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Home Mission The Sudans Link Background/History of the Link

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Background/History of the Link

by Michael Ford last modified 03 Apr, 2021 11:14 AM

Rural Equatoria

The link was established in 1972 by the Bishop of Salisbury, George Reindorp, and colleagues in Sudan.  The Medical Link was set up in 1983 by Bishop John & Jill Baker as an offshoot to the Sudan Link.

When South Sudan became independent from Sudan in 2011, we continued to link with the Episcopal Church of Sudan, spanning both Sudan and the new country of South Sudan. On 30th July 2017, South Sudan was inaugurated as the 39th Province of the Anglican Communion by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

Christian Churches have been active in Sudan since the end of the 19th century especially in the South. Following Sudan’s independence from the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium in 1956, it saw nearly 50 years of war between the Arab (mainly Muslim) North and the African (mainly Christian and animist) South. Millions were killed in these wars and made homeless and stateless.

With the discovery of oil, the North relatively flourished but the South remained impoverished with no effective government, health or education. The second civil war ended in 2005 with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, brokered after many years of negotiation by the international community including the UK, the USA and Norway, Kenya and Uganda.

This gave a degree of security, allowed people to return to their homelands and allowed the South to get used to relative peace, and build governmental capacity and infrastructure. As the CPA period came to an end, a Referendum on self-determination was held and the South voted overwhelmingly for independence from the North. This was realised and celebrated in July 2011.

Given the very few facilities of local government and services that we in the West take for granted, such as hospitals and schools and roads and transport services, the Churches are the only institutions that reach into every community in South Sudan.  In Sudan the Churches faces the challenge of working in a predominantly Muslim country with a festering conflict in Darfur and another in South Kordofan.  Large areas of Sudan also are under-developed and lack basic facilities.

'The Spirituality of Christians in Southern Sudan', written by the Revd Ron Hart, is a fascinating and detailed study of the growth and operation of Christian spirituality in one of the fastest growing churches on the planet. Click here to read the thesis  



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