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Sudan: John


John thinks he is 5 years old. But he’s not sure.

John lives in Sudan. For many years, wars have interrupted people’s lives in southern Sudan. Many children don’t celebrate birthdays. In fact, many don’t even have homes to live in.

Some people whose homes were burned down during the war live in camps for homeless people. John lives in the “bush” (woods).

Christians found John standing beside the road that led to a camp. “Would you like us to take you to the camp?” the Christians asked John.

“No,” said John.

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Dinka Customs

The Dinka tribe is one of the main people groups in southern Sudan. Many Dinkas are Christian. Dinka people are known for being very tall. Cattle are important in Dinka culture. Traditionally, young Dinka men decorated their favorite bull and walked around with it. They hoped girls would admire them because of their bull.

Many Dinka villages were destroyed in attacks by Muslims from the North. Things have changed. The Dinka people can no longer follow all the customs that were important to them.

“Jesus loves me,” in the Dinka language is pronounced “YAY-choo ahn-YAHR-ehn.” Can you sing the song “Jesus Loves Me,” substituting the Dinka words for English words in part of the song?

Sudan: James Lual


James Lual was a “Lost Boy.” Sudan had a civil war which began in 1983 and lasted until 2005. During that time Muslim attackers drove thousands of boys from their homes in southern Sudan. For years the boys wandered from place to place. Some ended up in refugee camps in other African countries. People called them “the Lost Boys of Sudan.”

More than 3,000 of the boys came to America. Others were allowed to settle in Australia, England, and Canada. James hoped to be one of those chosen to leave his homeland behind and start a new life somewhere else.

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Sudan and South Sudan

Sudan and South Sudan



Sudan Capital

Main Languages

At 6:00 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 2:00 p.m. in Sudan.

South Sudan

South Sudan Capital

Main Languages

At 6:00 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 2:00 p.m. in South Sudan.

Interesting Fact
The new flag of South Sudan is one of only two country flags that has six colors as part of its main design. (The other is South Africa’s.)


Sudan became an independent country in 1956. It was the largest country in Africa. The North and the South often did not get along. Muslims who ruled the North often controlled and fought against Christians and others in the South. Many people around the world worked and prayed for peace in Sudan, and there were improvements in the early years of the 21st century. But more fighting started in the western region of Darfur, bringing much sadness and many problems to that area. South Sudan became an independent country on July 9, 2011.

The majority of the people in Sudan are Muslims. The majority of the people in South Sudan are Christians or animists.


In Sudan, it is against the law for Muslims to become Christians. Muslim women cannot marry non-Muslim men. Pastors and Christian workers have been arrested, and churches have been demolished. In the Nuba Mountains, the government bombs Christians and non-Arabs.