Sudan declared as 39th Anglican province

AKUL DEV SAHA

Khartoum – On Sunday, Sudan became the 39th country or province as it is more commonly referred to, in the world to be recognized by the Anglican Church. Archbishopbury Justin Welby declared this in a ceremony held here in the capital. It has now become a part of the 85 million-strong worldwide Anglican Communion, six years after the Christian-majority South Sudan gained independence from its northern neighbors.

The worldwide Anglican communion now has 39 member churches and six other branches called extra provincials.

The Anglican Church in Sudan, where 70% of the population is Muslim, until now had been administered by Episcopal Church from Juba, South Sudan’s capital since the 2011 partition. Archbishop Welby said that having a Khartoum-based archbishop was a “new beginning” for Christians in Sudan.

It is a responsibility for Christians to make this province work, and for those outside (Sudan) to support, to pray and to love this province. The church must learn to be sustainable financially, to develop the skills of its people, and to bless this country as the Christians here already do,” he said during the declaration ceremony held at All Saints Cathedral.

He has nominated Ezekiel Kondo Kumir Kuku as the country’s first archbishop and primate at the ceremony, attended by diplomats from other nations and local worshippers.

Unlike the Catholic Church, Anglican Church doesn’t possess a central Anglican authority such as the pope as each member church makes its own decision guided by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Christian in Sudan makes about 5% of Sudan’s 25 million population. Human rights and Christian campaign groups have regularly accused the Sudanese authorities of persecuting the minority Christians and destroying churches in the capital since the north-south split. With its own Anglican Church, Sudan can now address the problems of the Christians in a much better manner.

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