Pope Francis, Religious Leaders Urge South Sudan to Make “Greater Efforts” for Peace
Pope Francis and two other Christian leaders; the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Moderator of the Church of Scotland Jim Wallace have in a collective statement asked political leaders of South Sudan to sacrifice more for the good of the people. The appeal comes as the country marks its 10th anniversary of self-rule on July 9, 2021.
“Your nation is blessed with immense potential, and we encourage you to make even greater efforts to enable your people to enjoy the full fruits of independence,” reads an excerpt of the message addressed to the political leaders of the nation.
Recalling their joint Christmas message of 2020 to South Sudan’s government the Christian leaders said, “We prayed that you might experience greater trust among yourselves and be more generous in service to your people. Since then, we have been glad to see some small progress.”
The message published Friday, July 9, also disclosed their concern as it reads, “Your people continue to live in fear and uncertainty, and lack confidence that their nation can indeed deliver the ‘justice, liberty and prosperity’ celebrated in your national anthem. Much more needs to be done in South Sudan to shape a nation that reflects God’s kingdom, in which the dignity of all is respected and all are reconciled,” and this may require personal sacrifice from you as leaders.”
The three religious leaders have promised their continued solidarity and collaboration with the world’s youngest nation as the leaders “look to the future and seek to discern afresh how best to serve all the people of South Sudan.”
They recall the with joy and thanksgiving the historic meeting of the political and religious leaders of South Sudan at the Vatican in 2019 and the weighty promises made on that occasion.
“We pray that those promises will shape your actions, so that it will become possible for us to visit and celebrate with you and your people in person, honouring your contributions to a nation that fulfils the hopes of 9 July 2011,” they said and concluded, “In the meantime, we invoke upon you and all in South Sudan God’s blessings of fraternity and peace.”