UNMISS Supports New Year peace prayer initiated by the church leaders
The interchurch committee conducted a peace prayer for the new 2017 on January 2nd with the hope that the prayers for peace in the country will be answered by God.
United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) supported the peace initiative by the interchurch committee, brining on board about five denominations including 30 participants at UNMISS POC site.
Acting Special Representative of the UN Secretary General and Head of UNMISS Moustapha Soumaré has said the church is grounded with deepest love and respect in his message delivered by his representative Deborah Schein on Monday.
“The church, as an institution of spiritual guidance grounded in the deepest love and respect for human dignity, has been and will continue to play a crucial role in realizing peace in South Sudan, Let us renew our commitment to peace, build on the efforts we have taken, and continue to work together towards achieving this dream of peace, stability, and prosperity for all the people of South Sudan”. Said Soumaré Acting SRSG and Head of UNMISS.
The Chairman of the Interchurch committee Bishop Reuben Akurdit of the Episcopal Church Diocese of Bor emphasized that the peace prayer is to re- unite and reconcile the communities to live in peace in the New Year.
“The aim of this peace prayer is to dedicate our country to God and to reconcile the fragmented communities to live in peace and harmony” said Bishop Reuben Akurdit of the Episcopal Church Diocese of Bor who is also the chairman of inter church committee.
Meanwhile the Priest of St. Paul Catholic church which hosted and organized the New Year peace prayer appealed to religious leaders to be instruments of peace.
“I urge the church and all Christians to be instruments of peace”, Said Rev. Edward Joseph Deng secretary of the interchurch and Priest of St. Paul Catholic Church in Bor.
UNMISS sees New Year peace prayers as a positive sign towards greater reconciliation and forgiveness when diverse communities come together in Jonglei after war separated them.
The Mission supports all efforts to bring peace whether initiated by the church, local communities or civil society.
UNMISS also Supported Jonglei women peace conference as well as communal peace accord between communities of greater Jonglei which was signed in Pibor last year.
The Mission’s Head of Field Office in Greater Jonglei applauds the interchurch committee for the initiative to bring all communities for peace prayer.
“This gathering is truly a people’s movement; this is a step towards the transformation of South Sudan in to a peaceful and prosperous nation governed by the rule of law”. Said Deborah Schein, Head of UNMISS Field Office in Greater Jonglei.
“Separation of communities only encourages suspicion but seeing communities standing together, praying for peace reassures me that people can and will reconcile their differences and the United Nations will stand with the people in the quest for peace”. She added.
During the peace prayer service, the Head of the Presbyterian Church at the UNMISS Protection asked the church leaders to be peace makers.
“Let us always be peace makers as church leaders and everybody in South Sudan, let us be committed to peace, I believe strongly the year 2017 will be a year of peace in South Sudan, God will bring peace when we come back, people of South Sudan will hear peace and they will touch peace and they will enjoy it”. Said Rev. William Tut, the Priest of Presbyterian Church at UNMISS POC Site.
At the close of the prayer service, the Governor of Jonglei Col. Philip Aguer described tribalism and hatred as the main enemy of the people of South Sudan.
Aguer appealed to communities and Christians to discourage tribalism and unite together for peace in the country.