"The Christianity of history is not Protestantism. If ever there were a safe truth it is this, and Protestantism has ever felt it so; to be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant." (-John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine).

"Where the bishop is, there let the people gather; just as where ever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church". -St. Ignatius of Antioch (ca 110 AD)a martyr later thrown to the lions, wrote to a church in Asia Minor. Antioch was also where the term "Christian" was first used.

“But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

"This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic." -CCC 811

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sudan's Christian leaders urge UN: Prepare for humanitarian disaster

Catholic Culture - Speaking at the UN on October 11, Sudanese Christian leaders, including two Catholic bishops, urged the international community to prepare now for the humanitarian emergencies that may take early next year.

Sudanese Christians Celebrates Easter
File Photo 2008 from ABC News
“People in the south see the [January] referendum as their opportunity to choose freedom,” the Church leaders note. “Cancellation or postponement of the referendum, or a perception that the referendum outcome does not match the will of the people, will not be understood by the people and will create a dangerous vacuum which could be filled by violence and even a return to war. The international community must be ready for a disputed referendum result.”

“The safety and human rights (including the right to freedom of religion) of southerners living in northern Sudan are in jeopardy before, during and after the referendum,” the Christian leaders add. “Threats and intimidation are already taking place and there is a climate of fear … The international community and the UN must be prepared logistically and financially to deal with the humanitarian consequences of large scale migration, particularly in the case of forced migration.”

Two million lost their lives in the long Sudanese civil war (1983-2005) between the Muslim north and the largely animist and Christian south. The civil war ended when President Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir, later indicted by the International Criminal Court, granted the south limited autonomy and promised a January 2011 referendum. Since 2005, the nation’s 5.8 million Catholics have fallen under two sets of religion laws. In the north, all schools-- even Christian schools-- must offer instruction in Islam, and converts from Islam to Christianity face not only criminal charges but also death at the hands of their families. In the south, Christians enjoy religious freedom.

15% of Sudan’s 37.2 million people are Catholic, according to Vatican statistics.

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