AFRICA/SUDAN - Celebration of the sacraments and blessings of couples: missionaries keep going despite the war

Friday, 17 November 2023

Khartoum (Agenzia Fides) - The war in Ukraine and the serious conflicts currently taking place in Gaza have overshadowed in all international media the equally bloody crisis that has devastated Sudan since April 15 (see Fides, 17/4/2023).

Today, Sudanese internally displaced people and refugees exceed 6 million, and the bombs continue to fall, hitting indiscriminately. Last Friday, November 3, there was news of a bomb that hit the Dar Mariam residence of the Salesian Sisters in Shajara, causing several injuries (see Fides, 13/11/2023).

"Despite the deep sadness over what is happening to our communities, we are grateful to the Lord for the continued blessings that come to us in the Jeberona camp for displaced people, Khartoum. Among them, in recent days we have imparted the sacraments of Christian initiation to many young people in our choir along with the blessing of some couples". This was declared by Father Yousif William Idris El Tom, the only Comboni missionary in Omdurman.

"Three of our six communities in Sudan have been temporarily abandoned, much to our regret," declared the provincial superior of the Comboni Missionaries, Father Diego Dalle Carbonare. "They are among the oldest communities of the Institute, dating back to the time when our first brothers returned to Khartoum and Omdurman after the tarīqahs, Muslim religious brotherhoods, of the Mahdiyyah". Father Yousif is still there and continues to encourage the Christian communities of the area.

The most powerful and best organized tarīqah is that of the Mahdiyyah. His followers led an uprising against the Turkish-Egyptian regime (1821-1985) and established an independent state in Sudan that lasted from 1884 to 1898. The Mahdiyyah and the Khatmiyyah formed the basis for the political parties that emerged in Sudan in the 1940s and continued to play a dominant role in the nation's politics in the post-independence period. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 17/11/2023)