Sudanese believers face monumental challenges; namely, how to secure religious freedom no matter who comes to power. At the same time, they’re trying to keep ministry moving forward during this limited window of Gospel opportunity through ‘Orality,’ that is learning Beja, the most widely spoken language of the most populated group of Sudanese, who are predominantly nomadic, so the gospel of Christ can be preached to them with ease.
A Christian worker, pseudo name, “Ken” collaborates with believers throughout northern Sudan. He’s urging them to keep Sudan’s unreached populations in mind as they plan their “next steps.”
There are about 42 million people in Sudan today. The vast majority of them are muslims, and have no knowledge or understanding of Jesus Christ at all.
Decades of oppression under Bashir’s rule earned Sudan harsh sanctions and a Tier 1 “Country of Particular Concern” title from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).
Conditions like these have made ministry in Sudan extremely difficult. As a result, few people know the Good News of Jesus.
The number of unreached people in Sudan varies widely; for example, the Joshua Project lists 130 unreached people groups (UPGs) or approximately 23,633,000 people. In a file accessed on November 25, Finishing the Task lists 29 unreached and unengaged people groups (UUPGs) in Sudan: approximately 835,400 people.
Ken says many of Sudan’s remaining unreached people groups are “oral communities,” which means they don’t use traditional methods of reading and writing to learn or communicate.
Organisations and individual believers are working hard to develop Gospel resources for Sudan’s unreached oral people groups. The process initially began by identifying five of Sudan’s “most influential” languages, Ken explains.
One initiative focuses on a language spoken by Sudan’s Beja people. “They’re predominantly nomadic and the vast majority, over 90 percent cannot read and write,” Ken says. Right now, ministries are working together to translate The JESUS Film into the Beja’s heart language.
“From that, they’ll have the introduction to the message of Jesus Christ. Then, we’ll go into orality. At the end of that process…we’ll have the entire Gospel message for a people who do not know how to read and write.” Ken narrated with excitement and expectation.