Presbyterian Church of the Sudan

Church family:Reformed churches
Based in:South Sudan
Present in:

About membership

Statistics of church membership, number of churches, congregations, pastors, etc. are those given by the churches and organizations, unless otherwise indicated. WCC member churches have various ways of defining their membership: state churches in which virtually every citizen is baptized and thus counted as a member, churches which include in their membership persons who are baptized but not actively participating, churches in which only adult baptized or communicant members are counted, etc. No attempt has been made to classify the membership figures in such categories, because agreed upon indicators to so do not exist.

Member of:
 WCC (1965) 
Associate member of:

The Presbyterian Church of the Sudan (PCOS) was established in the late 1890s by American missionaries who came to the Sudan from Egypt. They established a church in Khartoum and went down to the A south in 1902, leaving the church in the north mainly under Egyptian Coptic Evangelicals (now known as the Presbyterian Evangelical Church of the Sudan). In the south the first station was established near Malakal, then the capital of Upper Nile Province. In 1962 all missionaries had to leave Sudan by decision of the government. The church remained under the leadership of a few Sudanese pastors and began to expand to other parts of the country. Today the PCOS is the third largest church in Sudan, after the Roman Catholic and the Episcopal churches.

Like other Christian denominations in the south, the church is divided into two administrations because of the war. The main administration is in the govern-ment-controlled areas, and the other in SPLA/M-controlled areas under an associate moderator. In both administrations, the PCOS is engaged in rendering services to the displaced communities in the form of education, health, relief and agriculture, with the help of partner churches and NGOs, and also in preaching the gospel. The church has two Bible schools, one theological college which is a joint venture with SPEC, and many primary schools in the camps for the displaced. After the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in January 2005, the PCOS is now working on bringing the two administrations together, and is also involved in relief, repatriation, rehabilitation, reconstruction, resettlement and development.

The PCOS is in partnership with the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Church of the Brethren (USA), the Church of Scotland, the Presbyterian Church of Ireland, the Reformed Church of America, Mission 21 (Basel), the Reformed Mission League of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands, and has a close relationship with the Presbyterian Church of East Africa.

Last updated:01/01/06