Christian Foundation Warns of “Sudan’s evolution towards an Islamic State” if War Persists

Credit: Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW)

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) is concerned that Sudan could evolve into an Islamic State should war in the Northeastern African nation persist.

The UK-based Christian human rights foundation has reported that violence in Sudan, which erupted on 15 April 2023 has been punctuated with various acts of jihadism, including chants of “an Islamic state only” country.

In some parts of the country, destruction of holy places has been reported, including an undated destruction of a mosque suspected to have been carried out around March 20.

CSW has reported that an Islamist militia affiliated with the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) that is at war with the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) vandalized and detonated explosives inside the Sheikh Qarib Allah mosque in Omdurman, Sudan’s second most populous city, located northwest of the capital city, Khartoum.

In a Wednesday, March 27 report, CSW’s Founder President Mervyn Thomas condemns the attack on the Sheikh Qarib Allah mosque, warning that the destruction spelled doom for the country that has an estimated 91 percent of Muslim population. Statistics indicate that slightly over five percent of the Sudanese population is Christian.


“These incidents highlight the risk of Sudan’s evolution towards an Islamic State (IS) model if the war persists and these militias become more powerful,” Mervyn is quoted as saying.

He further condemns the continuing severe violations being perpetrated by the SAF and its affiliated Islamist militias, and adds, “CSW continues to call for a full and comprehensive ceasefire between all warring parties, and urges the international community to assist wherever possible in bringing an end to the violence, while ensuring a significant role for civil society in discussions on a post-conflict Sudan.”

CSW has reported that the Sheikh Qarib Allah mosque is in an area that has been under SAF control since early March 2024.

SAF-affiliated media has reportedly accused the RSF of digging up shrines at the mosque in an effort to provoke religious tensions; however, the mosque leadership has confirmed that its shrines have not been touched.

CSW expresses concern that Islamist militias affiliated with the SAF, particularly the Al-Bara bin Malik Brigade, have been empowered by the ongoing war.

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The Christian foundation has reported that on March 12, a week before the attack on the mosque, SAF soldiers supported by a significant number of the brigade seized control of the Sudanese state broadcaster’s headquarters from the RSF, and militia men were reportedly overheard chanting about Sudan becoming “an Islamic state only”.

As war ranges in Sudan, especially in the country’s capital city, Khartoum, hundreds of civilians have been killed, and there are numerous reports of widespread sexual violence, looting, the occupation of homes and public buildings, summary executions, mass graves and burned villages.

The  Jesuits Refugee Service (JRS) of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) has reported that the conflict has led to the massive movement of refugees to the neighbouring countries, thereby shrinking humanitarian efforts.

According to the Jesuit humanitarian entity, more than 1 million people have fled Sudan and more than 6 million have been internally displaced within the country.

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.