Photo Credit: Lambeth Palace
[ACNS, by Gavin Drake] The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has spoken of his “deep concern” over the situation in South Sudan, after a meeting with a delegation of the country’s church leaders. The ecumenical delegation from the South Sudan Council of Churches called on Archbishop Justin at Lambeth Palace last week, a month after their visit with Pope Francis at the Vatican.
South Sudan is the world’s youngest country, having gained its independence in 2011. For most of the country’s five year history, it has suffered from armed conflict verging on civil war. At various times, the Anglican Cathedral in Juba, along with other church buildings and centres, have been a place where thousands of people have sought sanctuary from the violence.
Archbishop Justin was joined by a minister from the presbyterian Church of Scotland, the Revd Philip Majcher, in welcoming the delegation to the UK. The Church of Scotland has strong ties with the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan and Sudan.
Archbishop Justin was briefed on the situation in South Sudan and the continuing response of the Churches. The delegation also spoke about the outcome of last month’s meeting with Pope Francis.
They urged the Archbishop of Canterbury – as they did with Pope Francis – to do all in his power to promote peace and reconciliation.
“Archbishop Justin Welby welcomed the delegation and expressed his deep concern for the situation,” a Lambeth Palace spokesperson said. “He informed the delegation of his continued effort in prayer and support through agencies like the Anglican Alliance towards ameliorating the situation.
“He emphasized that the peace, reconciliation and healing of South Sudan and its people remain a top priority for him and he promised to do all in his power, through the Grace of God, to support the efforts of the Church, and other people of good will.”
The church leaders spant part of their meeting praying for peace.