“In 1983, the Sudan (the darkened country in the photo below) was declared an Islamic republic. At that time, Islamic Sharia law was imposed on all the country’s citizens. Since then, dozens of Christian pastors have been killed and countless Christian churches burned.
“This past March 27 and 28, according to a 33 page report filed by Khartoum University professors, Drs. Ushari Abmad Mahmud and Suleyman Ali Baldo (both Muslims), more than 1000 Dinka men, women and children were slaughtered and burned to death in the western Sudan town of Diein.
“The massacre erupted when 25 Christian Dinka worshipers were driven from their evening prayer service by a mob of Rizeigat Muslims wielding sticks, spears, axes, and Soviet-made Klasmnikov guns. That evening, five to seven Dinkas were murdered, and dozens of homes were burned.
“Early the next morning, as many Dinkas were being loaded into rail boxcars for safe evacuation from the troubled town, hundreds of armed Rizeigats converged on the train station and began attacking the defenseless Dinkas. Burning mattresses were heaped on the top of huddled Dinkas. Others were shot, mutilated, and clubbed to death. By nightfall, more than 1000 Dinkas were dead.” (Mission Frontiers, 10/1 January, 1988 p. 29)
The effect this story has had on me is to make me want to die for Christ. And while I live, to live as radically as I can. It makes me wake up in the middle of the day screaming against the American dream of wealth and comfort and fashion and big retirement accounts and new cars and multiple houses and aimless nights in front of the TV. It makes me wonder if I can stay in this Disneyland we call America while the miseries of the world mount and mount and mount.
What could I say to a father who lost a wife and four sons under burning mattresses and axes? If I believe it, I could say that God never promised ease in this world; through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom. But if I say it, I better live it! Please pray for me.