Photo Credit: Episcopal Church of South Sudan
The Archbishop of South Sudan, Justin Badi Arama, is calling on Christians in the country to take part in a peace march and prayer service on New Year’s Eve. Archbishop Justin’s vision is for 10,000 Christians to take part in the march, which will set off from Buluk Field in Juba at 9.00 am EAT (6.00 am GMT) on 31 December. They will take part in a mile-long march to All Saint’s Cathedral, where a prayer service will be held, “asking God for real peace in our nation in 2019.”
There is renewed hope for peace in South Sudan since the warring parties signed a peace agreement in Khartoum at the end of August. But many Anglicans remain in exile in neighbouring countries - many of them in Uganda. Archbishop Justin has played a significant role in the peace negotiations and is working to ensure that “peace on paper becomes peace on the ground”.
The Episcopal Church of South Sudan facilitated the inter-communities Peace Conference between Jubek and Terkeka states, , which successfully concluded this week. “I urge all the South Sudanese communities to embrace the same spirit so that we live in harmony”, Archbishop Justin said afterwards. Last month, the Archbishop met with President Salva Kiir to pray for peace.
Peace and reconciliation was the core theme of his Christmas message, in which he said: “I encourage all South Sudanese inside and outside the country to celebrate this Christmas with joy and hope, because we have the revitalised peace agreement which gives us hope and chance to build peace and enable the agreement to hold.
“This year let us celebrate by forgiving one another, reconcile with those who have hurt us and work hard to push the peace agreement from paper to a practical peace on the ground.”
Speaking about the peace march and prayer service, Archbishop Justin told the Anglican Communion News Service, that its purpose was: “reminding and encouraging the politicians to commit to the implementation of the revitalised peace agreement and encouraging the people to embrace the spirit of trust and forgiveness.”