The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Will you abandon us?

Religious persecution challenges our conscience and commitment

The year was 1993. Three of us accompanied Paride Taban, bishop of Torit, through southern Sudan looking for the scattered souls of his diocese. He hoped to find a few who had survived the war, hunger and hatred that have killed 2 million and displaced some 4 million in his country.

But the news was all bad — villages burned, thousands dead, tens of thousands scattered into the bush with nothing to eat. An old man described how soldiers smashed the heads of babies and threw them into wells. Taban hung his head. "Do Christians in your countries know about this?" he asked finally. "Have the people who brought Christ to us abandoned us?"

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