World Watch Ranking: 8

What does persecution look like in Sudan?

The devastating conflict that broke out in April 2023 is threatening to further undermine the positive steps made towards religious freedom following the ousting of Omar al-Bashir in 2019.

The crisis stems from a power struggle between the National Army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). More than 9,000 people have been killed and nearly 6 million displaced. More than 165 churches have closed and others have been destroyed. Churches have also reported human rights violations such as rape, kidnap and looting.

There are long-term concerns that the conflict will give Islamic extremists a renewed foothold in the country, undoing the reforms made by the transitional civilian government which gave more freedom to Christians, including abolishing the apostasy law and removing Islam as the state religion.

More immediately, those who convert to Christianity from Muslim backgrounds continue to face huge dangers. Some will even refrain from telling their children about Jesus, for fear they may inadvertently disclose their parents’ faith to the local community.

Who is most vulnerable to persecution?

The hostility facing Christians is particularly acute outside the capital, Khartoum. However, the epicenter of the latest conflict is the capital, where most Christians live. Many have been forced to flee, while those who remain may be forced to take sides in the conflict, putting them further at risk.

Many Christians have been attacked indiscriminately in areas such as Darfur, the Blue Nile and the Nuba Mountains region, where government forces and rebel groups are in conflict.

The levels of pressure and violence faced by Christians who are ethnic Africans or converts from a Muslim background are particularly high. Over the years, many have been arrested and charged with crimes such as espionage.

Meet a Christian convert from Sudan

“Despite all these challenges, I'll stick to my faith and continue to love and serve Jesus."

a Sudanese convert excommunicated by her family

What has changed this year?

Much has changed this year and it's not positive. “Christians in Sudan are especially vulnerable and on the receiving end in war times,” says an Open Doors research expert for East Africa. This has been borne out by the considerable number of churches either closed or damaged, and the many Christians who have suffered attacks. All of this comes alongside the oppression experienced by those who have chosen to leave Islam for Christianity.

Open Doors works through local church partners in Sudan to strengthen persecuted Christians through persecution survival training, discipleship training and economic empowerment projects.

What does Open Doors do to help Christians in Sudan?

Open Doors works through local church partners in Sudan to strengthen persecuted Christians through persecution survival training, discipleship training and economic empowerment projects.

How can you pray for Sudan?

  • Please pray for an end to the violence in Sudan and for provision for Christians who have been displaced.
  • Pray for strength and protection for brave believers who risk so much to serve others during the conflict.
  • Pray that the positive steps towards religious freedom will not be undone, but built upon.
a prayer for Sudan

Father God, we cry out for peace in Sudan and an end to this latest conflict. May it not be used to give extremists a renewed foothold in the country. Encourage believers at this time, particularly those who are despondent, weary and hurt. Pour fresh hope into their hearts. Be a place of refuge for Your children, meet their every need and strengthen their faith. Thank You for the positive steps towards religious freedom and the protection of women made under the transitional civilian government. Protect these developments and build upon them. And during this time of uncertainty and unrest, help our brothers and sisters to be beacons of light that draw others to You. Amen.

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Map thumbnail
Persecution Level


Persecution Type
  • Islamic oppression
  • Dictatorial paranoia
  • Organized corruption and crime
  • Clan oppression
  • Ethno-religious hostility

Population of Christians
2,013,000 (4.3%)

Main Religion

Presidential Republic

Gen. Abd-al-Fatah al-Burhan Abd-al-Rahman

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