The Anglican Communion has announced that Sudan will, in a few months from now, become a separate Province is its own right. Currently, Sudan is an internal province within the Anglican Church of South Sudan and Sudan.
The Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, described it as a “welcome development” that will help connect Christians there with Anglicans in the worldwide Communion. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will travel to Sudan for the inauguration of the new Province on July 30th.
The Chair of the Anglican Consultative Council, the Archbishop and Primate of Hong Kong, Paul Kwong, expressed joy at the announcement: “I send my warmest and heartiest congratulations to the Church of Sudan on your inauguration as the 39th Province of the Anglican Communion. The birth of a new member province brings not only joy and excitement to the global Anglican family but also richness, encouragement and hope. We look forward to walking together closely with you to serve as light to the world that leads many into the Kingdom of God and to enable the Word of our Lord to be proclaimed to set many free.”
South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011, which left the Primate of Sudan and South Sudan, Archbishop Daniel Deng, with the challenge of overseeing two countries. The four and a half million members of the Episcopal Church are based mainly in South Sudan. In 2016 a formal application was made by the Primate to the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC), for the internal province of Sudan to be granted autonomy; in July 2016 a team led by the Secretary General visited the country on a fact-finding trip. Subjects that were reviewed included staff numbers, financial viability and mission focus, as well as the numbers of lay workers. A report on the visit – recommending that the proposed Province be approved – was sent to the ACC which gave its backing.
The Archbishop of Khartoum, Ezekiel Kondo, expressed joy at the news: “I would like to say that the Christians and the entire people of Sudan are very much looking forward to welcoming the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby and Mrs Welby to inaugurate the New Province of Sudan, number 39, which represents 39 Articles of faith of the Anglican Church and the 39 books of the OT! It is my prayer and hope that the occasion will strengthen the church in Sudan for God’s glory and extension of His Kingdom.”
Archbishop Josiah said : “It’s a welcome development that we now have another Anglican Province in a predominantly Muslim country. We hope the Province will stand and proclaim Christ in a way that will be meaningful in that context. Having Sudan as a separate Province of the Communion will benefit Christians in Sudan; now they will know they are not alone, that they are a part of the worldwide Anglican family, a family of 85 million believers.”