Bishop’s death sparks fear for Sudanese church

Published December 1, 1998

Anglicanism in Sudan, a country embroiled in civil war, has been thrown into turmoil after the primate of Sudan was killed in a car crash in late October in Uganda.

Bishop Daniel Zindo, 54, was the acting archbishop of the Episcopal Church in the East African country and was also the bishop of Yambio, a diocese in the southwestern region.

Bishop Zindo was seated next to the Archbishop of Canterbury in the photograph taken of the bishops at the Lambeth Conference.

In a statement, Archbishop George Carey said Bishop Zindo’s death will come as a “bitter blow to the Episcopal Church in Sudan, and to the many people around the world who pray for and support the Sudanese people.”

Many people believe Bishop Zindo’s death could threaten the already marginalized Christian church in Sudan. Bishop Zindo was struggling to advance Christianity in a country with a repressive Islamic government.

Primate Michael Peers said there have been “bitter, bitter divisions” in the church in Sudan. Those wounds had “only just begun to be healed. Now everything is wide open again.”

Archbishop Peers spent time with Bishop Zindo during the primates’ retreat in Yorkshire before last summer’s Lambeth conference. “He struck me as very young and energetic … He was hopeful and refreshing.”

Others find it particularly tragic that Bishop Zindo’s children are now without parents as their mother was murdered last year.

Thomas Kedini, a former worker with the Episcopal Church in Sudan who now lives in Toronto, said, “It is a very unfortunate thing because it has happened at a time when we have a gap of leadership in Sudan and we had hoped he would fill that.”

Mr. Kedini worked with Bishop Zindo in the 1980s. He said Bishop Zindo was “very simple and down to earth. He liked to joke with everybody. He was a friend.”

Daniel Zindo was born in 1944. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1972. He later earned a B.A. from Oak Hill College in England. He was consecrated Bishop of Yambio in 1984.

Bishop Zindo’s funeral was held in All Saints Cathedral, in Yambio.

A memorial service was held for him in early November in Toronto.


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