Sudan (MNN) — Sudan has been poised to fall into chaos for some time. But over the last week, two warring generals lit the match and set it on fire. More than 400 people have been killed in clashes between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces paramilitary group.

Todd Nettleton with The Voice of the Martyrs USA says, “We have seen this battle back and forth over the last week between these two generals, both of whom want to control the country and it seems like they are not going to compromise. They’re not going to set aside their personal ambitions and it’s now going into really open warfare in the streets.”

As fighting rages in the capital city Khartoum and other areas, nations are scrambling to evacuate their citizens and personnel out of Sudan — including the US, the UK, China, Japan, Russia, and others.

“I think the fact that the US has pulled out all of their diplomatic personnel [and] other governments are doing the same thing is a sign that they don’t think this is going to be a short-term thing,” says Nettleton. “They think it’s going to stretch out, and that’s very disappointing for the people of Sudan who are really the ones who are suffering.”

Child in Sudan (Photo courtesy of Abdulaziz Mohammed/Unsplash)

Many Sudanese are already fleeing their homes, even crossing into volatile neighboring countries. Others are trapped by the fighting.

It’s quickly spiraling into a humanitarian crisis.

Nettleton says, “There are going to be a lot of hungry people. There have been reports already about people who’ve been holed up in their apartments for more than a week now in Khartoum. They’re running out of food.

“The Christian community and the international humanitarian community need to be ready to step in and help those who are being displaced and those who will be displaced in the weeks to come.”

Sudan is 92% Muslim and vastly unreached with the Gospel. Only around 3% of the population identifies as Christian.

Sadly, when violence like this breaks out, marginalized Christians can end up in the crosshairs.

Nettleton says, “If a church is destroyed in Khartoum this week, people won’t say it was persecution. They’ll say, ‘Well, there’s a civil war going on. Of course, the church was destroyed.’ If a pastor is killed this week, people won’t say it was persecution…and so it is a time when our brothers and sisters can be specifically targeted and there is a cover for that targeting.”

Pray for God’s protection and provision in Sudan. Pray also for Sudanese believers to share the hope of Christ within them as they interact with others who may be overwhelmed and fearful.

Also, Nettleton says, “It’s difficult to pray for generals who are committing violence and have a history of violence and a history of persecution. But we should pray that they will meet Jesus [and] have a radical transformation.”

Click here to learn more about VOM USA’s ministry supporting persecuted Christians around the world, including Sudan.


Header photo of Khartoum, Sudan. (Photo courtesy of Ahmed Rabea/Flickr –