Welcome, I am Bishop Macram Gassis, of El Obeid Diocese, Sudan. And I can bear witness to more than 20 years of religious persecution, enslavement, rape, torture, starvation and murder of my people at the hands of the Sudanese government.
I can tell you of the 2.2 million people who have perished as the direct result of a campaign of genocide against Sudan’s Christian and non-Muslim population—a death toll greater than all the victims in Bosnia, Kosovo and Rwanda combined.
I can tell you without hesitation that the Sudanese government has bombed churches, schools, hospitals and refugee centers. For over 20 years, the Catholic Church has provided the people with the basics needed to preserve life and to find Christ.
I can tell you that the regime has tortured and killed its own citizens including catechists, teachers and priests. I can tell you that the Sudanese government supports the selling of Christians and non-Muslims as slaves.
What’s more, I can tell you that millions of our brothers and sister in Sudan have no homes, and so must find shelter wherever possible under extremely unhealthy conditions. They are in need of clean water, food and basic sanitation.
|Slavery Widespread in Sudan,
Condone Human Rights Outrages
EL OBEID, Sudan (CWNews.com) -- The Catholic Church in Sudan is fighting the practice of slavery by buying children away from their captors, an exiled bishop has revealed. Bishop Macram Max Gassis of El Obeid estimated that 3,000 young boys and girls have been forced into slavery already this year. "The adolescent girls serve as concubines or 'pleasure instruments' for Muslim militia and the armed forces," the bishop said. "The boys are sent to so-called 'peace camps'-- military training camps where they are instructed in fighting and Islam." Bishop Gassis, whose report was made public by the Vatican news agency Fides, said that he has been branded an enemy of the Khartoum regime because of his public condemnation of slavery. He now lives and works only in the southern regions of Sudan, which are controlled by rebel forces. Bishop Gassis also condemned Western governments for their failure to act against the human-rights violations of the Sudan regime. "The West worships the golden calf," he said, explaining: "Sudan has oil and the West is afraid of damaging its own interests." Daily News Brief from Catholic World News for July 13, 1998 Copyright 1998 Domus Enterprises