From Lambeth Palace
The Archbishop of Canterbury tonight joined an appeal to leaders in South Sudan to lay down their weapons and cooperate in seeking peace through dialogue and negotiation.
The joint statement, signed by Archbishop Justin; Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace; and Lorna Hood, Moderator of the Church of Scotland, offered a prayer that all in South Sudan become 'instruments of peace'.
The full statement follows:
On behalf of our churches we appeal to the leaders in South Sudan to lay down their weapons and co-operate in seeking peace through dialogue and negotiation.
As we approach the celebration of the birth of our Saviour, the Prince of Peace, this is a time for the vulnerable, the weak and the poor to be spared the trauma of civil conflict.
We bear in mind the call of the Holy Father for peace in 2014, especially because in God's design at creation, we are all brothers, the sons and daughters of the one God and Father.
Let us not yield to fratricidal tendencies in the name of our ethnic differences (which is what God created us to be). With all Christians, we pray for peace in South Sudan. We pray that all of you in South Sudan may become instruments of peace!
We issue this appeal together, knowing that Christian leaders in South Sudan are working in unity and courage of faith for peace.
Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of All England and Metropolitan
The Rt Revd Lorna Hood
Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland