Sudan Sunrise

Sudan Sunrise

Infobox NPO
organization_name = Sudan Sunrise
founded = December, 2005 by Christ Church Anglican, Overland Park, Kansas, USA
location = Kansas, USA; Sudan
homepage = []

Sudan Sunrise, Inc. is a non-profit organization based in Lenexa, Kansas, USA, whose aims are to

* facilitate the efforts of Southern Sudanese Christians to aid and stand in solidarity with Darfurian Muslims,
* endeavor towards further reconciliation among all Sudanese, and
* work in Southern Sudan to facilitate education, health, community and church development projects.


Sudan Sunrise [ [ Sudan Sunrise ] ] was incorporated in December 2005. It was founded to expand an endeavor begun under the name "Sudan Mercy", started in 2004 as a project of Christ Church Anglican, Overland Park, Kansas, USA [ [ Welcome to Christ Church ] ] , which helped Southern Sudanese Christians deliver aid to Darfurian Muslim refugees in Chad.

In January 2005 the Comprehensive Peace Agreement ended a 22-year war between the Muslim North and predominantly Christian and animist Southern Sudan. It is estimated that 2.5 million Southerners were killed, and 4 million were displaced in this war. As peace was taking shape between the Sudan’s North and the South, a new conflict was heating up as rebels in the Darfur region of Western Sudan demanded greater benefits and autonomy from the central government. The population of Darfur is black Africans, similar to the Southern Sudanese, however Darfurians are almost entirely Muslim. As news spread of the killing in Darfur, Southern Sudanese immigrants in the United States identified with the suffering of Darfurians and in November 2004 organized an emergency effort to take a small shipment of medicine to Darfurian refugee camps in Chad in November 2004 [ [ YouTube - South Sudanese Vision to Help Darfurians ] ] .

Darfurian soldiers were used by the Government of Sudan against the Southern Sudanese in the 22-year civil war, making up one half or more of the Army. "Use a slave to kill a slave," was the justification for mobilizing Darfurians against Southerners. Darfurian refugees in Chad were surprised by the Southern Sudanese efforts to bring them aid, and asked for Southerners to stand in solidarity with them so that peace might come to Darfur. A video appeal from Darfurians, asking Southerners for forgiveness and appealing to them to stand in solidarity with them was filmed by Sudan Sunrise and distributed widely in the US [ [ YouTube - Darfurian - Southern Sudanese Reconciliation ] ] .

A July 2-4, 2007 meeting sponsored by Sudan Sunrise in Kansas City, Missouri [ [ YouTube - Statement on Sudanese Reconciliation ] ] called for Sudanese of all tribes and religions to work together for peace, towards a democratic and just Sudan.

On January 1, 2008 Sudan Sunrise co-sponsored with the with former slave and activist Simon Deng, activist Nathan Kleinman and Manute Bol a rally in Des Moines, Iowa of Darfurians, Southern Sudanese, Nubians and participants from all over Sudan who came together to hear representatives from various presidential campaigns state their position regarding Sudan prior to the Iowa presidential caucuses.

In March 2008 Sudan Sunrise, in cooperation with the Darfur Human Rights Organization, took a team of four Darfurians with Francis Bok, (author of "Escape from Slavery" [cite book |last = Bok |first = Francis |coauthors = Tivnan, Edward |title =Escape from Slavery: The True Story of My Ten Years in Captivity and My Journey to Freedom in America |origdate = 2003 |accessdate = 2008 |edition = 1st edition |publisher = St. Martin's Press |location = New York, New York |isbn = 0-312-30623-7] ) on his first return to his home village since his family was killed and he was abducted into slavery. There they filmed a (not yet released) grassroots call for all Sudanese to stand together for peace in the face of what appears to many to be a steady slide towards widespread war [ [ Foreign Affairs - Beyond Darfur - Andrew S. Natsios ] ] .

Sudan Sunrise’s current projects include a school which will be built in Francis Bok’s home village of Gourion, and a school in Manute Bol’s home village of Turalei. As examples of the reconciliation Sudan Sunrise endeavors to further, Darfurian Muslims will be helping to build the school in Francis Bok’s home village, and once completed the school will welcome Muslim Darfurian refugee children to study along with the Christian Southern Sudanese returnees.

Controversy and Criticism

An April 2006 article in the Washington Post reported two criticisms of Sudan Sunrise:

Mohamed Ibrahim, a spokesperson for the Darfur Alert Coalition [ [ Darfur Alert: DAC voices Concern about Evangilical group's message ] ] was quoted as saying "(Sudan Sunrise) says it is looking for reconciliation, and they are actually creating a conflict by spreading the false claim that the perpetrators of the violence in southern Sudan were from Darfur." Human Rights Watch estimates that 50% of the Army of Sudan during the 22 year war in the South was from Darfur [ [ Empty Promises: Background ] ] . Also Sudan Sunrise’s statements regarding the role of Darfurians in the war were direct quotes from Darfurians [ [ YouTube - Darfurians Ask Southern Sudanese for Forgiveness ] ] .

The article implied that the objective of Sudan Sunrise is to convert Darfurian Muslims to Christianity, based upon a reference to "friendship evangelism" on Sudan Sunrise’s website. Sudan Sunrise replied that its work was to convert former enemies into friends, and that the text on the website had just been uploaded by a new employee unfamiliar with the field work of Sudan Sunrise, without being reviewed by the Executive Director. Sudan Sunrise states that their work is not to evangelize Darfurian Muslims, but to partner with Southern Sudanese who endeavor to follow the Christian mandate to "love your enemies".

ee also

*Southern Sudan
*Francis Bok
*Manute Bol
*Slavery in Sudan


Graham, Darius, (2007). “Being the Difference, True Stories of Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things to Change the World” Library of Congress Control Number 2007905360.

Stafford, Margaret (2007). “Sudanese refugees in U.S. seek to help peace efforts” Associate Press, updated November 13, 2007 * []

External links

*Sudan Sunrise official website: * []
*Sudan Sunrise videos: * []
*DonorEdge report on Sudan Sunrise: * []
*Volvo for Life Awards: * [] , which twice named Sudan Sunrise Executive Director Rev. Tom Prichard a semi-finalist for his work with Sudan Sunrise.

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