Sudan and South Sudan ecumenical bodies hear of churches’ role in regional peace

Posted Oct 20, 2015

[World Council of Churches] Churches continue to play their role in peace building for South Sudan despite the dashed hopes of many in the world’s newest nation, the moderator of the World Council of Churches (WCC) said at a regional meeting.

The moderator of the WCC’s Central Committee Dr Agnes Abuom was speaking at the inaugural assemblies of the Ecumenical Network Sudan and the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) in Nairobi, Kenya on 2 and 3 October.

The WCC moderator, a Kenyan Anglican, thanked God for the work of the Sudan Council of Churches (SCC) and the South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC) in the fields of evangelism, education, health and advocacy for justice and peace over many years.

“During various ecumenical visits, the churches have been encouraged to find internal solutions to strengthen the council’s management and leadership,” said Abuom.

She said the churches in Sudan and South Sudan have provided leadership in dealing with the peace process in a South Sudan driven in recent years by internal conflict.

The WCC reaffirmed its commitment as a partner to accompany both the SCC and the SSCC, said the moderator.

Abuom observed, “Apart from South Africa where global, regional and national churches coalesced to fight against apartheid, Sudan and South Sudan have received the highest moral and material support.

“Although people’s hopes seem dashed and return from exile has not been fully realized, the churches have, and continue, to play their role of peace building, healing and reconciliation.”

The WCC moderator cited the SSCC’s consistently pushing for a stop to the “senseless war”.

“We are encouraged and inspired that the church in South Sudan and Sudan looks to the future committed to continue journeying together towards justice, peace and integrity of creation, healing and reconciliation.”

Achieving peace and prosperity

“The churches in the Council are encouraged to stay united and move together in order to tackle both cultures of privilege and indifference on the one hand, and the culture of hopelessness and suicide on the other,” said Abuom.

Dr Nigussu Legesse, programme executive for the WCC, bore greetings from the WCC general secretary, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit.

“He is very much committed to support the peace and reconciliation process in South Sudan and also Sudan,” said Legesse.

He noted, “The WCC has, along with the ecumenical partners, consistently supported the efforts of the churches in bringing peace and reconciliation to Sudan.”

This support held firm, Legesse explained, through the period when “the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed and beyond, and likewise towards the referendum and independence of South Sudan.”

He concluded, “The WCC looks forward to continue this journey in the company of other ecumenical partners and in the company of our Lord Jesus Christ.”