Barnabas Fund has begun a major operation to rescue 2,000 Christian women and children stuck in Sudan.
According to the charity, the first flight took place on 19 September once practical and bureaucratic delays had been overcome, with many more planned, travelling from Khartoum to Juba.
Southern Sudanese Christians were stripped of their citizenship after the South voted to secede and they were given a deadline to leave. President Omar al-Bashir has made it clear they are not welcome, leaving them vulnerable.
Many have made it back to the South, but hundreds of thousands are trapped. Barnabas Fund added that, following the riots over the recent anti-Islam film, their position has become even more dangerous.
Added to this danger, they are living in poverty in poor conditions and makeshift shelters outside of Khartoum.
Barnabas Fund is flying roughly 800 women and 1,200 children to Juba at a cost of £175 per person. The South Sudanese government is providing temporary shelter and the church is giving practical help before they move on to extended family connections.
Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, international director for Barnabas Fund, said, ‘We are extremely thankful to the Lord that this rescue mission is now underway.
‘He has gone before us and prepared the way, removing obstacles one by one. These vulnerable Christian women and children, who have endured so much hardship and suffering, can now look forward to beginning a new life in South Sudan’. For more information, visit www.barnabasfund.org