Two weeks ago, Christianity Today Weblog noted a UPI article by Uwe Siemon-Netto charging the National Council of Churches (NCC) of being "curiously mum about the most burning issue Christianity is facing in the entire world: the genocide perpetrated chiefly against Christians in southern Sudan." A National Council of Churches representative quickly called us up, upset that neither Siemon-Netto nor we had called for comment. (For those unfamiliar with how this works, the Christianity Today Weblog is a news summary and collection of links to recent news articles and commentaries; it therefore doesn't usually include original reporting, fact-checking, or other original interviews. It's a digest.) Anyway, in response to the UPI article and the response to it, the NCC has posted a statement on its Web site about Sudan. The short of it: "We care enormously about the suffering in Sudan and we are responding."
There are some vague references to the UPI story, including this comment from NCC General Secretary Bob Edgar: "Unlike the simplistic picture presented by some who manipulate religious animosity and add fuel to the flames consuming Sudan, [our] information reflects the complexities of Sudan." For example, the statement continues, "While it is generally acknowledged that the government of Sudan bears the greatest responsibility for human rights violations perpetrated during the conflict, not many people know that factionalism in the south has actually resulted in a greater number of deaths than clashes between government and rebel forces." As Weblog noted earlier, the NCC's "nonsimplistic" information has in the past also played down reports of religious persecution, ...1
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