When Africa's longest-running civil war finally ended in January 2005, two million people had died and four million in southern Sudan had been displaced. Part of the peace agreement was for the south to have six years of autonomy, after which residents would vote on whether or not to secede and become an independent nation.
When the referendum arrived in January 2011, 98.83% of the population voted for independence. July 9 was set as the day for South Sudan to become a nation.
A number of challenges remain. North Sudan (mostly Arab Muslims) has been launching military attacks against South Sudan — especially in South Kordofan state. This has jeopardized the process and is threatening to ignite a new civil war.
Even if peace can be preserved, South Sudan currently has very little infrastructure. There is a desperate need for schools, roads and medical care. Accusations of corruption in the government have been made and there has also been an escalation of ethnic violence between feuding tribes.
North Sudan is number 35 on the Open Doors World Watch List 2011 of worst persecutors of Christians in the world. WIN partners pray for both North Sudan and South Sudan on Day 2 of the Window International Network Praying Through the Window 9: Global Terrorism and World Religions prayer calendar.
- the Lord to guide this new nation into independence. Pray for a smooth, peaceful transition. (The Bible, Acts 17:26,27)
- the children in South Sudan to prosper in a nation that loves, knows and is obedient to Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. (The Bible, Ephesians 6:23,24)
- an end to the violence being carried out by North Sudan in South Kordofan, Abyei and every other part of South Sudan. (The Bible, Psalm 11:5)
- the Lord to reveal works of darkness and bring to light the wicked plans of evil people who are agents of satan. Pray for their salvation. (The Bible, Mark 4:22)
- the military of North Sudan to be unsuccessful in carrying out assaults on South Sudan. Pray for the Lord to turn the leaders in the North — especially President Omar al-Bashir — away from evil and destruction. Pray they will have an encounter with Jesus Christ. (The Bible, Proverbs 4:16-18)
- the Lord to send warring angels to protect the people of South Sudan from satan's plots, plans and ploys both inside and outside of South Sudan. (The Bible, Psalm 91:11)
- peace to rule the hearts of Christians. Pray for the Lord to give them a desire to seek Him and be servant leaders in their nation. (The Bible, Matthew 20:28)
- the Church to arise in holiness, godliness, wisdom and knowledge to help build South Sudan with Biblical values. (The Bible, II Corinthians 7:1; Proverbs 2:6)
- the Lord to give the government of South Sudan wisdom, strategies and resources for building a prosperous, corruption-free economy and society that is fair to all the people. (The Bible, Proverbs 1:7)
- peace between ethnic groups. Ask the Lord to give Christians boldness and opportunities to be peacemakers between warring tribes. (The Bible, Matthew 5:9)
- Sudanese Christian professionals in diaspora who have humble hearts to serve their people (medical doctors, educators, business people, agriculturalists, civil engineers...) to return to South Sudan to help build this new fledgling nation. (The Bible, Proverbs 11:2; Exodus 35:10)
- the salvation of all those in South Sudan who practice traditional tribal religions. Pray for the Gospel to spread throughout this new nation. (The Bible, II Corinthians 4:4)
- the Kingdom of God to come to South Sudan as it is in heaven. (The Bible, Matthew 6:10)
SOURCES: Sudan Tribune, BBC Africa News