NUBA MOUNTAINS, Sudan (CNS) — While tense relations between religious groups contribute to violence in many parts of the world today, Christians and Muslims in the war-ravaged Nuba Mountains of Sudan say they are getting along just fine.
For outsiders, it takes a while to comprehend.
“When I first arrived in the Nuba Mountains, I was confused. Everyone dressed the same. Women would wear head coverings, but then I saw them in church receiving the sacraments,” said Comboni Sister Angelina Nyakuru, who serves as head nurse at the Catholic Church-sponsored Mother of Mercy Hospital in Gidel.
“At Christmas, the Muslims come to celebrate with the Christians. And on Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, we go to their celebrations. It’s peculiar to this place. There is peaceful coexistence between Christians and Muslims, as well as with those who practice traditional religions. Muslim parents usually don’t object if their children want to become Christian. In fact, when they receive the sacraments, their parents accompany them to the church to support them.”
Sister Nyakuru, who has been in the Nuba Mountains since 2008, compares the situation to her country of Uganda.
“Back home, people kill each other over religion, and people who convert have to run away for their lives. Here, families are all mixed, and no one has any problems,” she said.
Brother Isaac Kornyando was born in the Nuba Mountains and, for more than two decades, has served as an Apostle of Jesus brother, doing pastoral work in Kauda.
“You don’t know what religion people are if they don’t tell you, because we eat together and drink together and walk together,” he said. “You have to ask them what religion they profess. Then they tell you.”