As the world awaits the results of a referendum on independence in Southern Sudan, some believe the creation of a new African nation was predicted in the Bible. From the AP:
For some south Sudanese Christians, their opportunity to vote for independence from the largely Muslim north is more than a condition of a peace accord ending a two-decade civil war. It’s the divine will of God.
They believe the independence of their nation was foretold in the Bible more than 2,000 years ago. Isaiah 18 is one of several passages that refers to the land of Cush, which describes the people as tall and smooth-skinned and the land as divided by rivers.
“It used to be read so many times on Sunday,” said Ngor Kur Mayol, who drove to Nashville from Atlanta (in early January) to vote in the independence referendum, as many expatriates in the U.S. did. “It mentions a lot the way we were suffering in for so many years and how that same suffering, we’re going to end it today, to vote for independence.”
The interpretation is not so far-fetched, said Ellen Davis, a professor at Duke Divinity School who has been working with the Episcopal Church of Sudan to strengthen theological education there since 2004.
“There’s no doubt that Isaiah 18 really is speaking about the people of the upper Nile,” she said. “It really is speaking about the Sudanese people.”
Davis said the belief in the prophecy is nearly universal among the Christians she has met in Sudan.
“In general Sudanese Christians believe to a much greater extent than mainline North American Christians that the Bible speaks to current events, specifically political events,” Davis said.