In Sudan, the Church Plays a Vital Role Peaceful Referendum

Stephen Langa is Director of Transforming Nations Alliance, the DNA national network in Uganda. He is also an elder at the 22,000 member Watoto Church in Kampala. In 2010, Stephen facilitated Vision Conferences in Khartoum, Yei, Juba and Rumbek Sudan. Attending these events were key church leaders from all major denominations. For more background, read thisthis, and this.

Stephen challenged these church leaders to step up and play their God-given, prophetic role at this critical time for the nation. As a result, they banded together and took several strategic actions. These included convening several reconciliation meetings between various factions in Southern Sudan, conducting civic education and encouraging people to vote in the referendum, and advocating at the United Nations as well as to leaders of the United States and England, warning of attacks planned by the northern government to prevent the referendum from happening.

The result of these actions was nothing short of miraculous–a peaceful referendum after more than 50 years of civil war

Stephen delivered the following electrifying report at the DNA Global Forum in South Africa:

“A delegation of Sudanese religious leaders met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon October 11 to express their fear of what might happen if the general referendum of for the independence of South Sudan is not carried out as planned. “We told him we came to raise an alarm to the United Nations.” So they did that, and as a result of this advocacy, Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir was put under extreme pressure by the UN, by the US government, and by the British government not to invade the south. And we thank God that they prevailed.

“In the closing days before the referendum, things began to change. The tone of the Sudanese government toward south Sudan shifted, indicating that the government in Khartoum had accepted the eventuality of southern Sudan independence. It was an amazing thing. Nobody thought this was possible because even in those last moments there was much tension and nobody knew what was going to happen.Four days before the referendum, president Al-Bashir visited southern Sudan. Nobody imagined this was possible. This was December, just a few weeks before the scheduled vote. Finally, the miracle took place, the referendum actually happened, and the people voted overwhelmingly for secession and to start a new nation.What lessons did we learn?

“First, that God is sovereign over nations and it is his plans and purposes that will ultimately come to pass. Scripture teaches that it is what God ordains that will actually happen.

“Secondly, we learned that when the church decides to obey God and take seriously God’s command to disciple the nations, no power, no force in the universe can prevail against God.

“Thirdly, we see that it is feasible and possible today to disciple nations using the principles of the kingdom of God. In 1960, U.S. president Kennedy told the American people that by the end of the decade they should have put a man on the surface of the moon. He said it was now feasible and possible. We are saying today it is now feasible and possible to disciple nations using biblical principles.

“Why is Sudan important? Sudan is strategic for the kingdom. Sudanese Christians know Arabic and they can be used in north Africa. We are experiencing a kairos moment for the Islamic nations of North Africa. I believe that what’s happening in Egypt, Tunisia, and other places is an indication of what is happening in Islam. We believe that the backbone of Islam has been broken. That means that God can use nations like Sudan, with the wonderful potential they have, the language, etc, to actually reach northern African nations. It is exciting to see what God is doing.”

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