Dear Non-Muslim Friends:
Some facts about Sudan (or the Sudan):
Arabs to the North constitute only 39% of a total population of ~38 million (2003 est.). The majority of 52% to the South are black. The remaining 9% are foreigners or non-Sudanese.
However, 70% of the population are Sunni Muslim, which explains the imposition of Shariah on the country by the ruling Muslim minority in the early 1980s, which was opposed by the Christian and animist South that led to the civil war.
Approximately 9% of the total population are Christian, mostly Catholics, whose pastoral concerns are overseen by the Sudan Catholic Bishops' Conference(SCBC) headquartered in Khartoum.
n++It is the largest country on the African continent. Christianity was introduced from Egypt in the 6th century. Under Arab rule, it was gradually eliminated in the North (probably Coptic Christians?). Evangelization in the South began in the 19th century, resulting in 40,000 Catholics by 1931, with further progress till 1957, when the republic was established.
In 1962, restrictions were put on religious freedom, and foreign missionaries expelled. In 1971 some missionaries were allowed back, and in 1974 the hierarchy was established.
Fighting began in 1983 between the Arab Muslim North and the black Christian and animist South, which resisted Islamization. In 1984 Islamic penal codes (Shariah) were imposed.
Recent policies deny Christians places of worship and the right to gather for prayer. Their churches, schools, and hospitals have been bombed, and Christian and animist children sold into slavery.
Appeals to Europe, the US, and the UN have gone unheard. Catholics (all in the South) are 8.2%, of the total population, or approximately 3 million or so.
This is a case of Arab Muslims enslaving Black Christians and animists.