Christians aren’t safe anywhere – there is civil war in South Sudan, oppression under Khartoum in the north.

Cardinal Gabriel Zubeir Wako, the emeritus Archbishop of Khartoum greets us in his Easter message ‘as we accompany Our Lord Jesus in his Passion for the redemption of mankind’. The seemingly polite formula in fact reflects a harsh reality, as it is not only at Easter time that the Christians in Sudan accompany Jesus in his sufferings, but every day of their lives. Sharia law has been imposed on the country.

When priests arrive for retreat days and formation courses in Khartoum many of them are exhausted and sick, especially those from the Nuba mountains, where Christians are hunted by the Islamists like wild beasts. These priests need rest, peace and quiet. The encounter with the Lord during the retreat gives them new strength.

Solidarity with their brother priests also revives their courage. But the retreat house itself is in need of repairs, and existing work has stalled. Their slender resources have been eaten up by inflation. They need our financial support. And they need solidarity to show them that the Easter hope is real.

This article can be found in Mirror 0317.