Atbara,

Dongola, Khartoum, Omdurman, Port Sudan, and Wad Medani. They number up to 500,000, or

slightly over 1% of the Sudanese population. Due to their advanced education, their role in the life of

the country has been more significant than their numbers suggest. They have occasionally faced

forced conversion to Islam, resulting in their emigration and decrease in number.

Modern immigration of Copts to Sudan peaked in the early 19th century, and they generally received a

tolerant welcome there. However, this was interrupted by a decade of persecution under Mahdist rule

at the end of the 19th century. As a result of this persecution, many were forced to relinquish their

faith, adopt Islam, and intermarry with the native Sudanese. The Anglo-Egyptian invasion in 1898

allowed Copts greater religious and economic freedom, and they extended their original roles as

artisans and merchants into trading, banking, engineering, medicine, and the civil service. Proficiency

in business and administration made them a privileged minority.

Gaafar Nimeiry's introduction of Islamic Sharia law in 1983 began a new phase of oppressive

treatment of Copts, among other non-Muslims. After the overthrow of Nimeiry, Coptic leaders

supported a secular candidate in the 1986 elections. However, when the National Islamic Front

overthrew the elected government of Sadiq al-Mahdi with the help of the military, discrimination

against Copts returned in earnest. Hundreds of Copts were dismissed from the civil service and

judiciary.

In February 1991, a Coptic pilot working for Sudan Airways was executed for illegal possession of

foreign currency. Before his execution, he had been offered amnesty and money if he converted to

Islam, but he refused. Thousands attended his funeral, and the execution was taken as a warning by

many Copts, who began to flee the country.

Restrictions on the Copts' rights to Sudanese nationality followed, and it became difficult for them to

obtain Sudanese nationality by birth or by naturalization, resulting in problems when attempting to

travel abroad. The confiscation of Christian schools and the imposition of an Arab-Islamic emphasis in

language and history teaching were accompanied by harassment of Christian children and the

introduction of hijab dress laws. A Coptic child was flogged for failing to recite a Koranic verse. In

contrast with the extensive media broadcasting of the Muslim Friday prayers, the radio ceased

coverage of the Christian Sunday service. As the civil war raged throughout the 1990s, the

government focused its religious fervour on the south. Although experiencing discrimination, the Copts

and other long-established Christian groups in the north had fewer restrictions than other types of

Christians in the south.

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Holy Mary Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, Khartoum, Sudan

In the early 1970s a Copt who was one of the top civil servants was appointed as a senior minister,

and in the mid-seventies the government donated money and freehold land (13,300 square meters) to

build Coptic clubs in Khartoum and Omdurman. This was the type of relation when I was there.

However the situation seem to have changed under Omer Hassan al-Bashir, and since June 1989

outrages against the Coptic community increased

The code of Sharia under Islamic rule dictates that:

(1) The Dhimma should pay a regular fee in order to keep their religion.

(2) They should not prevent any Christian from converting to Islam, and should not attempt

to convert any Moslem to their belief.

(3) They should not hold any public post that would give them any authority over Moslems.

(4) They should not sell their books or crosses in the markets.

(5) They should not raise the sound of their church bells or raise their own voices in front of Moslems.

(6) They must walk on the edge of the street, and leave the middle to the Moslems.

Which would place the Copts in Sudan almost untouchables.

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CHAPTER TEN

CATHOLIC MISSIONS TO SUDAN

By the 1600's word reached Rome of groups of Christians surviving South of the Sahara. The pope set

up the "Mission of Upper Egypt-Funji-Ethiopia" and several missions (in 1698, 1705 and 1711) were

sent up the Nile to make contact with the believers. The final attempt in 1794 ended with Father

Ballerini being murdered in Nubia.

Until 1814, Egypt itself was nominally part of the Ottoman Empire. It gradually expanded its control of

the Sudan as far south as the Great Lakes region

Monsignor Annetto Casolani,(1815-1866)

The First Apostolic Vicar of Central Africa, Auxiliary for the Diocese of Malta and Bishop of the Titular

See of Mauricastro, was born in Valletta, Malta, the fifth son of Sir Vincent Casolani, a high ranking

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government official. He studied theology at the University of Malta and continued his studies at the

Seminario Romano, Rome, obtaining his doctorate in Divinity at a very early age.

(THE FIRST CENTENARY OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSION TO CENTRAL AFRICA, 1846-1946, Elia Toniolo

Sudan Notes and Records Vol. 27 (1946), pp. 99-126, Published by: University of Khartoum

http://www.jstor.org/stable/4171673)

His vision was of a great new missionary venture, using the Nile as a highway to carry missionary work

far into Central Africa. He communicated his plans to the Vatican and on April 3, 1846 the Pope set up

the Vicariate Apostolic of Central Africa. This was in essence a missionary diocese under the direct

authority of the Pope. Casolani was consecrated bishop and entrusted with the task of evangelizing

not only Sudan and the Nile Valley but also a vast area to the south and west. The first party of

missionaries reached Khartoum in 1848. Casolani had already resigned as leader following

disagreements with Father Ryllo who succeeded him, though he remained with the mission. Ryllo

soon died, however, and leadership passed to Dr. Knoblecher who led the mission through its next

few important years.

New recruits arrived throughout 1849 and 1850 and the mission’s base in Khartoum was firmly

established. In 1849, Knoblecher led an exploratory expedition to the south and decided on a site for a

mission station at Gondokoro, just north of modem Juba on the east bank of the river. The first

Catholic mission in southern Sudan was established at Gondokoro in 1852. Knoblecher instructed and

baptized eight Bari young men in 1852.

Dr. Ignazio Knoblecher (1819 – 1858)

In 1854, a further station was opened at “Holy Cross” amongst the Kic Dinka by Father Bartholomaus

Mozgan. The site can be located on modern maps at Kanisa (Arabic - Church) on the opposite bank of

the Nile to Jonglei.

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Already, in January 1853, Father Angelo Vinco,(1819 – Libo1853) the pioneer missionary at

Gondokoro had died of fever, but he was just the first of many Catholic missionaries to die in southern

Sudan. Despite many deaths, valuable work was done on the Dinka, Bari and Moru languages.

Vocabularies and grammars were produced and invaluable anthropological information gathered.

Preparations were begun for an indigenous priesthood when a young Bari man, Francis Logwit, and a

young Dinka, Anton Kachwal, were sent to Europe for education.

From 1849 the Catholics established a string of mission stations - in Khartoum, Yondokoro, Kanisa,

Kakor and elsewhere. Forty-six missionaries died of disease in the first few years. In 1862 alone, 22

missionaries died. Finally all the mission stations were abandoned and the survivors returned to

Europe.

Father Matthias Kirchner became the leader of the mission. He considered that it was only possible to

continue to work in southern Sudan with the help of a religious Order who would have the necessary

resources and men to overcome the losses through sickness. Accordingly he travelled to Europe and

arranged for the Vicariate Apostolic of Central Africa to be entrusted to the Franciscans. He then

withdrew all his missionaries from the south to await their arrival. In 1862, two parties of Franciscans

(both priests and laymen) of various professions arrived. An immediate attempt was made to revive

the work in the south, but the losses through disease were too high. A number of the Franciscans died

before reaching Khartoum, and others died in the south. In 1862 alone twenty-two deaths were

recorded. Between 1848 and 1862, forty-six Catholic missionaries had died. The Pope considered the

cost too high and ordered the mission to be closed. The first attempt at the evangelization of the

Upper Nile may have ended in failure, but the story is one of heroism and sacrifice.

A new Catholic attempt to reach Sudan was launched in 1873 with schools and farms as the priority.

This strategy succeeded and today almost half of those who claim to be Christians in Sudan are

Catholics.

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Comboni Mission

Saint Daniele Comboni (I831-I881) was an Italian priest who had studied at the Mazza Institute in

Verona, Italy, and served in Sudan at the Holy Cross mission station for ll months before returning

home, sick and bone-weary. His experience had taught him one invaluable lesson, that Africa would

never be evangelized by Europeans alone.

In 1864, following a time of prayer at the tomb of St, Peter in Rome, he drew up a plan for re-opening

the Mission to Central Africa He called this A Plan for the Regeneration of Africa by means of Africans.

St Daniel Comboni (1831-81) bishop and missionary

Much of what Comboni has to say in his plan is commonplace today, but in its time it represented a

very radical thinking. The huge loss of missionary life in Southern Sudan between 1848 and 1862 had

taught him that Africa would only be evangelized by Africans themselves. He proposed a series of

training centers on the African coast where European missionaries could train Africans for this work.

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In 1867, he started a seminary in Verona to train priests and laymen for missionary work in Central

Africa, and the same year he founded two schools in Cairo, one for African boys and the other for

African girls who had been rescued from slavery, to be trained for evangelism.

In 1872, a society was founded in Verona for nuns committed to missionary work in Africa. The same

year the Pope appointed Comboni Pro—Vicar Apostolic of Central Africa. He had authority to reopen

the mission and to implement his Plan on the African continent. Comboni reached Khartoum in 1873.

The Plan indicated that education and training were of the first importance. He had started schools and

colleges in Italy and Cairo.

Now he began schools for freed slaves in Khartoum. The name of Comboni is associated to this day

with education, and many Catholic schools are named after him.

Comboni turned his attention to Kordofan, the huge province southeast of Khartoum that included the

major city of El Obeid, as well as the remote Nuba Mountains which had been less influenced by Islam

and Arab culture than other parts of northern Sudan. He established farms at Malbes near El Obeid

and at Dilling. New converts were established with their families on these farms. His plan was that

these farms would in time become self-sufficient African Christian communities that would witness to

the Christian faith and to the way of life that faith inspired, As always, Comboni's idea was to train

Africans to carry out the evangelization of Africa themselves. About thirty families were established on

these farms and they later became the heart of the Sudanese Catholic Church. This strategy did

however run the risk of isolating new converts from their own communities and heritage.

In 1877, the Pope showed his approval of Comboni's methods by consecrating him bishop, but in 1881

he returned from a visit to the Nuba Mountains very ill with malaria. On 10 October 1881 Daniele

Comboni, the "mutran es sudan", «father of the blacks», as he was called by all, the first bishop of

Khartoum, died in Khartoum. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1996.

His missionaries, known as the Comboni Fathers or the Verona Missionaries, have 4,000 members

working in countries all over the world

Combatting the Slave Trade

The task Comboni faced in Africa in the 1870s was complicated by the

slave trade. Slavery was big business in Central Africa, with large,

well-armed caravans of recruiters who bribed Egyptian officials to let

them move freely from the interior to port cities, where they sold their

human cargo. Comboni fought hard against slavery, was given his own

small army to combat the traffickers, closed the El 0beid slave market,

and hunted down some of the slave raiders. But he was only one person

against an established industry.

In 1871 Comboni returned to the Sudan to set up operations himself. He

was named vicar apostolic of Central Africa in 1877.

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With Comboni was the first African priest to work in Central

Africa, Fr. Pius Hadrianus, a Benedictine. Soon another African

priest, Fr. Antonio Dubale, was running a model village for freed

slaves in El Obeid. A trained Nubian catechist, product of the

Cairo Institute, was dispatched to work among this important

southern Sudan ethnic group. The Nubians had a rich culture,

were anti-Islamic, and were a logical target for mission work.

He also wrote about the geography, ethnology and languages

of the region. He himself spoke six European languages, Arabic,

and several central African dialects.

https://www.catholicireland.net/saintoftheday/st-daniel-comboni-1831-81-bishop-and-missionary/

Comboni says: “I experienced all the trials of this difficult apostolate… I thought of the way to return to

this battlefield to sacrifice my life for the salvation of Africans” (Writings 3302).

Here are a few cases which we know now showing the impact of Comboni and his fight against slavery

Antonio Dubale was a young Ethiopian who was ransomed from slavery by Comboni on a visit to

Aden in 1861. He eventually studied for the priesthood in Rome and was ordained by Comboni in 1877.

He worked with Comboni in Khartoum, Malbes and El Obeid where he died in 1881.

Deng Sorur, a Dinka from Abyei, escaped from slavery and eventually, under Comboni’s direction,

prepared for the priesthood. He was the first southern Sudanese Catholic priest.

Bakhita Quasce was the first Sudanese Catholic nun. She was a Nuba girl, born about 1840. She was

bought back from slavery in Cairo, and then educated in Italy. She later became a teacher at

Comboni’s missionary college for Africans in Cairo, also teaching in mission schools in Khartoum and

El Obeid. In 1881 she was admitted as a nun to the Comboni Sisters. She was captured by the

Mahdists when they took Obeid in 1882. She eventually escaped to Egypt where she died in 1899.

[33]

Except in the lives of a handful of such people, there was little to be seen in 1885 for the labors of such

men as Casolani, Knoblecher, Kirchner and Comboni. Yet in their implacable opposition to slavery, in

their unshakable commitment to the cause of an African Church, particularly in the case of Comboni,

they constitute the foundations of the Sudanese Catholic Church of the 20th century.

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

.

Cardinal Daniele Comboni, the "mutran es sudan", «father of the blacks»,

Comboni School, Khartoum

where my children studied

In less than four months before Comboni's death, Muhammad Ahmad declared himself to be the

expected Mahdi, launching a nationalist revolt in Sudan that quickly swept away all Anglo-Egyptian

resistance. By the end of 1883 only the city of Khartoum remained under Egyptian control. British

prime minister William Gladstone sent General Charles Gordon (1833-1885), as the Governor General

of Sudan from 1877 to 1879, to Khartoum to organize the evacuation of the remaining Egyptian troops

and Europeans in the city. Instead, Gordon mounted a defense. The Mahdi laid siege to Khartoum in

September 1884, and his forces took over the city on January 26, 1885. The population was

massacred, while Gordon was speared to death in his palace. However Mahdi himself died in June

1885 of typhus. He was succeeded by Khalifa Abdullahi establishing Mahdiya in Sudan.. The era of

the Mahdiya (1885-1898) was a reign of terror that saw the waging of jihad against the non-Muslim

population and the death of thousands. The fate of the missionaries was recorded in lurid detail by

Father Joseph Ohrwalder in Ten Years in the Mahdist Camp, 1882-1892

The British under General Herbert Kitchener decisively defeated the Khalifa at the battle of Omdurman

on September 2, 1898, and subsequently established an Anglo-Egyptian rule in Sudan known as the

Condominium.

ln 1900, the Verona Fathers started two schools for girls, one in Khartoum and one in Omdurman.

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CHAPTER ELEVEN

ANGLICAN CHURCH MISSIONARY SOCIETY (C.M.S.)

During Sudan's colonial era, 1898 to 1955, four major Churches successfully established themselves

in the country: the Coptic, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, and Anglican.

The Coptic Church had gone underground during the Mahdiya and reemerged at this time.

The Verona Fathers of the Catholic Church had been poised in Aswan, Egypt, for the fall of the khalifa

and reentered the country soon after the British conquest.

The United Presbyterian Church of North America had established itself in Egypt in 1854, and upon

the fall of the khalifa extended its American Mission to Khartoum and then to the South.

The British established the Anglican Church in Sudan through the Church Missionary Society.

Although forbidden by the British colonial administration to evangelize in the North, which was

generally Muslim, the latter three worked assiduously to bring the gospel to southerners. Each Church,

however, was allowed to establish congregations and schools for

its own members in the North. By exploiting this caveat,

Christianity was also reestablished in the North.

Llewellyn Gwynne, Archibald Shaw and Dr Frank Harpur

established mission stations in North Sudan at Omdurman (1899)

and Khartoum (1900).

CMS opened a school for Coptic girls in Khartoum in 1902 and

opened further schools, in the northern towns.

A hospital was established at Omdurman. Later schools were

established in Omdurman, Atbara (1908) and Wad Madani (1916).

At the request of the government the CMS established schools in

the Nuba Mountains at Salara (1935) and Katcha in (1939). In

1959 the government took over the operation of the schools.

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

Llewellyn Henry Gwynne, CMG, CBE (11 June 1863 – 9 December 1957) was a Welsh Anglican Bishop. He was the first

Anglican Bishop of Egypt and Sudan (1920 - 1946). He began his overseas career in 1899 as a Christian missionary in

east Africa. In 1905 Gwynne was appointed archdeacon for the Sudan; and in 1908 he was consecrated Bishop of

Khartoum.

Recalled to Europe in World War I bishop Llewellyn was appointed deputy chaplain-general of the army in France, serving

until May 1919. Bishop Gwynne returned to Britain during World War II and formally retired in 1946. He died on 9

December 1957 at the age of ninety-four.

Bishop Llewellyn Gwynne returned to the Sudan in 1919. In 1920, he became the bishop of the new

Anglican diocese of Egypt and the Sudan. In 1924 Gwynne held the first Annual Unity Service in

Khartoum Cathedral. In 1926 Gwynne and the Mufti (the religious head of Moslems) stood together to

bless the new Sennar Dam.

Llewellyn Gwynne, Archibald Shaw and Dr Frank Harpur established mission stations in North Sudan

at Omdurman (1899) and Khartoum (1900). A hospital was established at Omdurman. Later schools

were established in Omdurman, Atbara (1908) and Wad Madani (1916). At the request of the

government the CMS established schools in the Nuba Mountains at Salara (1935) and Katcha in

(1939). In 1959 the government took over the operation of the schools

The Rev. L. Gwyne's Rectory

where he lived when he first went to Khartoum in 1899

From the Quarterly Paper of the Mission for Egypt 1903

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

Story of the All Saint's Cathedral of Khartoum

All Saints’ Cathedral, Khartoum belongs to the Diocese of Khartoum of the Episcopal Church of the

Sudan (ECS). The present Cathedral is a new site which was given by the Sudan government to

replace the old Cathedral near to the Republican palace. The foundation of the old Cathedral was laid

in 1904 and was consecrated and opened in 1912.

The Old Cathedral

All Saints Cathedral, Khartoum

Consecration of the All Saint's Cathedral by Bishop Gwynne on 26 January 1912

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

On the 31st of July 1971, the Cathedral was confiscated by the Sudan government with the allegation

that, there was a tunnel from the cathedral to the palace, an allegation which was not true. The second

argument was that the Cathedral was near the palace and therefore it was not convenient for the

Christians to worship there. However, today there stands a magnificent Mosque just near to palace

which was opened in 1995.

Addition to that the Cathedral's tower was knocked down in October 1996 and the Cathedral was turn

into a Museum which was opened on December 31, 1999.

Beside the present site of the Cathedral, there are two other plots which were offered to replace the

staff houses. The amount of Ls. 500,000 (five hundred thousand Sudanese Pounds) about 200 US

Dollars (two hundred US Dollars) was offered toward the building of the new Cathedral and pastors

houses. However the money was not enough to do the work which was required. The tower of the new

Cathedral is yet to be built plus a community center which includes a library, offices, Cathedral Hall,

children's class rooms, and staff houses. Bells are still in the old site, although we are no longer sure of

this, since the tower was knocked down and the Cathedral was turned into a Museum.

The New Cathedral

The foundation stone of the new Cathedral was laid on the 27th of May 1979, by the Most Rev. Elinana

J. Ngalamu, the first Archbishop of the Episcopal church of the Sudan. The consecration was done on

the 18th of September 1983, at which Oliver Alison, the Last English Bishop to leave Sudan, was

invited back to preach on the occasion.

The Sudanese Government says it is enough to serve the remaining Christian population after the

separation of the South Sudan.

The Cathedral was administered by chaplains appointed by the Bishop who used to reside in Cairo.

Natana was the first Sudanese ever to be appointed as provost. Ephraim came just after the

confiscation of the Cathedral 1972 and was the provost until 1988. He was elected, consecrated, and

enthroned as Bishop for Lui Diocese. Ephraim and Bishop Butrus Shokai the first Bishop of Khartoum

Diocese worked very hard until this new site was granted. Four copies of Holy Bible have been placed

in each of the four corners of the Cathedral as the bases of the foundation as the living church.

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

The present Bishop of Khartoum Diocese is the Rt. Rev. Ezekiel J. Kondo, who is the third Sudanese

Bishop of Khartoum and former Provost of the Cathedral.

The New All Saints Cathedral in Khartoum.

The first Archbishop of the new internal province of Sudan has been enthroned during a major

celebration service in Khartoum’s All Saints Cathedral. Up to 10,000 worshippers saw the Most Revd

Ezekiel Kumir Kondo, Bishop of Khartoum, take on the new role.

In 2013, the Province of the Episcopal Church of Sudan decided it wanted to remain as one church

despite the independence of South Sudan in 2011. It renamed itself the Episcopal Church of South

Sudan and Sudan; and created an internal province for the dioceses in Sudan.

Bishop Ezekiel Kumir Kondo

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

General Kitchener defeating the Mahdi army in 1898 opened the way for missionaries. merchants. and

a host of others to come to Khartoum under the aegis of joint Anglo-Egyptian rule known as the

Condominium. Among these new arrivals was Llewellyn Gwynne of the Church Missionary Society

(CMS), who arrived in Khartoum in 1899. Lord Crorner, the senior British official, was reluctant to allow

Christian missionaries to proselytize in Muslim-dominated northern Sudan, fearing it could stir up

religious feeling that was still latent after the overthrow of the Mahdiyya.

Gwynne and a handful of others operated a medical clinic and school in Khartoum. But Crorner

welcomed Christian mission in Southem Sudan, a remote region that was only loosely controlled by

the Condominium and where Islam had made few inroads. It was essentially a pagan country formed

as a hundred fold tribal areas. To prevent competition between various missionary groups of

denominations, he established separate areas for each of the mission: the CMS, American

Presbyterian mission, and Catholic missionaries of the Verona Fathers.

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Clergy House School and Unity High School, Khartoum

Unity High School is an internationally recognized school located in the heart of Khartoum, Sudan. The

school can trace back its origins to 1902. It was originally founded by the Coptic community and began

life as an all girl school.

The idea of educating girls was a new concept in Sudan and not all were in agreement.

However through the permission of Coptic Church in Egypt and the assistance of the founder of the

school Bishop Llewellyn Henry Gwynne the school was opened. They found an upper room to locate

the new school and brought a teacher from Lebanon to educate the children.

In 1904 Miss Bewley arrived at the school from Cairo and oversaw its reorganization. Large number of

dignitaries visited the school, at this which included the Grand Mufti of Cairo, Princess Beatrice of

Coburg, the Duke and Duchess of Connaught and Lady Wingate. The school was growing both

academic excellence and popularity so it seemed fitting that it should have its own building. The task

was undertaken by Sergeant Seabright, (whose commemorative plaque for his baby is still in the main

hall today.) and in 1905 the school had its own separate building. In 1910 the school formed close

ties with Gordon College, who provided external examiners for the school.

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In 1927 plans were then made for the creation of a high school, under the aegis of the four expatriate

communities of Greek, Armenian, Syrian and Coptic. The leading Christian merchants donated money

to enable the school. He founded the Unity High School in Khartoum, and the school was officially

opened in 1928 by Bishop Allison. In 1937 they began to offer GCSC of Cambridge examination. It

became the school for expatriate girls ever since, along side with the sudanese girls.

This was taken at the time of the visit of Princess Anne in1974

Pat Clague who was the Principal is introducing someone to the Prince. You can see Bishop Allison

at the back.

These schools remained to be the outreach centers of the Anglican Church. For some time I was

asked to be in the executive board of the Unity High School.

Bishop Allison witnessed the suffering of the South Sudanese Christians at the hands of the Arab

Muslim government. He was a witness to the events that took place between 1947 and 1955 which led

to the mutiny of the Equatoria Corps, thus marking the beginning of the long war between the Christian

South Sudan and the Arab Muslim government of North Sudan.

Bishop Morris Gelsthorpe became first bishop of Sudan in 1945 when Sudan became separated from

the diocese of Egypt with Bishop Morris as first bishop. Bishop Morris Gelsthorpe retired in 1952 and

Bishop Oliver Allison took charge in Khartoum.

When Sudan became independent on January 1, 1956. its northern, Muslim leaders quickly

established an Islamic regime and began to oppress the Christian movement in the country.

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Bishop Oliver Allison (1908 - 1973)

The “Missionary Society’s Act 1962,” according to which all Christian missionaries were expelled from

South Sudan. During the Khartoum incident in December 1964 when thousands of South Sudanese

living in Khartoum were killed by Arab Muslims, Bishop Allison became a host to hundreds of South

Sudanese who took refuge in the Clergy House. In 1965, the Sudanese Army carried out shooting in

the towns of Juba and Wau. Many South Sudanese had to flee to Congo, Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya,

and Central Africa Republic, to live the life of a refugee.

Bishop Allison talking to my daughter Premeela Ninan

In the campus of Unity of High School, Khartoum

Bishop Allision talking to my wife Mrs Ponnamma Ninan

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CHAPTER TWELVE

SUDAN INTERIOR MISSION AND SUDAN INTERIOR CHURCH

Sudan Interior Mission [SIM] began in 1893. The founders of this Mission were:

the Scottish Canadian Walter Gowans (a Presbyterian),

English Canadian Rowland Bingham (who was affiliated to the Salvation Army and in sympathy with

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the Plymouth Brethren) and

the American, Thomas Kent (a congregationist)

HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

They had a vision to evangeiize the 60 million unreached people of sub-Saharan Africa. Unable to

interest established missions—most of which said reaching the Soudan was impossible. In those days

Soudan referred to all the land of the Northern Africa. They were all filled with mosquitos and

consequently malaria. All sorts of infectious diseases were abundant. However these three bold men

were not hindered by all the difficulties. They raised funds privately and came to Lagos with the zeal

of reaching northern Nigeria. After reaching Lagos, Gowan and Kent proceeded to the north as far as

Bida while Bingham was left at Lagos. However, on reaching Lagos, he fell sick, so serious that he had

to be sent back home.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++>>>>

Ninans in Ghana

Teaching on the dangers of Malaria

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In 1961 I have served in Ghana at Cape Coast Ghana National College, and one of the major

precaution was the Sunday Sunday medicine of Quinine pills and the mosquito netting on all windows

and a double door at all entrances. In spite of that we have several outbreaks of malaria and

dysentery within the family. As a baby our eldest daughter was on the verge of death due to malaria

and narrowly escaped only because of the power of prayer. It was into this country that the early SIM

went without much medical aid or understanding on the conditions in those countries about 60 years

before us.

Anglican Church was the major Church in all of Ghana since it was the colony of England.


HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

When I reached Khartoum to teach in the Higher Teacher Training Institute which was started by the

UNESCO to produce teachers in Sudan we were given a house in the Khartoum Extension near the

Air Port. At that time the SIM was the nearest chapel. The Anglican Church with Bishop Allison as

its Metran was further away. So our major fellowship was with the SIM. It was a small chapel with

the Australian couple Mr. &Mrs Nunn in charge. The SIM provided fellowship for the International

community of believers

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Sudan Interior Church

The Sudan Interior Church grew out of the Sudan Interior Mission (SIM) from the USA. It was started in

1937 by SIM missionaries who had been expelled from Ethiopia by the Italians. Hoping to keep in

touch with the small community they had built in Ethiopia, they began to work in the Sudan along the

border in the Blue Nile province, and eventually in the northern part of the Upper Nile province. It

became autonomous in 1963. Congregations are in Khartoum, Upper Nile and Blue Nile Province. It

has 25,000 members and 120 parishes. It is currently a member of the Baptist World Alliance. I was in

fact part of the advisory committee as the Church was becoming autonomous. The essential

problems were the conflict between the cultural practices of the communities as against the moral

standards of the bible.

Notice the dress of the pastor which is reminiscent of the robe of the bishops. This is a cultural practice.

The chiefs of tribes wear distinct red themed robes and it is simply symbolic of authority.

This may be the basis of the dress of the bishops initially within the early church.

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

AMERICAN PRESBYTERIAN MISSION

Rev John Kelly Giffen DD(1853-1932)

Rev. J. Kelly Giffen was an American Presbyterian missionary in Egypt when the news came that

British and Egyptian troops had entered Omdurman. He was eager for the American mission to begin

work in Sudan and so in 1900 he visited Omdurman with a fellow missionary, Dr. Andrew Watson (The

Practice of Mission in Egypt: A Historical Study of the Integration ...By Tharwat Wahba) and stayed

with Gwynne and Harpur. Like Gwynne, Giffen’s vision at that time was for evangelism amongst the

Muslim population of North Sudan. Unlike the Catholics and the CMS, the Presbyterians already had a

large church in Egypt. The Evangelical Church in Egypt was founded by American Presbyterians and

consisted mainly of converts from the Coptic Church. Consequently following the report that Giffen

brought back to Egypt the mission set aside Giffen and his wife and also Dr. H. T. McLaughlin and his

wife for work in Sudan and the Evangelical Church chose an Egyptian pastor, Rev. Gebra Hanna to go

to Sudan to work amongst the Coptic and Evangelical Christians, and to begin a witness amongst

Muslims.

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THE SOUDAN PIONEER MISSION

THE SUDAN UNITED MISSION

The Sudan United Mission was founded by Hermann Karl Wilhelm Kumm

(1875-1930) from Osterode, Germany and his wife Lucy Evangeline Guinness

(1865-1906).Initially they called themselves Soudan Pioneer Mission which

was later changed to Sudan Union Mission. Their work extend to the wider

"Soudan" territory as far as Nigeria and Ghana. Following Kumm's

recruitment meetings in Australia, the Australian branch of SUM began

sending missionaries to work in Sudan. Wilfrid Mills, the Trudingers and D N

McDiarmid arrived in 1914. From 1920 they concentrated on the Eastern Nuba

Mountains, which became the SUM field. By 1936 there were thirty three

Australian SUM missionaries working there.

Sudan Pioneer Mission House in Aswan

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To summarize the history of the Sudan:

HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

What is now northern and central Sudan was in ancient times the Meroitic-speaking Kingdom of Kush,

which for a short time even ruled over Egypt as the 25th dynasty. Driven out of Egypt by the Assyrians

it retreated back to Sudan, where it maintained itself until the mid 4th century AD. After its fall the

Nubians formed the three kingdoms of Nobatia, Makuria and Alodia, which converted to Christianity in

the 6th century. In 642 and 652 respectively Makuria, now probably unified with Nobatia, managed to

maintain its independence against the Rashidun Caliphate. Afterwards the Nubian kingdoms

blossomed, while Muslim Arabs began to settle among the Beja people in the Sudanese Red Sea

coast and the adjacent Eastern Desert. Since 1317 Makuria was temporarily ruled by Muslim kings,

and after 1365 it had largely collapsed, being reduced merely to Lower Nubia ] At least since 1324

Arab Bedouins had begun to migrate to the Sudanese Nile Valley, eventually settling in the Butana,

the Gezira, Kordofan and Darfur. The last Christian Nubian kingdom, Alodia, was destroyed in c. 1500

either by Arabs or the African Funj.

After the destruction of Alodia the Funj founded a new Muslim state

encompassing large parts of riverine and eastern Sudan, while Darfur

dominated the west and the Ottomans the far north. Due to Sufi

teachers, Islam started to become the dominant religion in Sudan,

albeit small Christian Nubian communities survived until the turn of the

20th century. Additionally, the Nubians living upstream of Al Dabbah

and in Kordofan were Arabized, a process largely completed by the

19th century. In 1820 central Sudan was conquered by Muhammad Ali

Pasha. The harsh Egyptian reign eventually caused a successful revolt

led by the self-proclaimed Mahdi Muhammad Ahmad bin Abd Allah,

resulting in the establishment of the Caliphate of Omdurman. This state lasted until 1899, when it was

destroyed by the British Empire. Afterwards Sudan was governed by the Anglo-Egyptian condominium

Egyptian Kingdom of Kush c. 16th cent. BC – 11th cent. BC

Meroitic Kingdom of Kush 11th cent. BC– 6th cent. BC

Christian Kingdoms of Nubia 6th AD- c. 14th cent.AD

Islamization c. 9th cent AD– 19th cent.AD

Ali dynasty 1821–1885 AD

The Mahdiyah 1885–1899 AD

Anglo-Egyptian rule 1899–1956 AD

Thus, the Reverend Wilson Cash, secretary of the Church Missionary Society, observed in 1930:

“The government is scrupulously fair to Muslims and pagans, and in religious matters adopts a strictly

neutral attitude. The task of evangelization is no part of the government's work and it falls to the

mission alone to decide whether these southern pagan tribes shall be left to be captured for Islam or

whether they shall be won for Jesus Christ” (Wilson Cash, The Changing Sudan, London: Christian

Mission Society, 1930, p. 54.)

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First Civil War 1955–1972

Independence of Sudan as Republic 1956

Independence (1956)

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The 20th century saw the growth of Sudanese nationalism and in 1953 Britain granted Sudan

self-government. Independence was proclaimed on January 1, 1956.

Immediately following independence, the role of head of state was filled by a five-member Sovereignty

Council, with rival nationalist factions unable to agree on a single candidate. In November 1958,

General Ibrahim Abboud led a military coup d'état, assuming the role of head of state as Chairman of

the Supreme Council. He later took the title of president in 1964. Abboud was succeeded by a senior

civil servant, Sirr Al-Khatim Al-Khalifa, who served as acting president for 18 days before transferring

executive authority to a Committee of Sovereignty. Ismail al-Azhari, the leader of the National Unionist

Party, was made president in July 1965, and ruled with limited power until he was deposed in 1969.

After a military coupe Col. Gaafar Nimeiry. the leader of the newly formed Sudanese Socialist Union,

assumed the position of president in 1971.

A briefly successful coup in July 1971, ruled a few days when Nimeiry who was put in prison manged

to escape and took back power and was able to sustain as President till 1985.One of my colleague

who was a Chemistry lecturer in the college I was teaching; Mr.Mohamed Ahmed Taha was part of this

coupe. As usual he was executed by hanging along with others who followed him. We heard about it

all through the radio, sitting at home; without knowing what was going to happen. The radio which

broadcasted the takeover was from my department of Physics, a large teaching board radio station

which I had just taught my students how to operate.

On 30 June 1989, Colonel Omar al-Bashir led a bloodless military coup. The new military government

suspended political parties and introduced an Islamic legal code on the national level. 1989 military

coup led by Lieutenant-General Omar al-Bashir. Al-Bashir has served as head of state since the coup,

under the title of Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council for National Salvation to 1993 and

as president from 1993 onwards (and from 1996 as the leader of the National Congress Party).

Apparently Might is right is the basic rule of a group of Islamic order.

over all through the history of Sudan.

We can expect an on going take

I left Sudan to the University of Sanaa, in Yemen in 1974 and returned only in 1980 to join the Gezira

University in Wad Medani where I was for three years and then moved to the new University in Juba in

South Sudan.

Abbud military government (1958–1964)

In February 1964,Abbud government "issued the decree of expulsion of all the foreign missionaries"

living in South Sudan.

"Foreign Missionary organizations have gone beyond the limits of their sacred mission," the

government explained in a policy statement on its decision, arguing that the missionaries had”

exploited the name of religion to impart hatred and implant fear and animosity in the minds of the

Southerners against their fellow countrymen in the North with the clear object of encouraging the

setting up of a separate political status for the southern provinces thus endangering the integrity and

unity of the country” .("The Expulsion of Foreign Missionaries and Priests from the Southern

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Provinces," The Black Book of the Sudan on the Expulsion of the Missionaries from the South Sudan

Verona, Italy: Verona Fathers, 1964, pp.16-17; Francis Mading Deng, Tradition and Modernization: A

Challenge for Law Among the Dinka of the Sudan, New Haven and London: Yale University Press,

1971, pp. 235-237.; http://www.meforum.org/22/sudan-civil-war-and-genocide)

This affected the Catholic Churches and their infrastructures very heavily which included 154 religious

sisters, 104 religious brothers, and 13 other missionaries from their order living in 58 missions in South

Sudan. Even though foreign missionaries had to leave South Sudan, the experience still led to a

blossoming of faith in the area. The experience helped support the emergence of "a local church, with

its own hierarchy, priests and religious," and contributed to the evangelization of North Sudan, when

refugees from South Sudan fled north, bringing their faith with them.

They also declared Friday as the weekly holiday instead of Sunday to force out Christian worship. The

Rumbeck School students staged a protest. Ten leaders were arrested and the North

governments forced a ten-year prison sentence. On release they joined the Ananya

Rebel Movement. One of them Mr. Immanuel Abur Tong became the Commander of AnyaNya army

of Bahr el Ghazal.

Abboud fell from power in 1964 and following the failure of the "Round Table" Peace conference in

1965, the governments of Mohammad Ahmed Mahjoub and Sadiq-al-Mahdi launched an aggressive

campaign in southern Sudan.

In June, July and August of 1965 many villages, churches and schools were destroyed and many

thousands driven deep into the bush or into exile in Uganda or Zaire. Bishop Gwynne College, the

theological college of the Anglican diocese of the Sudan was attacked and destroyed by northern

troops. The staff and students with their families walked through the bush to Uganda. In both Juba and

Wau northern troops, out of control, were guilty of large scale massacres of the civilian population.

Between 1963 and 1966 an estimated half a million lives were lost, in addition to a similar number from

related causes such as disease and famine.

Sirr Al-Khatim Al-Khalifa, as prime minister to head a transitional government. 1965

Nimeiri era 1969–1985

Revolutionary Command 1969–1971

During the summer of 1971 the World Council of Churches and the All Africa Conference of Churches,

sought to bring the two sides together. A conference was arranged in Addis Ababa between the

representatives of the Khartoum government (led by Abel Alier, southern Dinka, who was Nimeiri's

minister for southern affairs) and representatives of the South Sudan Liberation Movement (political

wing of the Anyanya). An agreement was signed on February 27, 1972, leading to the Regional

Self-Government Act for the Southern Provinces, approved on the March 3.

The substantial self-government accorded to the South enabled the South to enjoy ten years of

relative peace though these years were marked by political instability and wrangling, and deep division

between the different political factions. The inter-tribal war continued to interfere unity as it was part of

the age old cattle rustling tradition.

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CHAPTER THIRTEEN

CHRISTIANITY IN YEMEN

Yemenies were not really Arabs in the sense that they are descendants of Ismael. They are Semites

but not the children of Abraham. They descent from Jokthan another son of Shem. Sheba (Saba)

was descended from Joktan (Qahtan). Adnan descended from Ismail (one of the twelve sons of Ismail,

the son of Abraham) became the father of all the Arabs, . Adnan sired Maad, who had a son called

Nizar, both of whose names have been found in the archaeological record as large tribes of central

Arabia. Kahtan (Qahtan), is believed to be a reference to the Biblical Joktan, great great grandson of

Shem, the son of Noah.

According to Church Tradition, the holy Apostle Thomas founded Christian churches in Palestine,

Mesopotamia, Parthia, Ethiopia and India. Actually Yemen was considered part of Ethiopia since both

were ruled by Queen Sheba and her dynasty. Axum and Yemen were deeply involved in the trade

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network between India and the Mediterranean. Recent archaeological discoveries in Mareb, Yemen

support the view that Sheba ruled from Mareb. The tradition asserts that Ethiopia was given by Sheba

to her son from solomon Menelik 1. Haile Selassie is considered as the 406th descendant of this

dynasty. Thomas did establish a church in Yemen. Until the islamic take over, Yemen was indeed a

Christian country. I worked in the San'a (Yemen) University and I am told that even today the heroes of

local stories are still Christian – a legacy carried on from the early centuries. As such many of the high

power leaders of the Government considered me a prophet even though I was a christian. They

defended me at all points when Islamic religious authorities had problem with me.

Mother Teresa was well received by the people and the state.

I had the privilege of being the first moderator of the Christian Church which started essentially for the

expatriate community in San'a worshipping in the American Embassy Campus. Even though I was

forced to leave the country, The Islamic community of Yemen has recently officially invited the

Christian brethren to return and start open worship in that country. On the invitation of the Religious

hierarchy of Yemen, the Patriarch of Antiochia did send an Indian Christian Priest to start a Church

service there. They were there till 2014. It is all a legacy of understanding that the Thomasian

Churches left behind. .

We know that on the way to India, Thomas actually established churches in the Yemen around 40 AD.

This is supported by the current discovery of the date of the Kingdom of Gondaphorus which came to

an end in AD 50. In that case he was in the region of Yemen for nearly 10 to 12 years. Jews

persecuted Christians all through their rule in Yemen.

The Kingdom of Himyar of Judaism

Du (Nawas) Nuwas, after converting to Judaism changed his first name from Zur’a to Joseph.

By AD 425 the Jewish Himyar controlled the entire Yemen and adjacent areas. Eventually the entire

nation was converted to Judaism and it became the State religion in Yemen.

Origin of Christianity in Yemen

There are different traditions about how Christianity came to the Arabian Peninsula other than that of

Apostle Thomas.

According to one tradition, a merchant from Najran converted to Christianity during one of his trips to

modern day Iraq at the beginning of the 5th century. Together with his family he then formed a

house-church.

Another tradition suggests that an envoy of the Roman emperor Constantius preached the Christian

faith to the Himyarite king of South Arabia who as a result converted.

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In another tradition Theophilos the Indian was reported to have converted the Himyarites around 354

AD. (Theophilus was a native of Maldive Islands off Kerala coast. Emperor Constantine took him as a

hostage so that the Maldive people will not plunder Roman ships as it passed that way. In Rome he

became a Christian and became a Bishop.)

https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2014/10/saint-arethas-great-martyr-and.html

Saint Arethas and the Martyrs of Najran

Najran lie today on the boundary of Yemen with Saudi Arabia and now

belongs to Saudi.

Dhu Nuwas hoped to create, in the rich lands of Southern Arabia, a

"Davidic" kingdom which was independent of the Christian powers. in

524 Dhu Nuwas with his own army invaded the Kingdom and he called

upon its people to abandon Christianity and embrace Judaism. When they

refused, he had them invited for a dinner and thrown them into burning ditches alive. Estimates of the

death toll from this event range from 200 to 20,000

This event is also mantioned in the Qur'an, in Surat al-Buruj (Sura 85:4-8)

"...slain were the men of the pit (Al-Ukhdood),

the fire abounding in fuel, when they were seated over it, and were themselves witnesses of

what they did with the believers. They took revenge on them because they believed in God

the All-mighty, the All-laudable…"

Himyarite coin from 1st century BCE

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The Martyrdom of the Christians of Najran is celebrated in the Romans,the Jacobites, the Melkites, the

Armenians, and the Ethiopians

Some sources say that Dus Dhu Tha'laban from the Saba tribe was the only man able to escape the

massacre of Najran. He fled to Rome and reported it. Emperor Justin I encouraged his ally, the

Abyssinian king Ella-Asbeha of Aksum, to invade the country.

An army of 7,000 men led by Abraha al-Ashram, the Christian viceroy of the Negus (King) of Abyssinia

defeated Dhu Nuwas's forces and restored Christian rule in Najran in 525 AD. Knowing defeat was

upon him, or so the legend goes, Dhu Nuwas rode his horse into the Red Sea and drowned.

Yemen’s Jewish community remained a prominent part of its society up until 1950, when most of the

Jewish population — nearly 50,000 people — was evacuated over a period of six months to Israel in a

series of airlifts dubbed Operation Magic Carpet. I have been to the large rows of housing they left

behind.

https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/world-watch-list/yemen/

Islamic encroachment

Islam in its early period was very much supportive of the Christians even where they were powerful.

=============================================>

The covenant of Mohammed himself to all Christians:

http://www.cyberistan.org/islamic/charter1.html

In 628 C.E. Prophet Muhammad (s) granted a Charter of Privileges to the monks of St. Catherine Monastery in Mt. Sinai.

It consisted of several clauses covering all aspects of human rights including such topics as the protection of Christians,

freedom of worship and movement, freedom to appoint their own judges and to own and maintain their property,

exemption from military service, and the right to protection in war.

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LETTER TO ALL CHRISTIANS FROM PROPHET MUHAMMAD

"This is a message from Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity,

near and far, we are with them.

Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my

citizens; and by Allah! I hold out against anything that displeases them.

No compulsion is to be on them.

Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries.

No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims‘ houses.

Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God's covenant and disobey His Prophet.

Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate.

No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight.

The Muslims are to fight for them.

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

visiting her church to pray.

Their churches are to be respected.

They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants.

No one of the nation (Muslims) is to disobey the covenant till the Last Day (end of the world)."


HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

http://www.tulipandrose.net/wp-en/1192-the-christians-from-najran-were-able-to-hold-their-christian-c

hurch-service-in-the-prophets-mosque.html

(Ibn Hisham, as-Sira, Edition Wustenfeld, Volume I (Goettingen 1858), p. 401-402).

It is evident that Islam considered the Christians of Najran as a brotherly religion.

The Al–Qalis Church, Sana'a was a Monophysitic church constructed sometime between 527 and the

late 560s in the city of Sana'a.

Eventually these churches depleted and christians became a minority. Once a muslim it it illegal to

convert to Christianity. Thus except for underground churches, the only christians were foreigners by

the 16 th century.

British Colony

In the 19th century after Britain made a series of treaties and set up a protectorate in the eastern part

of the Arabian Peninsula. Christians started to enter Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and the UAE, and

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with the arrival of these expatriate workers, the first churches began to appear (with the exception of

Saudi)

To secure access to their colony India, the British set up a protectorate area around the southern port

of Aden in the 19th century. This formed the South Yemen. South Yemen was then occupied by many

from England and had many Christian presence. There are three official church buildings (two

Roman Catholic and one Anglican) which are located in Aden in the far south which became South

Yemen when the British colonisation ended.

When I took up a teaching job in the University of Sanaa in 1974 there were no churches in North

Yemen. A few christian missions were there serving the community with medical clinics and nursing.

Those who were serving in these held their own prayer groups in their own homes. Mother teresa's

Missionaries of Charity were also their in Sanaa, Taiz and Hodeidah. There were large number of

expatriates working in various projects all around Yemen who were christians without any opportunity

for worship. Since I had made friends with the ministers of education, internal affairs and state, I got

permission to start worship for these people and bible studies at my home with the condition that no

crosses are used outside of the home and no visible signs of identity is made. A large gathering took

place every Friday for the Indian Christians in my home. As such when the international community

wanted to start a worship service also, they have asked me to take over the pastership and the

worship took place in the American embassy. This was a community from all countries in the world.

The house church continued as smaller groups for several decades until the development of al-Qeida

and ISIS when all expatriates were forced to leave the country. The christian mission who served the

communities themselves faced opposition. They killed several of the Mother Teresa sisters and

nurses in Taiz and Hodeidah. They still faithfully served the nation inspite of these.

The South and North Yemen joined together to form one Yemen and the Christian community in South

Yemen also left leaving the church buildings without use. The rise of muslim fanaticism and the

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availability of guns created the current crisis. Previously, zambia - the knife was the status symbol of

the yemeni. Now they all carry a gun along with it. Due to the current civil war, these are damaged

and not in use, but they had previously served the several thousand expatriate Christians (mostly from

South East Asia, the West and Arabic countries) and refugees (mainly Ethiopian) living in the country.

Apart from these official churches no church buildings are allowed. Nevertheless, discreet weekly

services are held in private premises in some cities. Almost all expatriates have currently left the

country for security reasons.

Saudi’s highest Islamic authority, the Grand Mufti, issued a fatwa in 2012 calling for the destruction of

all Christian churches in the Arabian Peninsula, which necessarily includes Yemen.

Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity

Mother Teresa’s work with Yemen started in early 1970s, when Mother Teresa responded to

the invitation extended to her by the Prime Minister of the then Yemen Arab Republic (YAR) by

arriving with five nuns from the ‘Missionaries of Charity’ in Calcutta at the coastal city of

Hodeidah overlooking the Red Sea in 1973.

The Sisters started a home for over hundred unwanted children and also cared for adults with

diseases and birth defects. The Sisters used to visit a leper village once a week. Initially the

lepers used to run away in fear, but soon they gained confidence and agreed for treatment.

Under the supervision of Dr Sister Garth Rode, the nuns began taking professional care of the

people with disabilities and those suffering from leprosy in Hodeidah. A ‘Leprosy Centre’ was

formally opened at Hodeidah on August 22, 1973, which was named by Mother Teresa as the

‘City of Light’.

The ‘Missionaries of Charity’ currently operate four centres in Sana’a, Hodeidah, Ta’iz and

Aden, each with six volunteers. In all there are fourteen Indians who are serving in these

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centres throughout Yemen. The Sisters run shelters for the orphans, the old and the physically

challenged along with a dispensary that provides primary healthcare services.

Whenever Mother Teresa visited Sanaa, I have been there to pick her and the sisters up from

the airport and involved in their programs. She made it a point to come home and relax in

the midst of her busy schedules. My wife did arrange an introduction party for Mother Teresa

inviting all the Ambasadors in Sanaa into our house.

The attitude of Yemeni muslims - rather a group - changed surprisingly after I left the country

and with the advent and rise of the various terrorist groups in Islam. This is evidenced by the

killing of four Mother Teresa sisters and eight of their invalid Yemeni seniors in Hodeidah and

and another two Christian nurses Taiz. The christian mission who served the communities

themselves faced opposition.

Yemeni authorities regarded Mother Teresa as a saint and held her in very high esteem, so

much so that they sent a delegation led by a member of parliament for the ceremony of her

beatification. There is deep sense of gratitude in Yemen for the humanitarian work being

carried out by the ‘Sisters of Charity’ in their centres across the country.

http://eoisanaa.org/mother-teresa-left-a-lasting-impact-in-yemen/

http://www.islamicpluralism.org/2552/attack-on-mother-teresa-nuns-in-yemen

http://illyriapress.com/attack-on-mother-teresas-nuns-in-yemen/

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CHAPTER FOURTEEN

SOUTH SUDAN

South Sudan is home to around 60 indigenous ethnic groups and 80 linguistic partitions among a 2016

population of around 12 million. Historically each tribe had communal or tribal society where the land

was held by the community or tribe as a whole without any private ownership. There were no legally

marked boundaries between the Tribes except those enforced by tribal wars. The elders or chiefs act

as problem solvers and adjudicators often with a council of elders. These tribal chiefs and elders wore

special robes or headdress and other indications of their position. Since there were severe competition

between tribes in terms of territories, and since they were in constant war between tribes, it was

necessary to mark each one with their tribal mark. These marks were to be seen from far. They have

become an art in due course. Not long ago most of the tribes walked naked and they were ashamed to

wear clothes when missionaries offered them initially. There were very strict traditions of marrying

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out of the tribe. It is in this background we need to understand the on going war in the independent

Republic of South Sudan. Unity within the country can come only if we think outside of the circle to

consider mankind as one family. I

believe that Christianity alone can bring

that about. There is also a vast linguistic

diversity that the tribes cannot mutually

communicate. Unless everyone is able to

understand English it will remain a major

problem.

There are two types of tribes - Those who

are nomads and those who are settled

agricultural farmers. The nomads have a

cattle culture in which livestock is the

main measure of wealth. While the

head of the nomadic tribes may stay in one place the rest of the tribe consisting of youngster move

around the area with their families, depending on the feeding ground available for cattle. I have been

with both the type of people since 1984for six years as a scientist helping to improve their life.

The agricultural communities live in one place and look after their agricultural lands. They build

permanent homes and has better institutional structures. They have better relationship and

understanding with the outside world and also have better educational opportunities even to those that

are available in cities.

A Nomadic Camp

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Nomadic tribes are forced to move around. They face inter-tribal cattle raids and are forced to carry

weapons. Today the weapons are guns. Every adult carry a gun for safety.

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A Village in Settled Agricultural Community

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South Sudan is one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse countries in the African continent. The

country has over 60 major ethnic groups, and despite the presence of the many commonalities

between them, each one has many unique systems of social structure, livelihoods, cultural traditions

and a sense of identity. This diversity has at once presented both a unique opportunity for the country

to enjoy the colorful richness of these traditions and unfortunately also as a threat to national unity and

a collective sense of national identity.

Indigenous people of South Sudan can be broadly categorized into the Nilotic, Nilo-Hamitic and the

South Western Sudanic groups.

Nilotic people include the Dinka, Nuer, Shiluk (Collo), Murle, Kachiopo, Jie, Anyuak, Acholi, Maban,

Kuma, Lou (Jur), Bango, Bai, Gollo, Endri, Forgee, Chod (Jur), Khara, Ngorgule, Forugi, Siri, Benga,

Agar, Pakam, Gok, Ciec, Aliap, Hopi, Guere, Atuot, Appak, Lango, Pari, Otuho and Ajaa.

Nilo-Hamitic groups include the Bari, Mundari, Kakwa, Pojula, Nyangwara, Kuku, Latuko, Lokoya,

Toposa, Buya, Lopit, Tennet and Diginga.

The Southwestern Sudanic groups include Kresh, Balanda, Banda, Ndogo, Zande, Madi, Olubo,

murals, Mundu, Baku, Avukaya, and Makaraka.

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Religion

As we have seen, the thrust of early missions have created christian communities all over the area.

They were mostly either tribal monotheists and ancestral worshippers and were very receptive of

Christianity. Even today they mix them and practice a syncretic form of religion. I have done some

studies in their religions when I was there as part of the Sudan Theological College which we started.

I felt that such a study was urgent since within a few more years, those will be erased or not fully

remembered and eventually lost. Each tribe have their own tribal god who is "God of all other gods"

The majority of the tribes in South Sudan are of African heritage who practice either Christianity or

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syncretisms of Christian and Traditional African religion. There is a significant minority of people,

primarily tribes of Arab heritage, who practice Islam. Most tribes of African heritage have at least one

clan that has embraced Islam, and some clans of tribes of Arab heritage have embraced Christianity.

Before the independence of South Sudan an approximate distribution of religion is given in the map.

Typical religion of the Region example :The Nuer Religion

Most tribes have almost similar beliefs only names are different. For another example see my study on

"Comparitive Study on Kuku and Hebrew Culture"-M.M.Ninan

The Nuer (Naath) are the second largest tribe in South Sudan, numbering over one and half million

people. Principally, the Nuer inhabits the swamps and expansive open grassland on either side of the

Nile River, and its tributaries in the Southern part of Sudan. Although these people have never had a

kingdom and have no technological skills, they are internationally known for their strong individualistic

personality, routed in an egalitarian philosophy with social order maintained by community value,

culture and lineage system.

The Nuer (Naath) people are an extremely religious people whose beliefs can be summarized by the

word Kuoth (God).

“Kuoth (God) is an all-encompassing God associated with the sky, but is always present in all things,

living and dead, and is also associated with many spirits; and the spirit form of Nuer tradition.” In the

Nuer culture, Kuoth (God) “supplies explanation for phenomena which cannot be explained in

everyday life.” Because of the fact that it is accepted without question, the Nuer have difficulty of

explaining Kuoth (God) because of “its abstract nature and the fact that it’s used to generalize the

spirits of who possesses people.” Kuoth (God) is always given the role of creator, and is said to be the

origin of the ancestors.

The Nuer people, however, were traditionally sophisticated enough to adhere to the concepts of

“aliveness” which include the notion of a soul or spirits residing in the object. They treat the objects

they consider animate as if these things had a life, feeling, and a will of their own, but “did not make a

distinction between the body of an object and soul that could enter or leave it.”

The reverence that Nuer people in Sudan grant to deceased relatives is based on believing that in

dying, they have become powerful spiritual being or “even admittedly less frequently to have attained

the status of gods.” This is usually based on the belief that ancestors are active members of society,

and still interested in the affairs of their living relatives.

The “ancestors are believed to wield a greater authority, having special powers to influence the course

of events or to control the well-being of their living relatives.” They are often considered as the

intermediaries between the supreme God, the people and they can communicate with the living

through dreams and by possession.”

The Nuer’s dearest possession is cattle. Life in earliest time depends on cattle and the Nuer always

risks their life to defend the animals when “Both men and women take the names of their favorite oxen

or cows in ritual of honor and most typically prefer to be greeted by their “cattle names

www.peterreat.blogspot.ca


HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

Anthropologist E. E. Evans-Pritchard wrote a trilogy of books:

The Nuer, published in 1940,

Kinship and Marriage Among the Nuer, published in 1951, and Nuer Religion, published in 1956.

https://archive.org/details/nuerreligion00evan

https://ia902205.us.archive.org/9/items/nuerreligion00evan/nuerreligion00evan_bw.pdf

In a study of the culture Kuku Tribe in comparison with Hebrew culture I

have shown that they are actually identical even to the minute detail.

There is also a tradition that they are descendants of Moses through his

Cushite wife of whom Mirium and Aaron complained. According to the

tradition they were sent back to Cush. They even have a tradition which

says the Red sea was parted for them to cross over and reach Cush.

When I entered into the Juba University in 1984 there were only two

denominations of Christians in South Sudan - the Roman Catholic Church

and the Anglican Church.

https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/religious-beliefs-in-south-sudan.html

In South Sudan, about 6.2 million people out of a population of over 16 million people or 37.2% of the

population are Roman Catholic Christians. The Catholics in the country are part of the worldwide

Catholic Church headed by the Pope in Rome. South Sudan has one Ecclesiastical province with one

archdiocese and six dioceses. Roman Catholic Christian missionaries came to Sudan in 1842 as part

of the missionary work that was carried out in East Africa. They built schools and hospitals and

improved the lives of the locals who were affiliated with the traditional religion. Due to the success of

the missionary work, most of the locals abandoned their religion and joined the Roman Catholic

leading to its spread and popularity. “Pentecostal Movement” was essentially developed internally as a

revival. I was very much involved in it in the establishment of the Sudan Pentecostal Church, Sudan

Theological College and in the ordination of the first 16 Pastors in the Juba Christian Center along with

Pastor Adi Severine Ambrose.

Episcopal Churches And Other Forms Of Christianity

The Anglicans through the Church Missionary Society entered into Sudan in 1899 converting tens of

thousands through their missionary work and preaching. Currently, the Anglican Church represented

by the Episcopal Church of Sudan is the second largest church in both Sudan and South Sudan after

the Catholic Church. The province consists of 36 dioceses, each headed by a bishop.

The United Presbyterian Church began its work in Sudan in 1900. The Presbyterian Church emerged

from the Southern part of Sudan (the current South Sudan) as a result of the missionary work that was

largely accepted in the South and opposed in the North.

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Religous distribution of the Sudan

Muslim North and Christian South with some traditional old religion (1956-2003 AD)

The evangelization were carried out by evangelical missionary societies:

Roman Catholic missions, such as “The Holy Verona Fathers”, “Comboni Father”,

“Anglican Church” through the CMS: “Church Missionary Society”

“The American Missions”, gave way to

the “Presbyterian Church of South Sudan” and

the “Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Sudan” , and the

“Sudan Interior Mission”, which today is the Sudan Interior Church (SIC). and“African In-Land Church”

"Summer Institute of Linguistics" (Wycliff Bible Translators) providing Bible in the vernacular tongues

of the people.

In the 20th century, several other missionary groups arrived in Sudan with most of their activities

confined to the South including the Evangelicals, Sudanese Church of Christ, and the African Inland

Church and the Sudan Pentecostal Church. These Christian groups account for 36.5% of South

Sudan’s population.

Traditional African Beliefs and Animism

Before the coming of Missionaries to Sudan, most of the population practiced traditional belief and

animism which involved belief in a creator, spirits, the power of the dead, use of magic, and traditional

medicine. There were sacred places of worship like rivers, and forest and sacrifices were offered.

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Today, only 19% of the population practice traditional religions with the majority in the villages of South

Sudan. However, their myths and beliefs are quickly fading away with education.

Rank Belief System Share of Population in South Sudan

1 Roman Catholic Christianity 37.2%

2 Episcopal Churches and Other Forms of Christianity 36.5%

3 Traditional African Beliefs and Animism 19.7%

4 Islam 6.2%

5 Other Beliefs 0.4%

The above study is taken from

https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/religious-beliefs-in-south-sudan.html updated on 2017.

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SOUTH SUDAN'S STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM

In order to understand the history of Christianity in the South Sudan we need to know thepolitical

background of the country.

1 January 1956 Independence of Sudan.

1963 Southern separatist Anyanya rebels step up attacks.

1972 Peace agreement signed between Khartoum and Anyanya rebels, giving the south limited

autonomy; but the agreement swiftly crumbles.

1983 Southern army officers rebel in Bor, forming the Sudan People's Liberation Army and sparking

the start of the second civil war.

9 January 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed to end 21 years of war.

9 January 2011 Week-long South Sudan independence referendum held.

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7 February 2011 Final results released: almost 99 per cent vote for separation.

9 July 2011 Independence of South Sudan proclaimed.

.

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Led by the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), the independence movement brought to an

end the longest-running civil war in Africa, establishing the world's newest nation.

But the jubilant mood was short lived as almost immediately after independence, divisions emerged

within the SPLM. A power struggle between President Salva Kiir and Vice President Riek Machar

resulted in President Kiir sacking his vice president and the entire cabinet in July 2013.

By December 2013, President Kiir accused Machar of plotting a coup and a full civil war broke out. The

country was split along ethnic lines. Kiir is from the Dinka ethnic group, which constitutes roughly a

third of the population, while Machar is from the Nuer, which constitutes about a fifth. But with nearly

60 ethnic groups, the main factions have broken up into even smaller fighting factions over the years of

the conflict, and some analysts say the major players have begun losing their grip over them.

A peace agreement was negotiated in August 2015 on the condition that Riek Machar would return to

South Sudan as vice president, but the process was delayed on numerous occasions.

Machar returned to the capital in April 2016 as part of the peace deal, where he was sworn in as vice

president again, and a transitional government of national unity was established with Machar and Kiir

coming to a power sharing agreement.

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But clashes continue between armed groups. In the most recent flare up in June, dozens of people

were killed and more than 120,000 displaced from their homes in the city of Wau during fighting

between Dinka SPLA fighters and other tribes. The lack of organized government able to control the

state has given rise to tribal based atrocities and sheer looting and killing for gain resulting from the

famine and survival.

At the end of June, the government announced the cancellation of independence day celebrations for

the five year anniversary owing to the economic and political situation in the country.July 8, a day

before the fifth anniversary of South Sudan’s independence, a fresh wave of violence hit Juba, and

more than 300 people were killed in just a few days. While the fighting has been dampened to some

extent, the pressures behind it are still there. This threatens the very existence of the South Sudanese

state.

Tribal war and struggle for power replaced the Northern Islam's sharia and negligence.

The African Union has now taken the drastic step of approving a regional military force to help pacify

the country, something it generally only does with a government’s agreement. The force will be made

up of troops from Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan and Uganda, and will complement a

12,000-strong UN peacekeeping force already in place.

The internal conflict has been devastating for South Sudan, killing tens of thousands and displacing

one in five of the population. More than 2.3m people have fled their homes; more than 720,000 have

fled to neighbouring countries.

The fighting itself is superficially between troops loyal to Machar and those loyal to Kiir, but in reality

it’s closer to outright chaos. Both men are reported to have ordered an end to the fighting, but it’s not

clear whether the troops are following orders or acting independently of a command structure that

hasn’t paid them for some time and are engaging in looting and settling scores.

"Millions of children in South Sudan are suffering unthinkable hardships and setbacks in their

education, nutrition, health and their rights," said Mahimbo Mdoe, South Sudan representative for the

UN children's agency, UNICEF.

An estimated two million children have been uprooted during more than three-and-a-half years of war

and at least 2,500 have been killed, UNICEF said.

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)charity said there was little to celebrate as South Sudan

marked its sixth independence anniversary.

"South Sudan's independence is overshadowed by conflict and an unprecedented food crisis," said

NRC country director Rehana Zawar.

"While independence brought hopes of peace and development... today's ongoing conflict has

resulted in four million South Sudanese having to flee their homes.

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"With more people facing a severe food crisis every month, there is unfortunately little reason to

celebrate,"

In the midst of all this is placed the Christian Churches ready to take over the problem of South Sudan

in all its complexities to lead them to peace and to a community of love over riding the tribal wars.

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CHAPTER FIFTEEN

ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSION

The Roman Catholic Church was introduced through the efforts of Saint Comboni even to South

Sudan through the comboni missionaries after his death..

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Orphans and destitutes of the civil war

http://combonisouthsudan.org

Daniel Comboni reached South Sudan on February 14, 1858 at Holy Cross mission on the banks of

the White Nile (lat. 7°). For health reasons he left it on January 15, 1859. His first contact with South

Sudan was marked by sufferings and the death of his companion, Fr. Oliboni. He and his companions

went back to Italy very sick. In his missionary commitment, Comboni always cherished the wish to

return to the equatorial regions of Central Africa. This earnest aspiration was not to be fulfilled by him

personally, but by his followers as soon as the historical circumstances made it possible.

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First missionary presence (1901–1964)

HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

The first missionary station in South Sudan was opened by the Comboni Missionaries in Lul among

the Shilluk in 1901. Kayango and Mbili, near Wau, among the Jur were opened in 1904. To these

followed many more foundations of missions all over South Sudan and many missionaries worked and

established Christian communities.

Wau Catholic Church

St.Joseph Catholic Church, Juba

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In January 1, 1956, Sudan became independent from the British-Egyptian rule. But the civil war, called

later the Anyanya One, had already begun in 1955. ( Anyanya means "snake venom" in the Madi

language). It was caused by unjust and unfair treatment of the Southern population by the Government

of Sudan. The rapid expansion of the Church in Southern Sudan received a severe blow in 1964,

when all expatriate missionaries working in the Southern regions were expelled from the area.

In 1969 General Jaffer Nimeiri entered office through a political coup and in 1972 accepted the Addis

Ababa Peace Agreement directly brokered by a partnership between the Sudan Council of Churches,

the All Africa Conference of Churches and the World Council of Churches, concluding Anya-Nya I, the

first civil war.

Second missionary presence (1971–1994)

In 1971, a Comboni community was formed in Nzara formed by Sudanese confreres. With the Addis

Ababa Peace Agreement (1972), expatriate missionaries could go back to Southern Sudan but at a

rather slow rhythm, due to the many difficulties in obtaining entry permits from the Khartoum

Government.

In 1979, there were 15 priests and seven brothers working in South Sudan and their number kept

increasing year by year. In 1980, the General Council of Roman Catholic Church, following the advice

of the Khartoum Province, divided the Sudan into two administrative missionary areas, i.e. the

Khartoum Province and the South Sudan Region, at first headed by a representative of the Superior

General (Fr. Raffaele Cefalo – 1 June 1981) and subsequently by a Delegate (October 15, 1982).

Second Civil War

In 1983, the second phase of the war between North and South began with the insurrection of the Bor

Garrison led by John Garang and the beginning of the activities of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army

(SPLA). In these years, the Delegation increased in personnel and commitments and on March 12,

1985 it was elevated to the status of a province. The elected provincial was Fr. Cesare Mazzolari who

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was succeeded by Fr. Abel Modi in 1990 when the former was appointed Apostolic Administrator of

Rumbek.

The conflict broke the province into two: the communities in territories controlled by the government

under the jurisdiction of Fr. Modi, and the communities in territories controlled by the SPLA that did not

have contact with the provincial superior. For this reason in 1991 the General Administration decided

to appoint Fr. Calligari coordinator of the New Sudan Group that comprised the missionaries working

under SPLA held areas. The New Sudan group of Comboni Missionaries consisted of 13 confreres

with four communities: Nzara, Loa, Isoke and Yirol.

In 1992 SPLA tried twice to take Juba with the only result to make life more miserable for the poor

citizens of Juba. For safety reasons all the expatriate missionaries were asked to leave the town.

Some Sudanese confreres remained in Juba up to 1994.

Third missionary presence (1995 – 2017)

By the end of May 1992, an escalation of the conflict forced all the Comboni missionaries, except for

the community of Nzara, left South Sudan. These confreres met in Nairobi for an assessment. As a

result, some were assigned to other provinces, and some remained to take care of the Sudanese

refugees in Kakuma (Kenya) and Kocoa (Uganda). By the end of July, there were nine confreres left in

the New Sudan Group. Fr. Francesco Chemello was appointed coordinator of the group and the main

target was to keep the little flame alive by being close to the people in their suffering wherever was

possible. Head-quarters were in Jacaranda House, Nairobi.

On January 1, 1995, the General Administration erected the delegation South Sudan Delegation out of

the confreres belonging to the New Sudan Group (16 confreres). Fr. Francesco Chemello was

appointed Superior of the Delegation. The General Council took to heart the situation of South Sudan

by sending more confreres: the confreres were already 28 by the end of 1996 and became 36 in 2000.

On January 1, 1999, Fr Ezio Bettini was appointed Superior of the delegation. During this time, new

presences were opened: Agang Rial, Marial Lou and Mapuordit among the Dinka; Nyal and Old

Fangak among the Nuer; Narus among the Topossa; and Lomin among the Kuku. In these period the

Hospital of Mapuordit was started and the Comprehensive Comboni College in Lomin.

The General Council approved the proposal of the confreres presented during the Intercapitular

Assembly of the year 2000 and erected the province of South Sudan Province as from January 1,

2002. Fr. Ezio Bettini appointed the Provincial Superior. On January 9, 2005, in Nairobi (Kenya), the

Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) signed the historical Comprehensive Peace Agreement

(CPA) with the Government of Khartoum which brought about the end of the second civil war. This

same year, Fr. Luciano Perina started his term in office as provincial superior. Agang Rial was closed

to open Yirol, Old Fangak was erected as a community, the community of Nyal moved back to Leer,

the mission of Talì was opened, St. Martin workshop established in Lomin and the Catholic Radio

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Network started its service. In January 2008 the province head-quarters were formally moved back to

the Comboni House in Juba.

On January 1, 2011, Fr. Daniele Moschetti took over and led the province up to December 2016. He

worked with great energy and gave a crucial contribution to the establishment of a Justice and Peace

office in Juba, the building of the centre of Moroyok for the vocation promotion and pre-postulancy,

promoted many activities of ongoing formation and workshops characterized by various ministries,

ecclesiastical collaboration in many projects and the institution of the Religious Superior Association of

South Sudan with the building of the Good Shepherd Peace Centre. In this period the communities of

Wau and Raga came to be part of the province of South Sudan.

On January 1, 2017, Fr. Louis Okot Tony started his ministry as Provincial Superior. At the moment

there are 10 communities: the provincial house in Juba, the pre-postulancy in Moroyok (Juba), Lomin

(Kajokeji), Talì, Yirol, Mapuordit, Wau, Nyal (Leer), Old Fangak and the presence of two confreres in

Mogok (Ayod).

Almost all major cities has a Catholic Church in South Sudan

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BISHOP PARIDE TABAN

of Roman Catholic Church

and

THE PEACE VILLAGE

The Holy Trinity Peace Village, Kuron

One of the major contribution to the society by the Catholic Community to the war torn South Sudan is

the Holy Trinity Peace Village Program by one of the Bishops- Paride Taban. Taban was born in a

practicing tribal religious family and converted to Roman Catholicism during his school career. He was

the first bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Torit in what was then southern Sudan from 1983

until 2004. In 1989, when the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) overtook Torit, he was

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arrested with three other Catholic priests by the SPLA so that they can serve the SPLA community.

Until 1990 he and Nathanael Garang were the only two Bishops active in areas held by the SPLA. He

was one of the first leaders of the New Sudan Council of Churches, which was founded in February

1990


The vision of The Holy Trinity Peace

Village in Kuron is to set up an oasis of

peace where people of diverse tribes,

religious beliefs, cultures, and

communities live together in harmony and

dignity. The goal of the Peace Village is to

achieve peace and reconciliation between

warring communities for them to engage

in sustainable development, for

development is peace. The main objective

of setting up the Peace Village is peace

building through education, health

services, food security, pastoral and

spiritual care, and community

participation in keeping law and order.”

In this context, Monsignor Taban decided to set up a centre offering different services:

firstly the school, where all children can benefit from proper education – in particular girls. No girl from

the local tribes has ever reached university studies. The school provides the ideal atmosphere for

mutual trust and knowledge beyond ethnic barriers or prejudices.

It also addresses the root-causes of violence associated with cattle.

The dispensary provides essential health care to communities that have never seen a medical doctor

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or a nurse and whose health is badly affected by lack of proper care, many waterborne diseases, and

general ignorance about basic sanitation and hygiene practices.

The meeting centre is a place for peace building activities. It brings together chiefs and

representatives of different tribal groups to hold meetings or discuss issues related to their lifestyle.

Youths engage in sporting competitions to replace violent confrontation.

Finally, the agricultural project aims at empowering local tribes to produce their own food. This

makes their livelihood less dependent on cattle, a

source of rivalry and armed confrontation.

So far, this initiative has been very successful.

People who come to the Peace Village have the

opportunity of learning basic agricultural

techniques, getting to know new crop varieties,

buying seeds, or gaining extra knowledge on how

to start their own agricultural venture.

Monsignor Paride said, “Eight years ago, the Toposa, Nyangatom, Kachipo, Jie, Koroma, and Murle

tribes called one another nyemoit in the local dialect – enemy. Now they coexist and call one another

lepai – friend. This experience is influencing the area of about 200 square kilometers where there is no

police or government agency to enforce law and order.”

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It may be uncommon for a Catholic to receive an award from the Anglican Church, but 81-year-old

Catholic Bishop Paride Taban’s work is exceptional in the area of peace and reconciliation in war-torn

South Sudan. In honour of his lifelong work, on 9 June the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lambeth

Awards presented Bishop Taban with the Hubert Walter Award for Reconciliation and Interfaith

Cooperation.

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CHAPTER SIXTEEN

PROVINCE OF THE ANGLICAN CHURCH

https://web.archive.org/web/20150616071310/http://www.combonisouthsudan.org/index.php/jpaic/symposium-2011/220-t

he-episcopal-church-of-sudan-in-the-history-of-divided-sudan

THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF THE SUDAN(ECS) IN THE HISTORY OF DIVIDED SUDAN

BY RT. REV. ENOCK TOMBE STEPHEN

DIOCESAN BISHOP, REJAF DIOCESE, EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF THE SUDAN

Introduction: Planting of ECS by CMS Missionaries from 1899-1964

The Episcopal Church of the Sudan (ECS) was started by Church Missionary Society (CMS)

from United Kingdom (UK) with the arrival of its first missionary Rev. Llwellyn Henry Gwynne in

Khartoum in December 1899. The mission to Sudan was called “Gordon Memorial Mission” meant to

evangelize the Northern Sudanese who killed Charles Gordon, the Governor General in Khartoum

during the Mahadiyya uprising. Rev. L. H. Gwynne and Dr. F. J. Harpur opened a girl’s school and a

dispensary in Omdurman in 1902. As the British colonial government could not allow evangelization in

Northern Sudan for fear of Muslim reaction following the defeat of Mahdist forces in 1898, the CMS

moved to Southern Sudan.

Later on the CMS Missionaries opened mission stations in Malek (1906), Yambio (1910), Yei (1917),

Opari, Lui and Juba (1920), Maridi (1922), Kajo-keji and Akot (1929), Leer and Port Sudan (1932),

Salara (1935) and Katcha (1939) in Nuba Mountains, Gel River (1942), Paneker (1948) and Wad

Medani in 1949. They also opened Juba Bookshop (Apaya) in 1914, Abu Rauf clinic for Lepers (1926),

hospitals in Lui (1926) and Leer (1932), Bishop Gwynne Theological College (BGC) in Mundri and

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Vocational Training Institute in Lainya in 1947, Mothers’ Union in 1948 and Revival Movement in 1949

from Uganda…….

In 1953, Bishop Oliver Allison became the second Bishop of Sudan. ….. In 1955, Rev. Daniel Deng

Atong was consecrated as the first Sudanese Assistant Bishop in 1955 …..

With the advent of Sudan’s Independence from Condominium rule by British and Egyptians in 1956,

the national government in Khartoum took control of mission schools in 1957 and eventually expelled

missionaries from the country in 1964. The few missionaries that were left were transferred to

Khartoum for easy monitoring and control of their movement and activities.

Growth and development of ECS to a Province of Anglican Communion 1964-76

…..In 1965, Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) went on the rampage killing civilians at random in Juba, Wau

and Malakal. They also targeted educated Southern Sudanese. Thus many people fled to rural areas

and neighbouring countries as refugees. Some of the clergy followed their flock into the country side or

in exile. …..

.… The Southern Sudan was granted self-rule within a united Sudan. ….. Resettlement of the

people and rehabilitation of the churches went hand in hand…..

In 1974, Bishop Oliver Allison retired and Bishop Elinana Ja’bi Ngalamu took over as the first

Sudanese Bishop of the Diocese of Sudan. On 11th October 1976, the ECS received its ecclesiastical

independence from Canterbury in UK.. … the second civil war broke out in Bor….

After that the ECS entered into leadership crises that lasted for six years from 1987-92. …The

Archbishop was due for retirement after serving for 10 years in office and on attainment of the age of

70 years by 1986. The retirement did not take place as expected and the ECS entered into leadership

crises….. . The first Archbishop passed away in Khartoum on 29th September 1992.

In the meantime, the second civil war was intensifying and spreading to many places in Southern

Sudan, Southern Kordofan (Nuba Mountains) and Blue Nile. Many people were being displaced

including the clergy from rural areas to urban centers such as Juba, Wau, Malakal and as far as

Khartoum in Northern Sudan. Thousands fled to exile as refugees. …

By 1991 most rural areas came under the control of Sudan Peoples Liberation

Movement/Army (SPLM/A) especially in Southern Sudan. The churches found themselves

on both sides of the conflict as the clergy often stayed with their congregations wherever

they fled. However, ECS Bishops and other senior clergy were either displaced in Juba

and Khartoum or took refuge in Uganda and Kenya. …

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All Saints Cathedral, Juba

Meeting under the tree outside the Church

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My first contact with the church in South Sudan was the Anglican Church. In fact I had several Bible

studies with the young generations under this same tree. This group started the first radio-session in

Christian faith in 1984. The first Sudanese Arch Bishop Elinana was the bishop of Juba.

The Most Rev. Daniel Deng Bul Yak. Archbishop of South Sudan and the Sudan and Bishop of Juba

2017

The Rt Rev Justin Badi Arama,the fifth archbishop of the province.Enthroned by the Rt Rev Tim Thornton, Bishop of

Lambeth, represented the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The occasion was attended by a number of archbishop and present are the primate of the Church of Uganda Archbishop

Stanley Ntagali, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje of

the Church of Rwanda, and Archbishop Ezekiel Kumir Kondo from the Episcopal Church of Sudan. Representatives of the

Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America, the Episcopal Church of the USA, Church of Ireland, a the World

Council of Churches, the Catholic archbishop of South Sudan, and the Bishop of Lambeth representing the Archbishop of

Canterbury were also in attendance.

One of pressing problems of the Christian faith in the University of Juba was the conflict of science as

opposing the faith. As such I have been called upon even on the first day of my arrival in Juba when I

accidentally came to the room where a debate was on between "Science and Faith"

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This was followed by the start of a Bible Study group in the University Campus which grew in size and

it not only survived my departure but is still active within the campus even today actively involved both

in the bible studies and its practice in life. Here are two examples.

JUBA UNIVERSITY BIBLE GROUP CALLS FOR FORGIVENESS

http://catholicradionetwork.org/?q=node/6838

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 17:29

A Bible association had called on the students of Juba University to seek forgiveness and

reconciliation in order to move ahead. The University of Juba was closed down in the end of March due to

ethnic clashes between students. Juba University Bible Study Association reporter Majdi Omer told Bakhita

Radio that they are working out to make sure students forgive and reconcile with one another. He said there

are always mistakes, but, as children of God, the students need to forgive and look at their colleagues like

themselves. He added that the students should learn to say sorry to enable them to built peace and stability in

the University. Mr Omer said what happened in the University reflects a very bad image of its students. He

called upon the students to sort out their differences and take the responsibility of building the future of the

young nation. Mr Omer added that since the problem started in the University of Juba, the Bible Study

Association formed a committee to meet with the conflicting students. He said they met several of them and

discussed the problems at length and now are coming towards a solution. Mr Omer called on the entire body of

students at the University of Juba to be peace builders as they are the pillar of the new nation.

They were still active in 2013

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EXODUS OF YEI UNDER

BISHOP SEME SOLOMONA

OF

THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF SUDAN

: Bishop Seme Luwate Solomona (Sololomon) was born in 1939 in the village of Longaju, Longamere,

in Yeyi County. He received theological training beginning in the Sudan in 1960, and later in Nigeria.

He was ordained a Deacon in 1964, and in 1985, was consecrated as Bishop of Yei I remember sitting

beside Seme, two days before his consecration in a function in the University. I casually mentioned

that perhaps we may not be able to sit in relaxation and talk after the consecration. His reaction was

swift. He said that if that happens he will take his vestments out and be with all his friends and with his

people. I did attend his consecration two days later and enjoyed his support and prayers throughout

my mission in Juba. He was there with me when the Sudan Pentecostal Church consecrated their new

pastors before my leaving Sudan in 1988. He was with me when we first sat together at the first

meeting of the Sudan Council of Churches.

The Bishop Seme built a Health Centre, and an Orphanage Centre in Yei. He was a founding member of

the following: The New Sudan Council of Churches (NSCC), the Bishop Alison Theological College in Arua

(now the Pastor’s Training Institute for ECS clergy in New Sudan, Nyaŋiliya Secondary School (in Ko’buko

District), and West Nile Vocational Training Institute in Arua etc.

Bishop Seme Solomon died on August 10, 2003,

Exodus of Yei under Bishop Seme.

It was during the second civil war time when the war was in full swing

between the Sudan ruling government army and the SPLA rebels that Bishop

Seme was told in 1990 about an impending fight in Yei area. In order to avoid

a massacre Bishop Seme organized the village for a mass exodus

Anglicanism

Rev. Dr. Marc R. Nikkel (1950–2000) describes the

work of Bishop Seme.

“OT images of exile and exodus, of divine protection

and leading, are as pervasive as those of. In the Dioceses

of Yei and Kajo-Keji, where the ECS has long been

established, touched by currents of the East African Revival,

visions of Exodus merge with contemporary pilgrimage.

See also: Bombs, Ruins and Honey: Journeys of the Spirit with

Sudanese Christians

By Andrew C. Wheeler, Pheroze Nowrojee

In I990, as the SPLA planned an attack on the government garrison at Yei, Bishop Seme Solomona

(ECS, Diocese of Yei) and Father Peter Dada (Vicar-General of the Catholic Diocese of Yei) were

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encouraged to evacuate their people. Departing by night for fear of government attack, the churchmen,

in a convoy of some l00 vehicles under SPLA guidance, accompanied the masses southward toward

Kaya. The settlement on the Ugandan border soon became a burgeoning community in exile, home to

some 30,000, in which the two Churches were essential to all aspects of life. By 1995, however, Kaya

itself came under threat and the two leaders determined to lead their throngs further southward,

across the Ugandan border. In the midst of the rainy season, suffering from cold and exposure,

Koboko became the new encampment. As has become custom in exile, churches were constructed

first, taking precedence over houses. Gradually stability grew, but by 1996 the pilgrimage veered back

toward Sudan. As insecurity increased in Northern Uganda the fortunes of the SPLA shifted, resulting

in the recapture of Kaya. Yei itself came under SPLA control for first time.

Among Christians grounded in the Bible, exodus and ‘wilderness journey’ became bywords. As an

estimated 80,000 souls trekked homeward a ‘faithful people ‘acknowledged their ‘faithful God’ whose

divine presence accompanied them throughout their sojourn.”

>

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/migrants/pom2009_111/rc_pc_migrants_pom1

11_sagovsky.html gives the following description:

Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People,

People on the Move, N° 111, December 2009

MESSAGE OF THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION,

Revd. Dr. Nicholas SAGOVSKY,

Canon Theologian of the Westminster Abbey – Great Britain

“Let me take just one example of many: the story of the pilgrimage of the people of Yei between 1990

and 1997. Early in 1990, when Yei was under threat of attack, Bishop Seme Solomona of the

Episcopal Church of Sudan and Father Peter Dada, Vicar-General of the Catholic Diocese of Yei, led

their people out of the town. A convoy of more than 100 vehicles, with 10,000 people on foot, set out.

For three days the convoy travelled by night until they came to the deserted border town of Kaya. The

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community, led by Bishop Seme and Father Dada stayed there for three years, growing to 30,000. On

3 August 1993, again under threat of attack, it crossed the border into Uganda. Bishop Seme

compared the sight to the exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt. Not a life was lost – and several

babies were born. When the community re-established itself in Uganda the first buildings to be

constructed were churches. By 1996-7 the refugees were being targeted by Ugandan rebels. The way

opened, miraculously, to go back to Yei. Bishop Seme returned to his cathedral in time to celebrate

communion on Easter Day, 1997. Within a short time 80,000 refugees had returned from Uganda full

of gratitude for the Lord’s deliverance. Throughout the time of exile leadership and pastoral care had

been provided by Bishop Seme and Father Dada, working together.“

E = Episcopal Church (Anglican)

R= Roman Catholic Church

Distribution the Episcopal and Roman Catholic Churches in South Sudan 1017

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A

LOST BOYS OF SUDAN

In 1987, some 20,000 Sudanese children fled a bloody civil war in their homeland. Known as "The Lost

Boys," nearly 4,000 of them eventually found refuge in the United States.

http://www.rescue.org/blog/lost-boys-sudan See also Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

“The Lost Boys of Sudan is the name given to the groups of over 20,000 boys of the Nuer and Dinka

ethnic groups who were displaced and/or orphaned during the Second Sudanese Civil War

(1983–2005); about 2.5 million were killed and millions were displaced. The e name "Lost Boys of

Sudan" was colloquially used by aid workers in the refugee camps where the boys resided in Africa.

The term was revived, as children fled the post-independence violence of South Sudan with Sudan

during 2011–13

Most of the boys were orphans separated from their families when government troops and rebels of

the south systematically attacked villages in southern Sudan, killing many of the inhabitants. Many

avoided capture or death because they were away from their villages tending cattle at the cattle camps

(grazing land located near bodies of water where cattle were taken and tended largely by the village

children during the dry season) and were able to flee and hide in the dense African bush. Some of the

unaccompanied male minors were conscripted by the Southern rebel forces and used as soldiers in

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the rebel army, while others were handed over to the government by their own families to ensure

protection, for food, and under a false impression the child would be attending school.

Presumably orphaned, they traveled by foot for years in search of safe refuge, on a journey that

carried them over a thousand miles across three countries to refugee camps where they resided in

Ethiopia and Kenya and in various villages where they sought refuge in South Sudan. Over half died

along their epic journey, due to starvation, dehydration, sickness and disease and attack by wild

animals and enemy soldiers. Experts say they are the most badly war-traumatized children ever

examined.” Wiki

“Continually under threat, they would flee for their lives, losing their way in the wilderness. Often they

lost everything en route—blankets, sheets, shoes, clothes and pots—to soldiers, swindlers or bandits.

Many fell victim to killer diseases. Others were so weakened by hunger and lack of sleep that they

could go no further and sat down by the roadside—prey for lions and other animals.

The survivors who reached the camps in Ethiopia started to lead a relatively peaceful life. But it was

not to last. Following the change of government in Ethiopia in May 1991 they had to flee again, back to

camps in the Sudan. This time the journey was during heavy rains, and many perished crossing the

swollen rivers or were hit by aerial bombardment. The luckier ones made it to a camp where they

received help from the International Committee of the Red Cross.

This relative security was shattered again late in 1991 when fighting erupted around them, and they

and children from other camps were on the move once more, eventually heading for Kenya.

Since 1992, UNICEF has managed to reunite nearly 1,200 boys with their families. But approximately

17,000 remain in camps in the region. The harsh memories remain as well. As 14-year-old Simon

Majok puts it: "We were suffering because of war. Some have been killed. Some have died because of

hunger and disease. We children of the Sudan, we were not lucky." unicef report

“The war impacted girls too. When villages were attacked, girls were raped, and women and small

children (boys and girls) were taken to the north to be used or sold as slaves. When arriving in the

camps in Ethiopia, the boys were placed in boys-only areas of the camp, but according to Sudanese

culture, the girls could not be left alone and were placed with surviving family members or adopted by

other Sudanese families. When the resettlement program to the US was initiated in 1999, one of the

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requirements was that the children must be orphans. Because these girls had been living in these

family units for up to 9–14 years, they were no longer considered orphans and therefore, were not

eligible for the resettlement program. As a result, relatively few of the Lost Girls were deemed eligible

for the resettlement program to the US.

From 1992 to 1996, UNICEF had reunited almost 1200 Lost Boys with their families. However, about

17,000 were still in camps in the area as of 1996.

In 2001, as part of a program established by the United States Government and the United Nations

High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), approximately 3800 Lost Boys were allowed to resettle in

the United States. They are now scattered over at least 38 cities.” Wiki

B

GENOCIDE IN DARFUR

http://www.unitedhumanrights.org/genocide/genocide-in-sudan.htm

Darfur is in the western part of Sudan, bordering on Libya, Chad, and the Central African Republic.

Darfur is a region in Sudan the size of France. It is home to about 6 million people from nearly 100

tribes. Some nomads. Some farmers. All Muslims. In 1989, General Omar Bashir took control of

Sudan by military coup, which then allowed The National Islamic Front government to inflame regional

tensions. In a struggle for political control of the area, weapons poured into Darfur. Conflicts increased

between African farmers and many nomadic Arab tribes.

In 2003, two Darfuri rebel movements- the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and the Justice and Equality

Movement (JEM)- took up arms against the Sudanese government, complaining about the

marginalization of the area and the failure to protect sedentary people from attacks by nomads. The

government of Sudan responded by unleashing Arab militias known as Janjaweed, or “devils on

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horseback”. Sudanese forces and Janjaweed militia attacked hundreds of villages throughout Darfur.

Over 400 villages were completely destroyed and millions of civilians were forced to flee their homes.

In the ongoing genocide, African farmers and others in Darfur are being systematically displaced and

murdered at the hands of the Janjaweed. The genocide in Darfur has claimed 400,000 lives and

displaced over 2,500,000 people. More than one hundred people continue to die each day; five

thousand die every month. The Sudanese government disputes these estimates and denies any

connection with the Janjaweed.

Janjaweed Militia

Janjaweed. Literal translation = devils on horseback.

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The victims

The Sudanese government appears unwilling to address the human rights crisis in the region and has

not taken the necessary steps to restrict the activities of the Janjaweed. In June 2005, the International

Criminal Court (ICC) took the first step in ending impunity in Darfur by launching investigations into

human rights violations in Darfur. However, the government of Sudan refused to cooperate with the

investigations.

On March 4, 2009 Sudanese President Omar al Bashir, became the first sitting president to be indicted

by ICC for directing a campaign of mass killing, rape, and pillage against civilians in Darfur. The arrest

warrant for Bashir follows arrest warrants issued by the ICC for former Sudanese Minister of State for

the Interior Ahmad Harun and Janjaweed militia leader Ali Kushayb. The government of Sudan has not

surrendered either suspect to the ICC.

Darfur today continue to suffer and the innumerable problems facing Sudan cannot be resolved until

peace is secured in Darfur. According to UN estimates, 2.7 million Darfuris remain in internally

displaced persons camps and over 4.7 million Darfuris rely on humanitarian aid. Resolving the Darfur

conflict is critical not just for the people of Darfur, but also for the future of Sudan and the stability of

the entire region.

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CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

THE REVIVAL IN THE SOUTH SUDAN

AND

THE SUDAN PENTECOSTAL CHURCH.

Not long after I have started teaching in the University of Juba and the formation of the Bible Study

Fellowship of Juba University, Brother Adi Severino Ambrose came home. He wanted me to go with

him and be part of the new fellowship that met every Sunday in the veranda of a school. Every

Sunday he came home and picked me up. The other person with him was Brother Benjamin who went

round the town picking up those who are laying around the street under the effect of the drugs and

took them home. It was not too long after that Benjamin was kidnapped by the SPLA and he became

a Bishop leading the church group that was within the SPLA militia.

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Soon the number of people coming to the service increased and we were forced to hire a house and

started the service under a tent made of tarpoline.

From this ashes of the broken world God through the power of the Holy Spirit gathered a new Church. I

was ushered into this by Adi Ambrose. Meanwhile Benjamin was abducted by the Sudan Liberation

Army and was ordained as its Bishop to serve the Army personals. Soon we had to move out of the

corridors into a tent of Tarpaulin. Here are few scenes from our worship.

Music was the center of worship and they sang a new song pouring out their pain. There always was

the mighty presence of the Power of the Spirit confirming the Word with signs and wonders. Miracles

we never knew and signs that cannot be explained away.

I had two large loudspeakers lying waste in my house, which I brought from Gezira. Stacking them

together our people were able to make podium.

Here is the audience scene. My daughter Preethy can be seen at the center of this picture. The

worshipers were very often fluid, as people came and went, displaced, forced out, running for life

people, along with a few stable community who remained. Tears of joy and sorrow flowed at every

meeting. God the Father was meeting His Sons and Daughters who returned.

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The Sweedish Free Mission, an Association of several independent Churches came forward with

financial help to start the Sudan Theological College to provide Theological training for the future

leaders of the Churches of South Sudan.

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Here is picture taken when the Sweedish Free Mission delegates came meet us. You can see Pastor Adi Ambrose talking

to them. This is the only picture of Adi Ambrose I have.

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The Juba Christian Center today

“This is the most 'in fashion' church, where the youth flock to.

They have the most lively sermon and a great band and a jumping choir. The youth flock there.

Go early if you want a seat, most sit outside on plastic chairs as it is packed.

Located in Bulluk, on the road that joins Ministries and Juba University behind the South Sudan Hotel.

8.30 is the English service, 11 is the Arabic.”

http://www.jubatravelguide.com/churches%20clubs%20and%20associations.html

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Adi Ambrose is from Acholi Luo Magwi (Eastern Equatoria) and was born on Jan 20, 1950. He belonged to the

Episcopal Church and studied theology in Kenya. With the help of the Assemblies of God in Kenya he was

instrumental in starting the Juba Christian Center and subsequently the Sudan Pentecostal Churches. He was

appointed in 1983 to the National Assembly as a chairman for human rights committee and served it until 2001.

He then started to work at the Ministry of the Religious Affairs from 2001 until 2009, when he was appointed for

the registration of the Churches in Khartoum.

In 1984 he left Juba for Khartoum and lived there along with the dispersed South Sudanese. He started the

branch of the Sudan Pentecostal Churches in Khartoum. I was left alone to lead the SPC with the help of the

elders.

Adi Ambrose was a NCP member, a close ‘friend of Turabi,’ and his family enjoyed a very strong protection from

the Government during the nineties. According to his son, Adi Ambrose was “personal adviser of the president

in the years 2000 and 2001, teaching him English and German”. Adi Ambrose passed away on Dec 29, 2009

By 2014 the membership of this Khartoum Christian Center (of Sudan Pentecostal Churches) grew to

over 500. In the ensuing persecution period the church was taken over by the Government and closed

down. Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has said he wants to adopt a "100 percent" Islamic

constitution now that the South has split off. He wants all Christians to leave the country and started

a connived project to close down and destroy forcibly all christian churches in the North Sudan.

Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) forcibly closed the Sudan Pentecostal

Church (SPC) church building in Khartoum, which houses the Khartoum Christian Center (KCC) in

August 2014

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Here I am joining the meal with the Sweedish Free Mission Team

The construction of the College and the development of the campus was done in record time and we

went into serious teaching of the Theology leading to a degree in B.Th. Since there was a lack of

qualified teachers I was asked to join the team during my free time from the University of Juba.

My theological training was limited to the

completion of Bachelor of Divinity from the

London Bible College. Apart from that there

were no text books nor detailed syllabus.

Brother James who came from the

Assemblies of God Theological College of

Kenya took over as Principal. That year

when I returned from India, a carried a lot

theological books from India and sat down to

write them anew in terms of the local cultural

terms. These later formed the core of many

of my published work


HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

Scenes from the picnic

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The Students of the Sudan Theological College with their teacher Ninan

Here is the campus of the Sudan Theological College

Immanuel Waigo Wagon and me in the Sudan Theological Campus. He was one of my favorite

students. After his ordination as Pastor, he was forced to move down to Kenya with his wife where I

am told he died leaving his wife Margaret Toya who was also a member of our Church

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I gave the first convocation address and the distribution of the certificate

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The first baptism

ceremony of

the Sudan Pentecostal Churches

Soon several assemblies took form in various villages in the South Sudan under various Charismatic

local elders numbering as much as 26 in 1985.and growing. It became necessary to organize the

church. The first event was a mass baptism in the Blue Nile. The elders brought in their people who

requested baptism which numbered 167. I gave the sermon in the bank of Blue Nile and the baptism

was administered by the elders.

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The formation of the Sudan Council of Churches

Formation of the Sudan Council of Churches. This was the first meeting of the Sudan Council of

Churches. I along with several others brothers, represented the SPC. Sudan is the only country in the

world where the Catholic, the Anglicans and the Pentecostals all sit together to form the Council of

Churches. This understanding and cooperation between all factions of Christian Churches grew right

from the beginning of the missions.

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Upon this council fell the responsibility of bringing peace in the war torn country of South Sudan as it

obtained its freedom. In this the Sudan Pentecostal Churches carry the greatest responsibility

As the war escalated it became more and more difficult to reach Juba for vacation back home and to

come back to Juba. The civil air flights were long gone and the only way to and from Khartoum to Juba

was by the military planes. With anti-aircraft guns the travel became too risky to undertake and we

decided to terminate the contract with the University and go back to India. I remember the note of the

Vice Chancellor below my resignation letter. “Though we would not like to accept this letter, we have

no other choice. It is his decision”. The Vice-Chancellor requested me to come back for one semester

until they can find a suitable Physics teacher which I did during my vacation from India in 1989. As the

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history developed, this decision came right at the correct time. The university was forced to be

relocated to Khartoum, for safety of staff, students and infrastructure in 1990.

This also brought in an issue with the Sudan Pentecostal Churches since both Adi Ambrose and

Brother Benjamin had gone I was the only ordained Pastor and there were no ordained elders in the

Church. The Governing body therefore decided to arrange ordination for 26 elders as the first group of

Pastors within the Church. I got down and developed an ordination procedure. The 26 elders who

were to be ordained went on a three-day fasting in preparation in the home of the Church.

However, the SIL missionaries and others in the mission field felt that as a foreigner, I should not be

ordaining Pastors in the public function. They felt that it will precipitate a repercussion of missionary

expulsion as in 1965 by the Islamic government of Khartoum. As such we finally decided that the initial

part of the ordination as Pastor of the Universal Church may be done in private and the second part of

the installation as Pastor of the Sudan Pentecostal Churches may be done in Public by the President

of the Governing body who was a local elder. I officiated the public ceremony and ministered the word

with explanation ofthe qualifications and responsibilities of the Pastors of the Church.” Ministerial

Credentialing was printed and send back to Juba from India.

From this group came the biggest church in South Sudan as the Sudan Pentecostal Churches. most

of the later leaders of the Church. Unlike the Pentecostal movements elsewhere in the world, the

Sudan Pentecostal Churches became an Episcopalian hierarchy system following the tribal tradition of

the country. The pastors are now called bishops and wear the traditional collars and colors of the

episcopal churches.

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B

Prof.

Ninan and Leif Zetturland in 1880s

The water pump project of Sweedish Free Mission. This was headed by a young missionary - Laif

zetturland.. Laif stayed on the job when all others fled from South Sudan under the severe pressure

of war. He is still there serving the people. His son David has taken over now and helps out the

needy in the Sudan and I am told now in many other countries - Chad, Niger etc.

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Leif and Britt Zetterlund today

http://leifzetterlund.com

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Our Ref: Your Ref:

11"‘ January 2014

LET MY PEOPLE LIVE IN PEACE AND HARMONY

STATEMENT OF THE SOUTH SUDANESE CHURCH ON THE CURRENT POLITICAL CRISIS AND VIOLENCE

"Oh Lord, be gracious to us, we wait for you. Be our arm every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble". Isa: 33:2.

"Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it" Ps.34:14.

Preamble: .

We the South Sudanese Church, as the servants of God and of the people, and compelled by the Gospel imperative for

peace and justice under the umbrella of South Sudan Council of Churches, hereby affirm our solid faith in God, our

loving Father and in South Sudan, our beloved country,

Recalling our previous Pastoral messages;

—1999, Here we Stand United for Peace,

-2002, Let my People Choose,

~20lO, Choose life: A vision for Peaceful Sudan. .

We wholeheartedly believe that the human person is made in the image of God and endowed with inalienable dignity.

Human life is sacred and therefore no one has the right to take it. (Exodus: 20:13).

We believe we are one nation and one people. We are all united by destiny,hope and faith regardless of our

backgrounds. This nation is a precious gift from God to all of us in our diversity. We should feel called individually and

collectively to guard it jealously and commit ourselves to protect it from anyone bent on its destruction.

But we are deeply saddened by the recent outbreak of violence in our young and beloved country. We are shocked to

see brothers and sisters killing one another. Those who together in unity of purpose struggled and laid down their lives

for liberation exercise their democratic rights in national elections in 2010; who were united in heart and mind during

the historic Referendum,

2011; and who joyfully celebrated the hard won independence on 9th July 2011; have now turned against one another

in targeted and revenge killings.

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This is an abomination! We therefore express our condolences and sympathy to the families and Nation of South Sudan

for the lives lost in this crisis.

We are deeply aggrieved to see our people flee their homes for fear of their own countrymen to get crammed into UN

compounds or scattered into the bushes or forced to seek for refuge in neighbouring countries.

We are heart-broken to see what was purely a political problem in the ruling party, SPLIVI, quickly slides into an ethnic

one on a rapid and frightening scale.

We recommit ourselves to work for peace in our country and send out this pastoral message:

Message to South Sudanese:

1. 1- We have committed offenses against ourselves and our communities, and we need to repent to God and to each

other, we need to bring healing to ourselves and our communities. We are traumatized and in need of healing.

2. Desist from spreading rumors among the people and the communities in south Sudan.

Message to Warring Parties (SPLM/A)

ln the light of the above, we call for:

1- Speedy and unconditional cessation of all hostilities everywhere in the country: we believe dialogue, is the best and

the only

justifiable way to resolve grievances and outstanding issues between parties. Violence is not an option!

2» The SPLMI to honour the trust and the privilege that God and the sovereign people of South Sudan have bestowed

upon them to

lead the Nation at this time; earnestly, and in good faith to resolve all political differences peacefully.

3. Both parties to the conflict and leaders to cease forthwith from mobilizing and encouraging their

supporters/communities for further engagement in violence and destruction, and we urge both Parties to respect

civilian lives within their combat areas.

4. Anyone who has violated the constitution of the Republic of South Sudan to be brought to justice, and for the

government to ensure that the law expeditiously takes its course.

5. The government and the parties to the conflict to urgently open space corridors so that relief and other humanitarian

assistance can reach those in need.

6. We urge the leaders from conflicting parties to speak the language of peace at all‘times. We believe that peace is not

just made but it is also spoken in words and demonstrated in attitudes.

Message to. IGAD, African Union. UN and International Partners:

7. We appreciate IGAD, regional stakeholders and the international Community for their role in encouraging the

conflicting parties to negotiate, and we call upon them to increase their efforts towards a speedy solution to the conflict.

Message to the Ecumenical Communities:

We acknowledge and appreciate the accompaniment of our ecumenical partners during the protracted civil war.

We now call upon our ecumenical partners to continue their role in supporting us by:

1- Promoting spaces and plat forms through which South Sudanese will engage in dialogue for peace and reconciliation.

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2- Mobilizing Act Alliance and CARITAS Networks to support humanitarian and relief work in South Sudan.

3- Advocate with their respective governments and inter-governmental bodies for support of Peace.

OUR COMMITMENT

We as the South Sudanese Church solemnly commit ourselves to:

1. Continue to pray ceaselessly until the warring parties ceasefire and end all hostilities

2. Back our prayers with action by rolling out a people to people peace process. We will mobilize our members to

participate in ethnically mixed peace delegations to the villages and communities in the country. Peace building is first

and foremost the responsibility and duty of the people of South Sudan.

3. To fight against negative ethnicity. God created us as members of diverse ethnic communities but leaders use their

respective ethnic identities to sow hatred and divide the people along ethnic lines. This tendency must be resisted by all

means.

4. To build on the outcome of this day of prayer by convening a stakeholders conference to reason together and reach

a national

consensus on the South Sudan we want. Sovereignty belongs to the people and not to individual leaders or political

parties. Hence the voice of the people is critically important in determining the political destiny of our beloved country.

5. To actively participate in nation building, including a people based constitution making process that will lay the

foundation on which peace dividends will be realized for all of our people.

6. Join hands with our ecumenical partners and the friends of South Sudan so that in the spirit of Pan-Africans we shall

contribute to good neighborliness and African solutions to African problems.

Conclusion:

God in your Grace forgive us our sins and bless us with enduring peace in new Year, 2014 and beyond We pray in the

name of Jesus Christ, and invoke our National Anthem: Oh God, bless South Sudan... Amen.

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South Sudan Council of Churches

Rwanda, 1st – 7th June 2015

June 12, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — We, twenty five leaders and representatives from the member

churches of the South Sudan Council of Churches, gathered in Kigali, Rwanda for a retreat from 1 st to

7 th June 2015 along with lay members and partners, issue this solemn statement of our intent to

achieve peace and reconciliation for our beloved nation. We speak with one voice as the united

Church of South Sudan.

We have listened to the voices of our Rwandan brothers and sisters. We thank them for sharing with

us, and we particularly thank the Church of Rwanda for welcoming us and offering to walk with us on

this journey. We have seen how they developed their country after the genocide of 1994, and how they

addressed the pain, anger and bitterness of those terrible events.

We have visited their genocide memorials; such inhuman acts, whether in Rwanda or South Sudan,

must never be forgotten; we must know, learn from and take responsibility for our history. We have

learned many things from them: the need for reconciliation, forgiveness, humility, unity and leadership.

We have seen how important forgiveness is: the person who does not forgive remains a prisoner of

their own bitterness, and only he or she holds the key to that prison.

To free another person is to free yourself; reconciliation must begin with yourself; only if you heal

yourself can you hope to heal others. We have been challenged to examine ourselves, to question

whether we have colluded in the conflict either by omission or commission, and to begin to transform

ourselves. We confess and repent of our own wrongdoing.

Forgiveness seems foolish in the world of politics and militarism, but for the Church of the Crucified

Christ who, even as he was dying, said, “Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing”

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(Luke 23:34), forgiveness is the only way. In a world which correctly focuses on human rights, it is

often forgotten that we can at times choose to sacrifice some of our rights for the common good. To

choose forgiveness and sacrifice is to choose greatness. But forgiveness is not the same as impunity;

accountability, particularly through restorative justice, can still be pursued. A heavy burden is upon all

of us to create a positive future for our young people, for our children and for future generations. We

came to Rwanda to learn because we must prevent such a terrible atrocity from happening in our own

country: “Never again!”

Prophetic Voice.

Just as the Prophet Ezekiel was appointed watchman by the Lord, we too are appointed watchmen

and women by divine authority. At the 2010 meeting between Church and Government in Juba (Kajiko

2), a South African bishop advised us that we could be like ‘watch dogs’ or ‘guide dogs’. A watchdog

barks when there is trouble, but a guide dog leads you away from trouble in the first place. We have

tried to be like guide dogs. We have consistently tried to help our nation to move in the right direction

by offering guidance to our leaders.

We spoke powerfully at the Nyakuron meeting in December 2013, urging the SPLM leadership to

resolve their differences peacefully. After the current conflict began, we issued our first statement

within 48 hours, on 17 th December 2013. Since then the SSCC and member churches have issued

numerous statements, culminating in the SSCC statement on 26 th May 2015 and an ECSSS statement

on 31 st May 2015.

All our guidance has been ignored. To fulfil the mandate given to us by the Lord, we must cease to be

like ‘guide dogs’ and become like ‘watch dogs’. Not only will we warn our leaders and our people to

renounce wickedness and evil ways, we will take action to bring peace and to begin reconciliation. All

of this we do out of love, not anger. The leaders of this nation are our sons and daughters, our brothers

and sisters, our parishioners and congregants; we are their pastors and shepherds.

The Church’s Position on the War

We have repeatedly stated that this is a senseless war which must stop immediately. There is no

moral justification to continue killing ourselves, regardless of any legitimate political issues with

government or opposition. A cessation of hostilities must be implemented before any detailed

negotiations for the future; it is unacceptable to negotiate posts and positions while people are killing

and being killed. Negotiations are about to begin again while innocents continue to suffer. What will be

different this time? The needs of the people must be met, not the needs of political and military elites. It

appears that pride, power and politics have become a greater priority than peace.

As we analyse our conflict, we see many root causes. We see a power struggle between leaders

surrounded by an immediate circle of advisors, aides, politicians, generals, hangers-on, and spoilers.

We see ethnic communities following their leaders, while grassroots communities and armed youth are

caught up in cycles of revenge killing. We see military commanders, each with their own agendas, not

necessarily under the control of the principals. We see communities which have not yet taken sides in

the conflict put under increasing pressure by a lack of effective governance, the failure of the rule of

law, and by direct provocation from government or opposition forces.

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We also see the terrible effects of the recent upsurge of fighting; a rapidly deteriorating economic

situation leading to hardship for ordinary citizens; national assets destroyed; human rights abused at

every level; people killed and tortured; women raped; children recruited into armed groups; looting;

arrests for no reason; security organs acting as if they are above the law; a shrinking space for citizens

and civil society to speak out; a deteriorating humanitarian situation; increasing militarization of society;

new armed groups springing up; and increased conflict between and within communities. Much of the

country is lawless, and so people take the law into their own hands. There is an increase in crime with

no action taken, and people are afraid of the authorities who should protect them.

Peace Processes

We acknowledge all the peace negotiations, whether in Addis Ababa or Arusha, and we hope that the

steps taken to implement the Arusha agreement indicate a new commitment, but overall there appears

to be little real progress. There is a complete lack of trust between the parties. They are not ready to

make peace; both still see advantages to armed conflict. They talk about talks rather than talking about

peace. There is no political will for peace. Furthermore, we believe that they have no idea how to make

peace. They have no exit strategy; they are unable to find a face-saving compromise that will convince

their followers they have gained something. If the two principals sign an agreement, there is no

guarantee that their commanders and other followers will actually agree to implement it. People are

completely polarised. The Church must play a significant role and the process must be owned by

South Sudanese stakeholders.

Church Action

The Church has historically played a significant role in peace making. This includes the People to

People Peace Process, the Entebbe Process which shadowed the IGAD negotiations in Naivasha, our

paper ‘Let My People Choose’ which put the right to self-determination at the centre of the CPA, and

our advocacy to bring about the referendum. We wish to inform our leaders, our people and the

regional and international community that the Church is now taking serious steps to bring about a

home-grown solution for peace and reconciliation.

Advocacy

Starting in South Sudan and reaching out to the region, the rest of Africa and beyond, we will embark

on a process of advocacy. We appreciate the role of regional states and express our gratitude for their

efforts to bring peace. However we are also aware of their own political, military and economic

interests in South Sudan, which might cause difficulties and suspicions; there are elements of a proxy

war. We will go to regional church bodies, national councils of churches and individual churches and,

through them we will reach out to key regional leaders. We also appreciate the role of the international

community, and will reach out to them.

Neutral Forum

We will find ways to bring stakeholders together in a less politically charged atmosphere and to build

bridges between them to overcome mistrust and disagreements. Any successes in this process will

feed back into the IGAD negotiations.

Reconciliation

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A political settlement is a necessary first step, but reconciliation at all levels, vertically and horizontally,

is essential. Only the Church can bring about true forgiveness and reconciliation. We will spearhead

reconciliation, where necessary incorporating existing mechanisms so as not to lose what has already

begun on the ground. We must transform ourselves, transform our people and transform our nation.

We are wounded, but we must become wounded healers. We commit ourselves to modelling

reconciliation and forgiveness in our words and actions.

Throughout our country, and amongst our people in the diaspora, we will call for prayer and fasting to

change the hearts of ourselves, our leaders and our people. Only through forgiveness and

reconciliation can we live as one nation, and only through God’s help can we forgive and reconcile.

Message of Hope and Forgiveness

The leaders of South Sudan council of Churches meeting in Kigali, Rwanda(Photo:

SSCC/Nyamilepedia)

We ask forgiveness for anything we may have done to divide our nation, and for all the times we have

failed to speak and act in love to heal our nation.

We bring you a message of hope. We have been inspired by the spirit of love and forgiveness we have

seen in our brothers and sisters in Rwanda. Their testimonies have shown us that forgiveness is not

just a theory, but that it actually works. The past does not need to control us any more!

In our struggle for liberation we had a strong spirit of unity; let us once again accept ourselves as one

united people. The Grace and Power of God will prevail.

We love you, we bless you and we forgive you all.

Given this day, 7 th June 2015, in Kigali, Rwanda.

Rt Rev Peter Gai Lual Marrow, Chairman, South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC)

His Grace Paolino Lukudu Loro, Metropolitan Archbishop of Juba, Catholic Church

Rt Rev Dr Daniel Deng Bul, Archbshop and Primate, Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan

(ECSSS)

Rt Rev Dr Archangelo Lemi Wani, Presiding Bishop, African Inland Church (AIC)

Rt Rev Dr Isaiah Majok Dau, General Overseer, Sudan Pentecostal Church (SPS)

Rt Rev Jame Par Tap Hon, Moderator, Presbyterian Evangelical Church of South Sudan (PECoSS)

Rev James Kuong Ninrew, Moderator. Presbyterian Church of South Sudan (PcoSS)

Fr James Oyet Latansio, General Secretary. South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC)

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

B

The SIL guest house with the meeting Tukul in Juba, South Sudan

SIL is an extension of the Wycliffe’s Bible translators whose primary objective is to translate the bible

into every language of the tribe. But to be effective they have to first develop the language’s grammar

and script. Most of the dialects, traditions and literature has been transmitted orally through

generations. Thus in order to be effective they need to analyze the grammar and develop the

transcription methods. The missionaries who are linguists have to master the language by living with

the people and then they translate the bible into those languages. This is the greatest gift anyone

can give to any culture.

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A weekly prayer meeting on the SIL

Juba Centre.


HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

Juba International Christian Fellowship which included mostly foreigners who met Sunday evenings

for worship, prayer and Bible study from 5:15pm on Sunday at the SIL compound, near the Juba

University. Our family lived with SIL guest house until the University provided a house. The house

itself was next door to SIL. Since then we were close to them. Here are a few pictures of our family

with the missionaries of SIL

Ninans with Cheesebro

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

Jonathan Arensen was raised in Africa and thus introduced

to African languages and cultures from a young age. Early

in his career, he taught in Kenya and then moved on to

Sudan, working under the Summer Institute of Linguistics

(SIL) as a linguist surveying various languages. His

research resulted in a master’s degree from Central

Washington State University. From there, he spent eight

years living with the Murle people in eastern Sudan,

studying their language and culture. During these years,

he attended Oxford University, earning an additional

master’s degree as well as a D. Phil. in Social

Anthropology. His work with the Murle people continued until a complete New Testament was

published in their language. After serving as anthropology coordinator for SIL in Africa, covering 24

countries and training new personnel as they entered, he became professor of anthropology at

Houghton College.

Sandra and

Prof. Richard L. Watson

Linguistics Professor in SIL.

Workers Biajio (L) and Tartisio remained faithfully at their posts

since 1988 when all the foreign missionaries left Juba because of

the civil war and they were still on duty when everybody came

back in 2007 - http://www.wycliffe.net

Now that South Sudan is an Independent Country

South Sudan is the newest country in the world. Formally part of

the large African nation of Sudan, it broke off from the north to become an independent country in July

of 2011. South Sudan is a country where much of the population is in serious need; following years of

civil war when it was part of Sudan, and continued conflict on the boarder between the two countries.

South Sudan’s recent independence has opened doors for religious freedom not previously seen. Of

the 62 languages in South Sudan, only eight have a Bible. Some translations are in process right

now, but we still have a lot of work to do in this country to bring the Scriptures to every language who

desires them.

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HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE LANDS OF MY TOIL: PROF. M. M. NINAN

WHAT WENT WRONG WITH PROPHET MOHAMED'S

COVENANT TO CHRISTIANS?

Reliable estimates indicate that anywhere from 100-200 million Christians are

persecuted every year.

One Christian is martyred every five minutes.

Approximately 85% of this persecution occurs in Muslim majority nations.

In 1900, 20% of the Middle East was Christian. Today, less than 2% is.

In one week in Egypt alone, the Muslim Brotherhood launched a kristallnacht —

attacking, destroying, and/or torching some 82 Christian churches (some of which were

built in the 5th century, when Egypt was still a Christian-majority nation before the

Islamic conquests).

Al-Qaeda’s black flag has been raised atop churches.

Christians—including priests, women and children—have been attacked, beheaded,

and killed.

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