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Presbyterians in South Sudan ask for prayers as peace negotiations continue
The general secretary of the South Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SSPEC), a partner of the PC(USA), urgently requests prayers for South Sudan. There is some hope that the warring factions are making an effort to enforce the peace treaty, but the peace is fragile and there is much work to be done.
Prayers are requested for the Republic of South Sudan with regard to the restoration of peace, reconciliation, and stability of the nation; especially, as the country anticipates the arrival of leaders of the opposition to arrive in Juba. It is also a matter of concern that good relations be established among the many different people groups and that violence of all kinds cease; especially with regard to the abduction of children and violence against women. Pray that God’s will and plan for the people of South Sudan to live in peace and security will be realized. 4/14/16
4/1/16 update: The fighting in Pochalla among the Anyuwaa people has continued, leaving many dead. March 30 was the most violent day since the fighting started on 3/21/2016.The Otallo people were attacked while they were burying the dead bodies of those who were killed on March 28. They were more than a thousand CBORA soldiers. This is a community in which the PC(USA) has recently been engaged with communities to provide clean water and training in sanitation as well as initiating the construction of two classrooms for the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan. Trinity Presbytery has also been very involved in Pochalla as has our partner RECONCILE, so we have strong ties to the community and request your prayers that the violence will cease and the community will be able to move in the direction of resolving the boundary dispute in a peaceful manner. We request prayer for Presbyterian Church of South Sudan evangelist and RECONCILE staff member Othow Okoti who is in Pochalla facilitating mediation between the two opposing sides. Please also pray that RECONCILE will be able to enter the community to facilitate the work of conflict resolution, trauma healing, reconciliation through forgiveness, and the restoration of unity among the Anyuwaa people.
Lisa Wagstaff washes the pastor's feet in Pochalla...see more
3/24/16 Sudanese Presbyterians say prayers and humanitarian relief urgently needed in South Sudan
“The fighting continues in South Sudan and the people continue to suffer, with the greatest number of and most innocent sufferers being the children”—mission worker Leisa Wagstaff
• Pray for an immediate end to the violence and for lasting peace in South Sudan
• Pray for all the people of South Sudan, particularly for all those who are living in daily fear of rape and other forms of violence.
• Pray that all those in need of food aid, clean water and medical treatment will get the assistance they need in time. Read more
Chasing education and bringing it home
South Sudan Education and Peacebuilding Project transforms lives and communities
South Sudan borders on the edge of famine two years after civil war erupts
Hunger and human rights violations continue
READ ABOUT the work of Nancy Smith-Mather and Leisa Wagstaff in education and peace-building in South Sudan.
Religious leaders in South Sudan are asking for prayers for “God to guide the nation, its people, and its leaders, into peace and a time of healing that will endure the challenges that remain and open the way for full reconciliation”
South Sudan Education and Peacebuilding Project: Click here for Third Quarter 2015 Report
Click here for Second Quarter 2015 Report
May 2015 World Council of Churches supports SSCC statement
WCC and Church leaders in South Sudan urge South Sudan government to stop the war
As the tragic situation of conflict in South Sudan moves into its 18th month, the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC) continue calling for an end to the senseless conflict. READ MORE.
PC(USA) issues call to prayer for safety and release of two pastors detained in Sudan
Church partners in Sudan and South Sudan have asked for prayers for the safe release of two pastors, Rev. Yat Michael and Rev. Peter Yen Reith, South Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church, who have been detained without charge in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, since December 2014 and January 2015, respectively. The court hearing started May 21. To learn more, click here.
UNICEF says at least 89 boys have been abducted in South Sudan
The boys, some as young as 13, were abducted by an armed group near Malakal. Armed soldiers searched house to house in the community of Wau Shilluk in Upper Nile State, taking boys older than 12 by force.—Voice of America
Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan’s diocese of Wau launches educational resource on reconciliation—a course titled “Reconcile—Moving Forward in Peace,” inviting people to be peace-builders this Lenten season (2014). This initiative from the church comes amidst the conflict in South Sudan that has gravely affected all communities since the country’s independence from Sudan in 2011.—World Council of Churches
Feb 2015 GA moderator Heath Rada visits South Sudan, Ethiopia, find both turmoil and hope
"I saw hope in the work of PC(USA) mission co-workers and the ministries of partners. Pray for these servants of our Lord, for strength, stamina, faithfulness, and resources to help them address the immense needs they face."
Focus on Africa’s Islamic extremists has diverted attention from South Sudan’s growing crisis
An estimated 50,000 people have died and 2 million have been displaced in the latest phase of fighting in this nation, according to the International Crisis Group, a think tank that aims to prevent and resolve such conflicts. That’s about five times more than in northern Nigeria, where the Islamist militant group Boko Haram has killed more than 5,000 people in six years.—Religion News Service
Jan 23, 2015 Joint Statement on South Sudan Peace Negotiations issued by the Troika (governments of the U.S., the UK, and Norway):
We are gravely concerned with the continued lack of progress in the South Sudan peace negotiations.
We commend the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the IGAD Special Envoys for their steadfast commitment to the peace process, and welcome the strong message from People’s Republic of China Foreign Minister Wang Yi calling on the parties to make peace. We recall IGAD’s determination, as articulated in its summit communiqué of January 31, 2014, to inclusive negotiations toward an agreement that addresses necessary reforms to the security sector and economic governance, creates institutions for justice and accountability, catalyzes a revived permanent constitutional process, and forms a transitional government leading to credible elections.
IGAD has made every effort to realize these goals despite obstruction from both the government of South Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In-Opposition (SPLM-IO) [a mainly Nuer South Sudanese political party and rebel group]. We are deeply disappointed in the continued unwillingness of either party to make the compromises needed to achieve a viable peace agreement. Over the past two months statements by both parties have suggested they have distanced themselves from previous commitments, and violations of the cessation of hostilities agreement have continued. We call on both parties to recommit to negotiate with a spirit of urgency and compromise, refrain from all further military action immediately, and form a Transitional Government of National Unity.
Raleigh congregation partners for education in South Sudan
World Mission partnership brings primary school its first
professionally trained teachers.
Jan 2015 PC(USA) advocates for the safety and release of two pastors detained in Sudan
Church partners in Sudan and South Sudan ask for prayers for two pastors, Rev. Yat Michael and Rev. Peter Yen, who have been detained without charge in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum.
Latest update - Fourth Quarter 2015 Report
Please click here for an update on the progress of the South Sudan Education & Peacebuilding project. Updated October 2014.
Donate online to the South Sudan Education and Peacebuilding Project
Designate your gift for E052172-1.
Peacebuilding in South Sudan
RECONCILE seeks to end strife by teaching skills and nurturing friendships—January/February issue of Presbyterians Today
A PC(USA) partner church in the capital city of Khartoum is asking for prayers and solidarity.
On Nov. 19, 2014, Sudanese government forces destroyed the home of pastor Yahiya Abdel Rahim of the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church. Church members and local religious leaders prayed for 24 hours in an adjacent church building in an effort to prevent further destruction... Read more
12/11/14 Presbyterian Washington Office of Public Witness:
Protect Religious Freedom in Sudan!
11/6/14 Presbyterian Washington Office of Public Witness:
Action Alert: South Sudan in Crisis|
South Sudan is facing an uncertain future. What seemed like a quiet rainy season for the country has proven to be a time for the warring factions to gear up for major military offenses. The peace talks have failed and in the last few months fighting forces have amassed weapons and mobilized. Both representatives from the government and the Sudan People's Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) seem ready to settle their differences through war. Continuing violence will hurt the prospects of a peaceful resolution and usher in waves of widespread displacement and famine. Read more: Looming Military Offensives in South Sudan
Churches mediating peace but need support from U.S. partners on human rights advocacy, says South Sudan International Peacemaker Rev. James Koung Ninrew Dong
Displaced by violence: the people of South Sudan need our help
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and Presbyterian World Mission are compelled to help the more than 1.3 million displaced people, mostly Murle, in South Sudan who fled inter-ethnic conflict and gross human rights violations by the South Sudanese military. Our goal is to provide food, emergency supplies, trauma recovery and peace building support.
We are working with our Sudanese partners, but the needs are much greater than we can handle without significant gifts from supporters like you. Learn how you can stand in the GAP (Give/Act/Pray) for those in need in South Sudan.
Video: Hostages of Wealth
Madam Achol Majok Kur speaks about child brides, forced marriages and the need for girls' education to counter gender-based violence
May 13, 2014 Church leaders who were part of the negotiations between South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir and former vice president Riek Machar are now urging that the peace agreement come into immediate effect, ending a five-month conflict in the world’s newest country. The peace agreement was signed by Kiir and Machar on Saturday, May10. Yet the situation remains volatile until the truce actually takes effect on the ground.
May 9, 2014 Church leaders to take part in talks between South Sudan's president Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar. Leaders include Peter Gai Lual Marrow of the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan and representatives of the WCC and the All Africa Conference of Churches
WCC general secretary: war in South Sudan must end now
“The senseless war in South Sudan must end now,” said Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit following the pastoral visit of an ecumenical delegation to local churches in Juba May 2. He stressed the need for leaders on both sides to use the resuming negotiations as an opportunity to agree and implement a ceasefire immediately. This will enable aid groups, including the ACT Alliance, to respond effectively to the humanitarian crisis resulting from the violence. Read more.
Ecumenical delegation to visit South Sudan amidst conflict
Narrow window exists to get aid to remote areas before rainy season
Support the People of South Sudan!
April 2014. The people of South Sudan are in desperate need of help. On April 12 the United States
along with the European Union and the United Nations outlined the problems and called
for immediate action in a statement reading in part:
Despite a Cessation of Hostilities agreement, fighting has continued, causing
tremendous suffering and large-scale displacement inside and outside the country. This is
a man-made disaster. All parties need to urgently work together to create the conditions
for peace and stability to return to South Sudan.
There are 5 million people in need, 800,000 people who are internally displaced, and
280,000 who have fled to neighboring countries. We thank those countries for hosting
refugees from South Sudan. Humanitarian agencies have reached more than 1 million people with life-saving aid. But this is just a fifth of the people in need. There must be immediate and unconditional
access for the UN and humanitarian organizations to reach people in need across all areas
of South Sudan. The next three months are critical.... Read more—download the full statement: PDF.
Church is a ‘unifying force’ in conflicted South Sudan, say PC(USA) mission workers
Religious groupsbring trauma recovery, conflict resolution skills to civil war-wracked country. Nancy and Shelvis Smith-Mathers visited the Presbyterian Center March 13 to talk about their ministry.
Update, February 2014: All PC(USA) mission co-workers serving in South Sudan were initially required to leave the country and decisions regarding when they can return are being made after careful evaluation and in conversation with the mission personnel and the PC(USA)'s South Sudanese partners. Some have been able to return if their work and placement is seen as secure, others are being assigned temporary work in a different context until their return is possible.
South Sudanese churches ask warring parties to end conflict and build peace
In a statement issued in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Feb. 10, where negotiations are under way following the ceasefire signed on Jan. 23, the churches asked the parties to end the war, protect civilians, and support humanitarian initiatives. “…[W]e are one nation, sharing one identity, rich in culture, blessed by diversity, which is to be celebrated, not resented.” Read more.
Support Peace in South Sudan!
The ceasefire that went into effect in South Sudan on January 23 provides a sign of hope. Our brothers and sisters of South Sudan need our prayer and support as they seek to move into a future of justice and peace. Presbyterian leaders call on Presbyterians to pray for the people, government and churches of South Sudan. Prayers are requested for those who mourn the loss of loved ones, those injured in the conflicts, political and religious leaders, and all who work for peace and just. Read more
South Sudan ceasefire agreement marks the start of rebuilding, ACT Alliance says
ACT Alliance—a global, faith-based relief and development agency of which the PC(USA) is a partner—has applauded the ceasefire agreement for South Sudan signed Jan. 23, saying it is the first step toward reconciliation for the troubled country. In just one month, conflict in South Sudan has sparked a grave humanitarian crisis that has left many dead and more than half a million forced from their homes, of which 86,000 fled for shelter in neighboring countries, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA). The fledgling nation erupted into violence last month after a political dispute between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar, who agreed to a ceasefire Jan. 23. The Alliance acknowledged South Sudan would continue to need international assistance for a long time to come. Read more
Hope Amid Violence in South Sudan
When asked if they believe the recent ceasefire will stick, Nancy and Shelvis Smith-Mather say, “We’re hopeful.” They believe international pressure for peace must continue and our financial and prayerful support for organizations like RECONCILE and other relief agencies is a must because they are working on the ground for long-term peace-building. Read more.
February 2014 update: Some mission co-workers have been able to return if their work and placement is seen as secure, others are being assigned temporary work in a different context until their return is possible.
Mission personnel leave South Sudan
December 21, 2013. All Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) mission co-workers serving in South Sudan have left the country and have arrived safely in other African nations. Fighting in South Sudan continues between government forces and troops loyal to South Sudan’s former vice president, Riek Machar. Presbyterian World Mission staff members continue to monitor the situation and are staying in close contact with the seven mission co-workers assigned to South Sudan. A decision regarding when they can return safely will be made after careful evaluation and in conversation with the mission personnel and our South Sudanese partners. Please pray for the people of South Sudan and everyone, including PC(USA) partners, seeking reconciliation. Our mission co-workers and our South Sudanese partners have expressed their gratitude for the concern and prayers of people across our church. Please continue your prayers on their behalf.
Call to prayer for South Sudan
The Africa Office of World Mission is asking for prayer for the current crisis in South Sudan
Update: the Sudan Council of Churches issues a statement regarding the situation in South Sudan. Read it now.
View the Update on South Sudan webinar from January 14, 2014 featuring perspectives from Presbyterian World Mission, the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. Learn about our history in the region, how current events are impacting our global partners and how you can respond. Moderated by Shannon Beck, Reconciliation Catalyst for Presbyterian World Mission.
Listen to our global partner, Rev. Orozu Lokine, pastor in the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan and Director of SALT (Serving and Learning Together) a Sudanese NGO.
View the ongoing work of our mission co-workers and global partners around educatio
January 2014 Despair in South Sudan
Presbyterians continue to walk with the Murle people in the Jonglei Province of South Sudan
Statement from the Sudan Council of Churches
In early 2014, the Sudan Council of Churches issued a statement regarding the situation in South Sudan. Read it now.
Presbyterian leaders released following imprisonment
Members of the clergy in the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan, a partner church of World Mission, were released after nearly seven months of imprisonment. Read the full story now.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) celebrates more than 100 years of ministry in Sudan. Its engagement in the country has involved ministry through mission personnel and partner church relationships. Since Sudan gained independence in 1956 civil war has gripped the nation for most of its post-colonial history. The war pitted Sudan’s northern-based government, controlled by Arab Muslims, against the southern Sudanese, who are mostly black African Christians and animists. Nevertheless, many people in Sudan struggled to find a common peace. Read more now.
RECONCILE: Women’s Peace Building in Sudan
This emotional video highlights a women’s peace-building workshop in Southern Sudan, site of traumatic and violent inter-ethnic fighting. The Nuer women of Akobo are ready to work and learn skills such as trauma healing, and to travel the distance to Pibor and invite the Murle women of Pibor to come together restoring health, strength and peace to their post-war country.
South Sudan Partner Churches and Organizations
- Presbyterian Church of South Sudan (PCOSS)
- South Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SSPEC)
- South Sudan Council of Churches
- Sudan Advocacy Action Forum (SAAF)
- Nile Theological College
- Yei Teacher Training College
Sudan/South Sudan Mission Network
- The Sudan/South Sudan Mission Network is among more than 40 networks that connect Presbyterians who share a common mission interest. Most participants are involved in mission partnerships through congregations, presbyteries or synods. Network members come together to coordinate efforts, share best practices and develop strategies.