Sudan: 16,000 Christians seek refuge in church amidst genocide and civil war

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Christians seek refuge in church in the midst of civil war and genocide. In this regard, a Catholic priest based in Wau, revealed that about 16,000 Christians hailing from South Sudan have come to a Cathedral compound seeking refuge in an attempt to escape genocide.

Christian persecution in South Sudan

Father Germano Bernardo said, that the nation is reeling not only because of violence but because of famine. “It wasn’t safe anywhere, but people said that if they were going to be killed, they preferred to be killed in the church because this is the place where Jesus is present. They wanted to die in the church rather than die in their homes.

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In keeping with details, Saint Mary’s Catholic Cathedral has been a safe haven for almost 16,000 Christians. Church’s compound has been their shelter- serving as the only place of refuge for the hungry and suffering civilians.

One of the refugees, a Christian mother who had arrived at the Saint Mary’s Cathedral along with her three children said that she was chased by soldiers, she and her family ran out of their house in order to save their lives because the soldiers set her house on fire. “We have nothing, not even salt. Our clothes are dirty, and some days all we have to eat or drink is water. We’re waiting. I don’t know for what, but we’re afraid to go back home,” she said.

Father Germano Bernardo said: “They were walking home in the evening after choir practice and were attacked by six soldiers who shot them dead.” He explained that soldiers were torching houses after ransacking. The soldiers were “shooting people as they ran from their houses.”

“There was no way to get to the cemetery, so we buried 14 people within the cathedral grounds,” Bernardo explained. “From then until now, insecurity has reigned. So people stay in the churches. Many of their homes have been looted, and if they leave the town they’ll be killed.”