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Farrakhan's Secret Relationship
Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan addressed an estimated 600 students at UC Berkeley last Saturday, and told  Black students not to befriend any Jew without first reading “The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews,” a book whose thesis is that “the Jews” were behind the black slave trade.  Heck of a way to start up a friendship!

(AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
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Free, Feed and Heal the Captives As South Sudan begins the process of nation building, we are concerned about the fate of estimated tens of thousands of Southerners still enslaved in the north. Those freed report daily beatings, rape (of girls, boys and women), and forcible religious conversions. People murdered and mutilated in slave raids, branded like animals. Children sold off and separated from their parents forever.
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Will Freedom Come for Sudan's Slaves? On Jan. 9, the people of South Sudan began their week-long referendum to decide whether to separate from the Arab-Muslim North and form an independent country. But Achol Yum Deng didn't vote. Though she has more reasons to seek separation from the North than most of her countrymen, she couldn't register: Since 1998, Achol was a slave serving her master in the North and was only liberated just before the voting began. Read the Full Story

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South Sudan becomes a free nation, but tens of thousands of its people remain enslaved in the North

Press Release

July 20, 2011

Contact: Charles Jacobs, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Boston - The American Anti-Slavery Group (AASG) today congratulated the people of Southern Sudan on becoming a free and independent country. The Republic of South Sudan declared independence on July 9 and became the 193rd member of the United Nations a few days later. But as the celebrations subside and the process of nation building begins, there is a stark reminder that this "national liberation" remains incomplete: tens of thousands Southern slaves remain in captivity in the North.

"It is a sad irony," said Dr. Charles Jacobs, AASG President. "It was, after all, the enslavement of African villagers that animated and bolstered much of the rebellion in South Sudan. "And it was reports of modern day human bondage in Africa's largest country that awoke Americans to the tragedy in Sudan."

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Jihad in Sudan Redux

Jihad In Sudan Redux
Posted by Charles Jacobs and Sasha Giller Jul 6th 2011 at 4:44 pm in Africa, Humanitarian, Islam, Islamic extremism, human rights | Comments (8)
On July 9, the mostly Christian South Sudan will legally and officially separate from the Muslim north and become a new, independent and free country. Fearing loss of its iron clad grip of other non-Arab regions in the north, whose people likely envy the freedoms won by the South, Arab/Islamist leaders in Khartoum have launched a military assault on the Nuba Mountains, a mixed Christian, animist and Muslim region. Reports from the area are gruesomely reminiscent of the decades-long assault Khartoum waged on the South. These include forced conversions to Islam, mass displacement, bombing of civilians and mass slaughter.
Anticipating the effects of Christians winning freedom from his rule already in December of 2010 Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who is indicted by the International Criminal Court for genocide and crimes against humanity, laid out a vision for the future of his nation:
If south Sudan secedes, we will change the constitution and at that time there will be no time to speak of diversity of culture and ethnicity… Sharia (Islamic law) and Islam will be the main source for the constitution, Islam the official religion and Arabic the official language, he told a group of supporters.
Al-Bashir made his statement as the people of Southern Sudan were preparing to vote in the referendum that secured their imminent independence. With less than a week left before South secedes, al-Bashir is determined to fulfill his promise not by changing the constitution, but through murder and ethnic cleansing.
After concluding a military occupation of the disputed border region of Abyei,  which resulted in the expulsion of more than 100,000 (non-Arabs, mostly from the Dinka tribe), Sudanese army and government-sponsored Arab militias attacked the African tribes of Nuba Mountains, a region situated in the Northern state of Southern Kordofan. Reports indicate indiscriminate bombings of civilians and a systematic killing of the black-skinned Nuba, which forced estimated 100,000 to abandon their homes. One report described “door to door executions of completely innocent and defenseless civilians, often by throat cutting.”  Another suggested the government might be using chemical weapons. The Bishop of Nuba Mountains described the events as genocide: “Once again we are facing the nightmare of genocide of our people in a final attempt to erase our culture and society from the face of the earth.”  A well-respected Sudan analyst concurred.
Nuba embody the diversity of culture and religion that al-Bashir wants to destroy. Numbering some 1.5 million, Nuba people are Christians, Muslims and the followers of traditional faiths. It is not uncommon to find the adherents of all faiths within a single family. Comprising from more than fifty tribes and speaking an equal number of languages, the Nuba have an incredibly diverse culture.
Just like the Africans of the South, the Nuba have faced racial discrimination from the Arab governments and elites of the North, which led them to join Sudan’s People Liberation Army (SPLA) at the beginning of the second outbreak of Sudan’s Civil War (1983-2005). The government’s response, especially after the Islamist regime of Al-Bashir and Hassan al-Turabi seized power in 1989, escalated into the campaign of annihilation. The Nuba people lost their lands; they were murdered, starved and enslaved.  In what some  called genocide in the name of Islam, all Nuba-Christians, animists and even Muslims-were targeted for eradication; estimated 200,000 perished.
In the crackdown that reach the Nuba Mountains even before the outbreak of the war, Christian clergy was murdered; churches burned, while Christian children were abducted, forcibly converted to Islam and often forced to join the Sudanese army to fight against their own people. In the current attack Christian places of worship are also being destroyed.  In January 1992, South Kordofan governor, Lt. General al-Hussein officially declared the war a “jihad.” Shortly after, in 1993, the religious leaders of Southern Kordofan issued a fatwa that legalized it:
The rebels in South Kordofan and Southern Sudan started their rebellion against the state and declared war against the Moslems. Their main aims are: killing the Moslems, desecrating mosques, burning and defiling the Koran, and raping Moslem women. In so doing, they are encouraged by the enemies of Islam and Moslems: these foes are the Zionists, the Christians and the arrogant people who provide them with provisions and arms. Therefore, an insurgent who was previously a Moslem is now an apostate; and a non-Moslem is a non-believer standing as a bulwark against the spread of Islam, and Islam has granted the freedom of killing both of them.
Following this religious ruling, Sudanese soldiers and allied militias began killing Nuba imams, burning mosques and desecrating Korans. Today, the same actors praise God as they kill the innoncent.
To destroy the social fabric of the Nuba society the government forces and the Arab militiamen systematically raped thousands of Nuba women, including girls as young as nine. The raping took place during abductions, in military camps, and in so-called “peace camps.” One victim, a 17 years-old girl named Fawzia Jibreel, told African Rights:
After dark, the soldiers came and took the girls to their rooms, and raped them. I was taken and raped… When you have been taken, the soldier who has taken you will do what he wants, then he will go out of the room, you will stay, and another one will come…Every day the raping continued… It is impossible to count the men who raped me. Perhaps in a week I would have only one day of rest. Sometimes one man will take me for the whole night. Sometimes I will be raped by four or five men per day or night; they will just be changing one for another.
The policy of rape is being used in the Nuba Mountains once again.
On July 1, during Friday prayers in a mosque in Khartoum, al-Bashir said that he ordered his soldiers to continue “cleaning” South Kordofan.  As history shows all those who care about the plight of Nuba and other Africans of Sudan must take his words seriously and act to stop his religious genocide.

This article was first published in Big Peace on July 6, 2011

By Charles Jacobs and Sasha Giller 

On July 9, the mostly Christian South Sudan will legally and officially separate from the Muslim north and become a new, independent and free country. Fearing loss of its iron clad grip of other non-Arab regions in the north, whose people likely envy the freedoms won by the South, Arab/Islamist leaders in Khartoum have launched a military assault on the Nuba Mountains, a mixed Christian, animist and Muslim region. Reports from the area are gruesomely reminiscent of the decades-long assault Khartoum waged on the South. These include forced conversions to Islam, mass displacement, bombing of civilians and mass slaughter.

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John Eibner testifies before Congress

For over two decades we have been working to end slavery in Sudan by raising funds for slave liberation program of Christian Solidarity International (CSI-USA).
On June 16, CSI-USA's CEO John Eibner testified before a House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights urging the lawmakers to take action to eradicate slavery in Sudan.
Since 1990s CSI-USA has freed more than 100,000 slaves, but according to the sources cited by Eibner more that 35,000 remain enslaved to this day.
"The aggressive Islamist power in Khartoum...bears primary responsibility for the revival of slavery in Sudan and its use as an instrument of collective punishment in its declared jihad against non-submissive Black African communities in Southern Sudan and other marginalized areas," said Eibner.
Eibner, who concluded that a long-lasting peace in Sudan and the stability of the newly emerging nation of Southern Sudan are unlikely as long as the practice of slavery continues, pleaded the US Government to take steps to stop it including the establishment of:
1. A financially transparent and functional Sudanese national institution for locating, liberating and repatriating slaves
2. A program of research on all aspects of Sudanese slavery
3. An institution, with international and indigenous components, to monitor slavery and its eradication.
To read CSI-USA press release "CSI Urges Lawmakers To Take Action on Ending Slavery in Sudan" click here.
For the full text of John Eibner's testimony click here

June 24, 2011

For over two decades we have been working to end slavery in Sudan by raising funds for slave liberation program of Christian Solidarity International (CSI-USA). On June 16, CSI-USA's CEO John Eibner testified before a House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights urging the lawmakers to take action to eradicate slavery in Sudan.

Since 1990s CSI-USA has freed more than 100,000 slaves, but according to the sources cited by Eibner more that 35,000 remain enslaved to this day. 

"The aggressive Islamist power in Khartoum...bears primary responsibility for the revival of slavery in Sudan and its use as an instrument of collective punishment in its declared jihad against non-submissive Black African communities in Southern Sudan and other marginalized areas," said Eibner.

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Invasion of Abyei, Test for America

On May 20 Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) invaded Abyei, a disputed region situated on the border between South and North Sudan. The Khartoum regime reportedly razed villages and used tanks and helicopters to indiscriminately shell and bomb civilian population, causing at least 20,000 to flee. Armed government-supported militiamen were reported to burn and loot on a massive scale. The attack brought the largest African nation to the brink of all-out war and may severely harm the chances for peaceful separation of the South, planned for July 9. Abyei's oil reserves and fertile grazing lands are claimed by both the African South, where the residents are mostly Christians and the followers of traditional beliefs, and the Arab, largely Muslim, North. The region belonged to the South until 1905 when the British transferred the administration of Abyei from Bahr el-Ghazal province (South) to Kordofan (North). The majority of Abyei's population is African despite the Government's large scale settling of Messariya Arabs.  The 2005 America-brokered Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which halted the decades-long North/South war and provided for January referendum on South's independence, also included the Abyei protocol, which promised the citizens of Abyei an opportunity to choose between staying in the North and returning to the South. After preventing the referendum various Sudanese government officials, including President Hassan al Bashir, asserted northern ownership of the area. The timing of the attack - a day after President Barack Obama exalted the Arab revolutions and promised "concrete actions" to support human rights, democracy and the right for self-determination in the Arab world - suggests that al Bashir is testing whether America's commitment to supporting opposition to Arab oppression would also extend to Sudan.  Experts believe that the US "incentive-oriented" policy toward Sudan created a situation where the regime "felt certain that it would face no international consequences for its attack."
The White House condemned the assault, but will it truly support the Arab world's African victims?

May 25, 2011

On May 20 Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) invaded Abyei, a disputed region situated on the border between South and North Sudan. The Khartoum regime reportedly razed villages and used tanks and helicopters to indiscriminately shell and bomb civilian population, causing at least 20,000 to flee. Armed government-supported militiamen were reported to burn and loot on a massive scale. The attack brought the largest African nation to the brink of all-out war and may severely harm the chances for peaceful separation of the South, planned for July 9.

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Prominent Rabbi brings Passover to Sudan's slaves

Press Release
April 6, 2011
Contact: Charles Jacobs - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , 617 835 3584
Prominent Hillel Rabbi leads Seder in Sudan
Boston - Only moments after gaining their freedom, 150 slaves were eating matzah, hard-boiled eggs and sipping wine as part of the demonstration Seder in Aweil, Southern Sudan led by Rabbi Joseph Polak.
Their freedom was secured by Christian Solidarity International (CSI), an abolitionist group that over the past two decades helped South Sudanese to liberate nearly 100,000 of their countrymen. An estimated 35,000 continue serving their masters in Northern Sudan.
"At the time when Jews around the world prepare to celebrate our own liberation from slavery, tens of thousands of Sudanese are still being enslaved not that far from Egypt," said Rabbi Polak, director of the Hillel House at Boston University.  "That is why it is incumbent upon Jews to help free these modern-day slaves," he added.
Newly freed slaves are eating matzah
Chattel slavery, a centuries old phenomenon, persists in Sudan. During the second stage of Sudan's Civil war (1983-2005), a conflict between the African Christian/tribalist South and the Arab Muslim North, slavery was used to terrorize the Southern population. Various Northern regimes sent its soldiers and allied Arab militias to destroy Southern villages. As compensation, they were encouraged to take women and children as slaves, which some estimate numbered up to 200,000.
CSI's mission comes at a historic moment for Southern Sudan: last January nearly 99% of its people voted to create their own independent nation. The declaration is expected for July 9th, 2011.
A total of 354 slaves were freed over the course of few days.
Polak interviewed some of the newly freed slaves. "They showed me how their limbs had been maimed by their master's machetes. The women described how their genitals had been mutilated, and how these masters had taught their own children to be contemptuous of them because they (the mothers) were black and because they were concubines," he said.
The Rabbi shared with the slaves some of the Pesach practices and encouraged them to commemorate the day of their liberation.
"We were slaves thousands of years ago right up the Nile from here, in Egypt. God heard our cries and saw our tears and redeemed us. We were made slaves again sixty years ago in Europe. This time nobody saved us. Millions died. You are very special people because through Christian Solidarity International God is redeeming you today," he told the slaves.
The Seder was organized by Dr. Charles Jacobs, named by the Forward as one of America's top 50 Jewish leaders. Jacobs heads the American Anti-Slavery Group (AASG), Boston-based human rights non-profit that partners with the CSI.
"We are determined to eradicate the scourge of modern-day bondage in Sudan and doing everything we can to bring awareness to these people's incredible suffering," said Jacobs. "We hope that having this remarkable Seder will prompt Jews and non-Jews to act," he added.
The freed slaves joined Polak in singing "Dayenu," a traditional Pesach song that means "it would have been enough." The Rabbi altered the words to reflect the experience of these newly emancipated people. "Had you been freed, it would have been enough," he sang. "Had you been delivered across the border, it would have been enough. Had you been delivered into a newly freed nation, it would have been enough."
Singing Dayenu with freed Sudanese slaves
Dr. Jacobs encouraged everybody to join the AASG and the CSI in helping free the remaining slaves.
Videos of interviews with freed slaves are available upon request.

Press Release

April 6, 2011

Boston - Only moments after gaining their freedom, 150 slaves were eating matzah, hard-boiled eggs and sipping wine as part of the demonstration Seder in Aweil, Southern Sudan led by Rabbi Joseph Polak. 
Their freedom was secured by Christian Solidarity International (CSI), an abolitionist group that over the past two decades helped South Sudanese to liberate nearly 100,000 of their countrymen. An estimated 35,000 continue serving their masters in Northern Sudan.

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Blacks still enslaved, as South Sudan chooses independence

Press Release
Blacks still enslaved, as South Sudan chooses independence
March 3, 2011
Boston - As South Sudan's Christians and animists voted overwhelmingly to secede from the Arab Muslim north, rights groups are concerned about the fate of an estimated 35,000 of southern slaves still held in the north.
Officials from the American Anti-Slavery Group (AASG) and Christian Solidarity International-USA (CSI-USA) witnessed the voting and documented the liberation of almost 400 slaves.
Raw video of interviews with freed slaves is available upon request.
Freed slaves receive essential humanitarian aid
"As the world focuses on the birth of the newest African nation, thousands of southerners are held as slaves who continue to serve masters in the north," said Charles Jacobs, President of the AASG.
Slavery in Sudan persists despite British efforts to end it in the first half of the 20th century. In the 1980s, with the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, the regime in Khartoum attempted to impose Shariah law on the south triggering a revolt. In response, northern leaders sent Arab militias to destroy southern villages; African women and children were captured as war booty and enslaved.
"It is inconceivable that in the twenty first century blacks are still being enslaved because of the color of their skin. Their suffering is terrible. They are treated like animals," said Francis Bok, an escaped Sudanese slave and an Associate of the AASG.
CSI-USA frees slaves in partnership with Arab retrievers who find and return them to the south. CSI also provides the former slaves with humanitarian aid.
Reports of slavery originally sparked US interest in Sudan. AASG and CSI, along with others, created a grass roots abolitionist movement and built an unlikely left-right political coalition that pressured US administrations to intervene in Sudan. In 2005 President George W. Bush imposed a peace treaty that included the provision for January's vote.
"Slavery is not a matter of right or left, but right or wrong. Imagine, we had Pat Robertson and Barney Frank," said Jacobs. The "Sudan Campaign" included Congressional Black Caucus members, black radio personalities and white Republicans.  "America is an abolitionist nation," he added
"I heard stories of absolute horror," said Jacobs.
"The slaves were ripped from their families and taken north. Some were branded, many were raped - boys as well as girls and women. Many were forcibly converted to Islam."
Freed slave Adut Lual Moweik her master branded her with the mark he used for his cattle
Muslim as well as Christian slaves were liberated.
Jacobs stressed: "All people of goodwill should join us in demanding that all of the remaining slaves be set free."
Dr. Jacobs and Mr. Bok are available for interviews.
For all inquiries contact Charles Jacobs

Press Release

March 3, 2001

Boston - As South Sudan's Christians and animists voted overwhelmingly to secede from the Arab Muslim north, rights groups are concerned about the fate of an estimated 35,000 of southern slaves still held in the north. Officials from the American Anti-Slavery Group (AASG) and Christian Solidarity International-USA (CSI-USA) witnessed the voting and documented the liberation of almost 400 slaves.

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The vote in South Sudan for ‘the Jews of our time’

By Charles Jacobs · January 21, 2011
Photos
1 out of 2Previous Forward Other Media
Liberated slave Achol Yum Deng in Wanyjok, which would be part of an independent South Sudan, Jan. 9, 2011. (Christian Solidarity International)
WANYJOK, Sudan (JTA) -- The stars in Wanyjok’s sky blazed so bright it seemed as though God himself had switched on the lights in the vast blackness. I hadn’t seen a sky like this since I was a boy in the New Jersey countryside.
It helped me understand how men from time immemorial have sought patterns in the stars -- signs from the Creator of what was to come. I felt that here, in Bahr el Ghazhal province in South Sudan, God was signaling a miracle.
I flew to Sudan on Jan. 6 to witness the birth of a nation.
In 2005 President Bush, pressed by an unusual American grass-roots human rights campaign, forced a peace treaty on both sides of the bloody conflict between the Arab-Muslim North and the mostly Christian South of Sudan, Africa’s largest country. The treaty gave the South autonomy and said that in six years it could decide if it wanted to separate from the North.
We had reached that moment with this month’s referendum, whose official results are slated to be announced Feb. 14. Indications are that 99 percent of voters opted for independence.
From the start, I viewed the South Sudanese as the Jews of our time, targeted for mass murder and slavery by the government in Khartoum while the so-called civilized world sat on its hands.
Since the British granted Sudan independence in 1956, the North had dominated. Swept up in the surge of Islamic fundamentalism, Sudan’s leaders in Khartoum sought to impose Islamic law throughout the country. The South rebelled, and over the decades an estimated 3 million were killed and tens of thousands enslaved.
Though the British largely had suppressed the enslavement of blacks in Africa, the practice was rekindled by Khartoum’s war. Slave raids were used as a weapon of terror to break southern resistance. Arab militias, armed by the government, stormed African villages, killed the men and captured the women and children as religiously sanctioned war booty. Little girls were used as domestics, boys as cattle herders, women as concubines and sex slaves.
The right not to be owned by another human is second only to the right to life. Yet none of the establishment human rights groups screamed out about these slaves.
In 1994 Mohammed Athie, a Mauritanian Muslim refugee, and I published an Op-Ed in The New York Times telling the story of a modern-day slave trade in North Africa.
The response was overwhelming. We launched the American Anti-Slavery Group and built a bipartisan abolitionist coalition, including Christian evangelist Pat Robertson, gay Jewish congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), the NAACP and more. We got Al Sharpton to go to Sudan to witness the liberation of slaves. Francis Bok, an escaped slave, published a book and spoke at churches, synagogues and schools across the United States. We testified before the U.S. Congress.
At a meeting once with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, I asked why the United States refused to use the word genocide when describing Sudan. Did America not make the same mistake 60 years ago when it ignored the annihilation of Europe’s Jews?  The answer: By law, if we call it genocide we have to act. We were not going to act, so we couldn’t call it genocide.
When the real heroes of this story -- the brilliant and brave John Eibner and Gunnar Wiebalk of Christian Solidarity International -- were criticized for redeeming slaves with unorthodox methods, I invoked Maimonides in their defense.
CSI sought to free slaves through an existing peace treaty between Dinka tribes, whose people were being targeted in southern Sudan, and local Arabs who needed Dinka wetlands for their cattle. To secure those grazing rights, the Arabs would go north and retrieve Dinka slaves, returning them to the South. CSI further motivated the return of slaves by providing cash to the Arab retrievers.
When criticized for “incentivizing more slave raids,” I argued that this Christian group was following Jewish law. Jews, the Sages said, are required to redeem Jewish captives. When UNICEF blasted us for redeeming slaves and suggested the slaves must wait for liberation until hostilities ended, I responded: That’s exactly what the West told the Jews about Auschwitz.
On Passover 2000, I participated in a CSI liberation trip to Sudan. I brought matzah and explained to the slaves that my people had been held in bondage long ago not so far from where we were.
On our trip in January, we interviewed dozens of people at the polls. All voted for separation, for independence. Why? They said of the North Sudanese: “They stole our children and our wives. They stole our cattle. They murdered us.”
President Obama sent Sen. John Kerry to the country to ensure that Khartoum would abide by the vote. South Sudan likely will be free. But what of the slaves?
Bush’s treaty had no provision for the emancipation of slaves still serving masters in the North. We remain pledged to set them free. So we trekked to the liberation sites last week, meeting and photographing 397 retrieved slaves. We posted the account of our trip at The Wall Street Journal and video interviews of slaves at http://www.iabolish.org.
They are hard to watch. In one, a woman named Achol Yum Deng recalls being captured in a slave raid. She was threatened with death, gang raped, genitally mutilated, racially and religiously insulted, and forced to convert to a religion not her own. She lost sight in one eye when her master thrashed her face with a camel whip for failing to pray. Achol also lost the use of one arm when her master attacked her with a machete for failing to grind grain properly.
Who would we be if we left these people in bondage?
It was good to be a Jew in Juba, South Sudan. An airport guard, a Balanda tribesman, upon learning I was Jewish, brightened with a smile and a hug: “Welcome, you are one of God’s chosen people,” he said. And several Dinka men marveled at Israel’s defeat of Arab armies.
We’ve come a long way. Years ago, when Francis Bok watched “The Ten Commandments,” he grew tearful.
“God opened the Sea for the Hebrew slaves, but He’s not yet redeemed my people,” he said.
Go look now, dear Francis, at the stars in Wanyjok.

This article was first published in JTA

January 21, 2011

By Charles Jacobs

The stars in Wanyjok’s sky blazed so bright it seemed as though God himself had switched on the lights in the vast blackness. I hadn’t seen a sky like this since I was a boy in the New Jersey countryside. It helped me understand how men from time immemorial have sought patterns in the stars -- signs from the Creator of what was to come. I felt that here, in Bahr el Ghazhal province in South Sudan, God was signaling a miracle. I flew to Sudan on Jan. 6 to witness the birth of a nation.

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