Wednesday, May 16, 2007

May 16: Martyrs of Sudan

Today the Episcopal Church remembers the martyrs of Sudan. (When you get to that Daily Office web page for today’s Morning Prayer, scroll down and click on “Martyrs of Sudan.”)

Until a peace treaty was signed on January 9, 2005, the Episcopal Church of the Province of the Sudan suffered from persecution and devastation through twenty-two years of civil war. Two and a half million people were killed, half of whom were members of this church. Many clergy and lay leaders were singled out because of their religious leadership in their communities. No buildings, including churches and schools, are left standing in an area the size of Alaska. Four million people are internally displaced, and a million are scattered around Africa and beyond in the Sudanese Diaspora. Twenty-two of the twenty-four dioceses exist in exile in Uganda or Kenya, and the majority of the clergy are unpaid. Only 5% of the population of Southern Sudan was Christian in 1983. Today over 85% of that region of six million is now mostly Episcopalian or Roman Catholic.
********From a proposal before the 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church USA

Padre Rob's blog is the source of the icon above, written* by the wise and adorable Luiz, of Brasil and Episcopal blogosphere fame.

* The traditional term for painting an icon is “writing” an icon. More on this in one of my previous posts. (I have to go find the link.)

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