After decades of civil war, the Republic of South Sudan finally gained independence from Sudan July 9. The division between the north and the south is sharp. The north is mostly Arab and Muslim, while the south is black and predominantly Christian and animistic. “Let us praise God that He has given us our freedom,” said Sworo Elikana, a Sudanese Baptist pastor. “We must rejoice!” He and other Christian leaders asked for prayer in the challenging days ahead. (IMB) PHOTO by Charles Braddix

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