Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Slavery Alive In Sudan

Written by Rev. H.A. Bergsma
Trafficking in humans is resurgent with civil war in Africa's largest and poorest country, according to John Eibner of Christian Solidarity International, a humanitarian group involved in buying freedom for slaves. For all but a decade since Sudan's independence in 1956, southern rebels, mainly black Christians and followers of tribal religions, have fought for autonomy from the national government in Khartoum, which is dominated by northern Arabs. The southerners believe they are trying to impose Islam and the Arabic language and thereby monopolize Sudan's wealth. Many of the government's fighters are from local militias. Unpaid, their bounty is slaves, a form of compensation Sudan's Islamic leaders encourage, say UN investigators. Young women and children are the most valuable, says Eibner. Old people are beaten and robbed; young men are killed because they cannot be trained into useful, harmless slaves. Christian Solidarity estimates tens of thousands of black slaves are owned by Arabs in northern Sudan. The Swiss-based charity has made more than a dozen risky, clandestine flights to southern Sudan to redeem 800 slaves since 1995. (From an article in the Brantford Expositor)

The slave-trade is alive and prospering. But I am wondering if the redeeming activity of Christian Solidarity is the wisest way of dealing with the problem. It seems to me that paying the slave traders for their slaves is just perpetuating the problem! There should be some better way to help these poor slaves. May God help!

P.S. For more information on Sudan and other areas in the world where Christians are persecuted, attend a one-day conference, "Standing Together, Suffering Together, sponsored by The Voice of the Martyrs, an organization founded by pastor Richard Wurmbrand. This conference will be held D.V. Saturday, May 9 at the Conference Centre, St. Ignatius College, Guelph, Ontario. For more information, call 888-29-VOICE, fax 905-602-4833, or write Voice of the Martyrs, P.O. Box 117, Port Credit, Mississauga, ON L5G 4L5.

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