Freedom of religion in Sudan

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Publication BookChapter
Title Freedom of religion in Sudan
Author(s) Roald, Anne Sofie
Date 2012
Editor(s) Longva, Anh Nga; Roald, Anne Sofie
English abstract
The multiplicity of ethnic and religious communities in the social setting in Sudan has become the main explanation model for the ongoing conflicts in the country (before the partition-2011). The social tension is first and foremost portrayed in religious terms; there is an assumption that the Muslim-Christian division is the main cause of instability and that the basic line of demarcation goes between followers of these two religions. Moreover, Christians in Sudan are often depicted as the weaker part, and there is a tendency to single the ‘Southerners’ out as the Sudanese Christians par excellence, despite the fact that many Christian communities have lived in the North of Sudan for hundreds of years. This article builds on a fieldwork in Khartoum in 2007;the task consisted in interviewing Muslim and Christian leaders, as well as western representatives, particularly from Christian organisations responsible for aid programs among Christians in Khartoum and in Southern Sudan. Contrary to the claim of Christian-Muslim religious opposition our findings point to cultural differences between the mainly urbanised population in Northern Sudan and the mainly rural population in the South, as well as those between the Africanised South and the Arabised North, as important reasons for the social tensions. In both cases, the differences are unrelated to religious affiliation. A third reason is the variation in religious practices among Christians coming from the South and the long-established Christian communities in the North: the Sudanese Copts and the European and Middle Eastern Christians.
Publisher BRILL
Host/Issue Religious minorities in the Middle East : domination, self-empowerment, accommodation
Series/Issue Social, economic and political studies of the Middle East and Asia;108
ISBN 978-90-04-20742-4
Pages 149-170
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Islam
Human Rights
Freedom of Religion
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::HUMANITIES and RELIGION
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/14839 (link to this page)

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