In biblical times, Sudan was called Nubia, meaning "land of gold" — a land from which ancient Egypt obtained precious metal. Today most of Sudan's ore has since been stripped away.
Sudan's 36 million people generally reside within flat, featureless plains that are prone to dust storms, famine and erosion. Since gaining independence from the British Empire in 1956, progressively destructive military dictators have led the country. For 20 years, a Muslim-controlled Northern government has warred against Christians and animists in the South. More than 1.5 million have died in fighting and famine.
Millions more have been displaced from their homes and often wait in squalid camps, praying for a normal life, perhaps in the United States. Yet after Sept. 11, few refugees have been admitted for resettlement here.
For information on what you can do to help, visit InterChurch Refugee and Immigration Ministry's Web site at www.irim.org or Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services' site at www.lirs.org.
© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers