The World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) and its members have been working for justice, peace and reconciliation in Sudan and South Sudan for decades. The call by Pope Francis for a day of prayer and fasting on 23 February for South Sudan was thus welcomed by the WCRC.
Peace building and education are top priorities for the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan (PCOSS) said John Yor, its general secretary, in a meeting last fall with a church delegation and members of the PCOSS education department and two ecumenical, South Sudanese partners, Across and RECONCILE International.
“We need the church to be empowered,” a PCOSS pastor stated. “Church leaders, women and youth, need to be empowered to advocate for the peace initiatives in South Sudan. The church has already started it, they have done a lot for peace, especially at the grassroots, at that level, they can play their role.”
Since their independence in 2011, the people of South Sudan have endured famine, civil war and atrocities which has displaced millions and created a wave of refugees across the borders to Uganda and Kenya.
“Reconciliation initiatives that are undergirded by justice are essential for long lasting peace solutions for South Sudan,” said Philip Peacock, WCRC executive secretary for justice and witness. “The WCRC and its member churches are committed to addressing these and involving all concerned parties. We strongly remain committed to peace building mechanisms and working through our partner churches and organizations to realise these.”
Please join in this prayer for South Sudan:
We pray for our sisters and brothers in South Sudan
Torn by war and strife
Longing for peace
Working for justice
Looking for love
Your Son opens his arms to all
Embracing our brokenness
Healing our woundedness
Let us open ourselves to each other
Realizing that it is only in loving acts of hospitality
That we find our common humanity
A shared way of being
South Sudan is one of the areas of the world in which the WCRC is focusing its efforts to promote peace, justice and reconciliation. Other areas are Colombia, the Korean peninsula and the Middle East.