Arab Nations Financing Spread of Islam in Sudan
)- Arab countries have set aside $30 million for the Islamization of the Nuba Mountains region in Sudan, says Bishop Macram Max Gassis of El Obeid.
Says Bishop Gassis of El Obeid
KHARTOUM, Sudan, JAN. 12, 2006 (Zenit.org
"Now, one year after the January 2005 peace agreement, Muslim fundamentalists are concentrating their efforts in the area of social services, especially schools and hospitals," the prelate said during a recent visit to the Germany-based charity Aid to the Church in Need.
"Therefore, I am very grateful for the support from sisters, such as [the] Comboni, Precious Blood and Missionaries of Charity, who are serving in my diocese," he added.
Stressing the need for "many more priests," Bishop Gassis added: "At the moment, I only have eight priests. So, priority must be given to the training of the laity in order to withstand the advances of the Islamists and a rapidly changing society."
The 67-year-old prelate pointed to another major challenge.
"For years, the Nuba Mountains were cut off from the outside world but now Sudanese are returning, who have lived as refugees in Kenya," he said. "And already there is a notable increase in the number of people who are HIV-positive. I am just starting a training program for nurses, with a particular emphasis on ethics and AIDS awareness."
Bishop Gassis had been exiled from his diocese for a decade, but is now free to return as a result of the peace agreement.
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