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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

John Garang is Killed

This is bad news from the Sudan. Check out the story here. As many of you may know, I have had an interest in the Sudan for a number of years now. My good friend, Rev. Andrew Elisa, is the head pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Sudan. And I was privileged to go on a short-term mission trip to Yambio and Baguga in February 2004.

Dr. John Garang was killed earlier this week in a helicopter crash. Garang was the leader of the Sudanese People's Libertaion Movement (SPLM) and its military arm, the Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA).

For 21 years, the Sudan has been engaged in civil war. The militantly Islamic government in Khartoum tried to implement sharia law on all of the people of the Sudan. The majority of the people in the southern part of the country are Christians or animists and resisted the forced islamization.

With help from U.S. special envoy, John Danforth, a long overdue peace agreement was signed in January. Part of the deal was that Garang would become the Vice President of the whole country and in 6 years a vote would be taken to determine whether the Sudan would remain one united nation or become two separate entities.

Garang's death is being called a tragic accident and that is probably the case. But since numerous attempts have been made on his life, his supporters were initially crying foul. Terrible riots followed in Khartoum, leaving many dead.

Please pray for peace in the Sudan. And pray for the persecuted Christians there and in many places around the globe.

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Anonymous said...


Has Pastor Elisa said anything about how he thinks this will affect the peace process and his ministry?

Pastor Scott Stiegemeyer said...

No, I haven't heard from him. I have read, however, that in Juba, many of the Arabs who'd moved there since the treaty, are being chased out. Violence is following. I am watching this as closely as I can. Pray.

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