Praise: The church in southern Sudan is believed to be the fastest growing church in the world. Some church leaders say the church in southern Sudan has grown 10-fold in the last decade. Telar Deng, who heads the peace and advocacy desk of the New Sudan Council of Churches, estimates that 70% of people in southern Sudan are Christian. "Ten years ago the percentage would have been considerably less." He says the fact that Christians are being persecuted has only served to spread Christianity. "Our people know that there is a threat, and that it's a religious threat.. . . . Our people have been able to identify with Christianity. It has not been forced on our people as the Muslims are trying to do with Islam."