Coptic Christmas (Sudan)
Only about five percent of Sudan is Christian (though 40% in South Sudan), and this minority has been subject to government-sponsored and brutal religious persecution, particularly in the last decade where the Sudan has been embroiled in genocidal civil war. Sudanese Christians (both Coptic and Catholic) take pride in the fact that Sudan has had a Christian population since Apostolic times! Acts of the Apostles, 8.27–39 tells of the Apostle Philip baptizing a member of the Ethiopian Court.
The Sudanese Christians never adopted the Western traditions of a Christmas Tree or Santa Claus and gift-giving; instead the Christmas celebration simply includes attending mass wearing colorful finery, attending to Bible readings and singing tribal hymns in many languages, often accompanied by drumming and even dancing. One moving Christmas Eve service attended by many refugees pointed out that Jesus was born a refugee as his parents had to flee their homes to avoid persecution by a hostile government.
The rhythms below are from a video of the Gosene Church band.
And here is today's Video Mini Lesson:
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