El Obeid Diocese - Info and Basic Contacts


Bishop Ismail of El ObeidEl Obeid Diocese is the largest diocese in the Province of the Episcopal Church of Sudan.

Ismail is based in El Obeid, a day’s journey from Khartoum. His diocese includes Darfur, an area in which the northern tribes have actively harassed and killed black Africans, driving them south. He also ministers to many people who have fled for safety from warfare in the Nuba Mountains.

El Obeid was an Arch Deaconry until 1984. The first bishop was Mubarak Khamis Korkil. Bishop Ismael followed him in 1997. originally born into a Muslim family bishop Ismael converted to Christianity in 1960. He once worked as a house servant and studied in his spare time. By 1978 he had gained a place at Bishop Gwynne Theological College. In 1997 he was consecrated as Bishop of El Obeid.  

El Obeid

It is an important transportation hub: the terminus of a rail line, the junction of various roads and camel caravan routes, and the end of a pilgrim route from Nigeria. It was founded by the pashas of Ottoman Egypt in 1821 but was subsequently destroyed by the Mahdists in 1883. It was then rebuilt in 1898 following the fall of the Mahdist empire.

The population of this town is majority Muslim with a small Christian presence. The town today is the site of an airport and an oil refinery. Al-Ubayyid is home to the University of Kordofan, established in 1990. The United Nations Mission in Sudan has established its Logistics Base there.

In recent years transport has become easier between the town and the Sudanese capital Khartoum, owing to the repair and paving of roads, and the emergence of several private bus companies. The 500 km journey now takes about nine hours by tourist coach.


Darfur is a region of Sudan and included within El Obeid Diocese. It was an independent sultanate for several hundred years, incorporated into Sudan by Anglo-Egyptian forces in 1916. The region is divided into five federal states: Central DarfurEast DarfurNorth DarfurSouth Darfur and West Darfur. Because of the war in Darfur between Sudanese government forces and the indigenous population, the region has been in a state of humanitarian emergency since 2003. 

                                                   A map showing El Obeid Diocese 

The diocesan bishop is the Rt Rev Ismail Gabriel Abudigin and he may be contacted via: 



Bishop Ismail Gabriel Abudigin

PO Box 211, El Obeid, Sudan


More contacts can be found on the El Obeid Diocese website: