Sudanese Christian Slaves Saved in Modern-Day Underground Railroad: ‘Extremely Dangerous Work’

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Billy Hallowell and CBN News

An organization combatting Christian persecution across the globe recently announced it helped free 1,500 Sudanese slaves last year, bringing the total liberated over the past three decades to over 100,000.

Joel Veldkamp, head of international communications at Christian Solidarity International, told CBN News Christians and followers of indigenous religions in South Sudan have been the hardest hit over the past few decades by dangerous slave raids.

And, as he shared, the history behind the matter is quite complex.

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“Today, we have two countries—Sudan and South Sudan,” Veldkamp said. “But in the 1980s and 1990s, it was all just one country called Sudan, and that country was split by a civil war between the north, which is mostly Muslim and dominated by Arabs, and the south, which is mostly Christian and black African.”

He said the Muslim government in the north started to use slavery as a “weapon of war” against the south, capturing tens of thousands of people during the conflict, which ended in 2005.

Even nearly 20 years later, Veldkamp said many slaves are still “stuck” in captivity, enduring painful and arduous lives.

“The nightmare really [began] when the abduction happened during the was,” Veldkamp said. “These were usually attacks on villages by raiders on horseback or on camels; sometimes, they came in trains and they would force people into a cargo train and take them back into the north.”

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He continued, “You would see lots of people being killed, lots of people being brutalized, trying to break down the spirit of the people before they’re enslaved.”

Veldkamp said those coming out of slavery have later recounted lives filled with violence while in captivity and “daily terror,” including sex abuse and refusals to allow slaves to practice the Christian faith.

To read the full story, visit our content partners at Faithwire.

Reprinted with permission from Copyright © 2024 The Christian Broadcasting Network Inc. All rights reserved.

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