Written by: Karen Faulkner
Article source: www.worthynews.com

An international Christian organization helped to free 1,500 Sudanese civilians from slavery last year, bringing the total number freed to more than 100,000 over 30 years, CBN News reports.

Based in Switzerland, Christian Solidarity International (CSI) is a humanitarian and religious rights organization whose mission, among other major aims, is to liberate people who are “abducted, enslaved or imprisoned because of their faith or for criminal financial gain.”

In a statement to CBN News, CSI’s communications chief Joel Veldkamp said Christians and followers of indigenous religions in South Sudan have been hard hit by slave traders who abduct them and subject to horrifying treatment including torture, sexual abuse, and daily physical and psychological violence.

Explaining part of the background to the situation, Veldkamp noted that South Sudan split from Sudan following a civil war in the 1990s: South Sudan is mostly populated with Christians and black Africans, while Sudan is populated mostly by Muslim Arabs. According to Veldcamp, Sudan began to use slavery as a weapon of war against South Sudan, capturing tens of thousands of people during the conflict which raged until 2005.

“The nightmare really [began] when the abduction happened during the war,” 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. 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.”

Using an underground that has been established for decades, CSI works with local Muslims who are also appalled by the situation to help free those who are enslaved and to provide support to them after their freedom from captivity. “It’s extremely dangerous work,” Veldkamp noted.

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Date published: 28/02/2024
Feature image: Image for illustrative purposes only. Artwork adapted from www.pexels.com

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