Thursday, 13 August 2015

Prayers for a lasting peace in South Sudan

Uniting Church members are urged to join Christians worldwide in praying for peace in South Sudan in the days and weeks ahead.

Warring parties in the 20-month civil conflict recently resumed peace talks in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. The conflict has taken a heavy toll on the world’s youngest nation, with thousands of lives lost, 1.6 million people internally displaced, and millions more facing severe food shortages.

As the peace talks resumed, the South Sudan Council of Churches, which includes UCA church partner the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan and Sudan (PCoSS/S), renewed its call for an immediate and unconditional end to what it called the ‘senseless’ civil war. In a powerful statement, church leaders have warned the warring parties, “Do not miss this opportunity to end the evil which has befallen our country.”

Uniting Church in Australia President Stuart McMillan says the UCA stands in solidarity with its Christian brothers and sisters in South Sudan.

“We pray for peace to prevail in South Sudan and for an end to the suffering of the South Sudanese people,” said Mr McMillan.

“We pray for reconciliation, for healing for the millions whose lives have been shattered, and for courage for church leaders to continue to speak the truth to power.

“Our prayers too are with the members of our Sudanese Faith Communities in Australia, and the many people whose family members have been suffering in this conflict.

“We pray that the love of God and hope of Christ will sustain them, their families and loved ones through this deeply stressful time.”

International mediators have given government and anti-government leaders in South Sudan until 17 August to try to reach a peace deal. The most recent peace talks broke down in March, leading to further bloodshed.

The United Nations’ International Organisation for Migration says that in the last month more than 16,000 internally displaced persons have sought refuge in its camps in the north-east of South Sudan.

The main UN camp in the area is now three times over its capacity and aid agencies are struggling to provide extra shelter and sanitation.

National Director of UnitingWorld Rob Floyd says, “the UCA stands ready, through UnitingWorld, to support our partner, the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan in the work of healing, reconciliation and rebuilding that we earnestly pray can start soon”.

UnitingWorld has a South Sudan emergency fund to support the people of South Sudan with humanitarian relief.

To donate please click here. All funds will be used by our partners and the ACT Alliance to provide water, food, shelter and longer term needs.


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