Archbishop of Canterbury urges protection of Christians in Sudan
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby on Sunday urged for protection of Christians and peaceful co-existence between the Christians and Muslims in Sudan.
The archbishop made the remarks when Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir received him in Khartoum Sunday.
"We talked about the protection of Christians and listened carefully to his excellency as he explained the good relations, the co-habitation, even within families between Christians and Muslims," Welby told reporters following his meeting with President al-Bashir.
"We spoke about sanctions, and of the British policy which encourages the end of sanctions, and about the burden of debts and the need for development," he noted, adding that "at the center of everything that we said was our deep concern, our mighty concern for the poor, the weak, the refugees and the helpless; and to encourage every government and every president where they seek the common good and benefit of the weakest in our societies."
Sudan's Minister of Guidance and Endowments, Abu Bakr Osman, for his part, told reporters that the meeting reiterated the political leadership's concern with religious co-existence in Sudan.
"The meeting stressed the religious co-existence in Sudan and that all the Sudanese citizens are equal in rights and duties and in assuming public posts, regardless of their religious or ethnic affiliations," he noted.
Welby arrived in Sudan on Sunday, leading a high-level delegation of bishops around the world, to officially inaugurate the Anglican Church in Sudan to be the 39th Anglican church in the world.
The Anglican church in Sudan officially declared its separation from its South Sudanese counterpart in May 2017, where after the cessation of South Sudan, Khartoum's Anglican church remained affiliating to the church in the South.
At a ceremony held at Khartoum's All Saints Cathedral Sunday in July, 2017 and attended by American, European and African diplomats, Welby declared Sudan as the 39th province of the worldwide Anglican Communion and installed Ezekiel Kondo Kumir Kuku as the country's first archbishop.
Most of the Christians in Sudan are present at the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan State which has been witnessing an armed conflict between the Sudanese army and fighters of the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM)/northern sector.