Despite a context of struggle and persecution, the church in the Sudan has continued to grow, both spiritually and numerically. The author, who has spent several years living and working in Sudan with the Church Mission Society, reflects on what Christians worldwide might learn from the experience of the Sudanese church. "But God is not defeated!" is the refrain famous in Sudan as used by Ezra Lawiri.
A History of the Church in Africa by Bengt Sundkler and Christopher Steed is reviewed. In 1900 the Christian population of Africa was estimated at 4 million out of a total of 118 million people. Roman Catholics were estimated at 1 million, Protestants at 1 million and Coptic-Orthodox at 2 million. This picture has changed radically. Today Christians amount to some 351 million out of 770 million.
This article introduces ten volumes on church life in Sudan. While the authors are from within the church, their first purpose is not to give a fair as possible view on the story as a whole. It is evident that the account in these books has a purpose beyond the dispassionate recounting of history. Perversely to its opponents, the Sudanese church often demonstrated courage under persecution and has even grown in the face of persecution.