Sending Office: Honorable James P. McGovern
Members of Congress, congressional staff, interns and the interested public are welcome –
Sudanese Bishop Macram Max Gassis
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
12:30 PM – 1:30 PM
441 Cannon HOB
I invite you to a special briefing on the current situation in Sudan with Macram Max Gassis, bishop emeritus of El Obeid, Sudan, on Wednesday, July 19th, at 12:30 PM in 441 CHOB (biography below)
On July 12th, the Trump Administration decided to postpone a decision on whether to provide permanent sanctions relief to the Sudanese government of Omar al-Bashir. While there are many reasons for the postponement, among them is
the lack of sustained, unimpeded delivery of humanitarian assistance to conflict regions in Sudan, including the states of South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur. In addition, there has been a recent crackdown against Christian churches in Khartoum, where religious
minorities have always confronted state persecution.
Bishop Macram served as bishop to the Diocese of El Obeid from 1998 – 2013, which covers most of western and central Sudan and South Sudan. He has remained especially engaged on providing relief through the Catholic Church to the people of the
Nuba Mountains (South Kordofan), where he has helped fund and staff schools, hospitals and clinics (http://globalsistersreport.org/column/ministry/despite-hardships-and-famine-south-sudans-nuba-people-remain-generous-45501)
and in speaking out against the continuing military operations targeting the civilian population by the Khartoum regime (https://www.cisanewsafrica.com/sudan-bishop-urges-end-to-recurrent-bombing-in-nuba-mountains/).
I hope you can join me this Wednesday to hear an update from a leading voice on behalf of the suffering Sudanese people.
James P. McGovern
Member of Congress
Macram Max Gassis, Bishop Emeritus of El Obeid, Sudan
Bishop Macram Max Gassis was born in Khartoum in 1938 and educated by the Comboni Missionaries in the Sudanese capital. He then studied in Sunningdale, England before attending seminary in Italy and was ordained a priest on June 28, 1964 in Verona, Italy.
Returning to his home diocese, he served as assistant parish priest in Wad Medani, in central Sudan, in 1965, establishing new parishes in that region, which lies to the west of the Blue Nile. He was appointed an Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of
El Obeid, Sudan on October 4, 1983 and later on was appointed Bishop of El Obeid on March 12, 1988.
As a young priest Bishop Gassis served as a chaplain at the University of Khartoum and worked for two charitable societies, St. Vincent de Paul and St. Anne. He earned a degree in canon law from the Catholic University of America and also served as chairman
of Caritas Sudan, before becoming Bishop of El Obeid diocese in 1988. He served as bishop from March 12, 1988 to October 28, 2013, when he retired at age 73. Since then, he has remained engaged in faith-based humanitarian relief operations, particularly
to the people of the Nuba Mountains.
As the only Arabic-speaking member of the Sudanese bishops’ conference, Bishop Gassis served as the liaison between the Sudanese government and the bishops.
After he testified before the U.S. Congress in 1988 about the atrocities committed by the Sudanese government against its people in Darfur, Khartoum brought a criminal indictment against him. But he continued to speak out, addressing the United Nations Human
Rights Commission in Geneva for four consecutive years in the 1990s.
Since 1990, Bishop Gassis has traveled extensively from his headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, throughout Europe and the United States to make known the tragic situation of the African population of the Sudan. He has often addressed the U.N. Commission on Human
Rights in Geneva, Switzerland, and a number of other international human rights organizations.
Over the years, Bishop Gassis has been entrusted with the pastoral care of the Sudanese people in areas that are not under the control of the government of the Sudan. Currently, Bishop Gassis is the voice of the people of the Nuba Mountains.
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