Archbishop’s Easter Message to the faithful of Sudan April 2009 Theme: Jesus died and rose again to reconcile us to God ...
Let us pray for our country. Let us not shame the fallen heroes who sacrificed themselves on our behalf so that we might enjoy and peaceful, free nation. The only gift we can give back to them is peace, justice, equality and unity amongst our people.
However, at present the conflicts within our people are delaying the process of peace-building. Quarrelling over land and cattle is causing us to continue fighting in Sudan. This is a betrayal of this land and our heroes who fought for us to enjoy it. We are not safeguarding our country or re-paying our heroes, but are continuing to destroy our country.* I am here by appealing to all Christians in the Sudan to take Christ’s words of peace and unity seriously, recognise the Gospel mandate, and to take the lead in bringing peace back to our land. This will be our thanksgiving to God for reconciling us to Him through His only Son’s resurrection this Easter.
* We seek to work according to the Grace of God and in the power of the Holy Spirit. I am appealing to our communities that tribalism has become a major concern in our nation, and that if we are not very careful it will destroy the unity of our country. The division of people along ethnic lines is a very dangerous weapon that can be used against our communities by the enemies of peace.
* The urgent priority of the Church is the proclamation of the Gospel message of love and mutual respect for one another as created in God’s image, as we affirm our unity in diversity.
* The Church appeals to the Dinka, Nuer, Murle and Anuak in Jonglei State to stop the unnecessary killing of innocent men, women and children. What you are doing is against God. You are but heaping the burning coals on the heads of yourselves, and in the end you will harvest the result of your actions. We consider your actions against the peace and you to be enemies of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). The people of Southern Sudan will not forgive you for your actions, and we will pray to God that those enemies of Southern Sudan within you are exposed and deal with accordingly by the authorities.
* We appeal to the Dinka Agar, Dinka Gok and Jur in Lakes State that your quarrelling is delaying the true development of your State and your nation by causing great instability. The Church accuses you to God as responsible if the CPA is not properly implemented because of the insecurity you have created in your State.
* We appeal to the politicians to remember that political power is a gift from God and the people. If you misuse it for your personal gain and cast hatred in the communities you will be responsible before God and the people of His Church.
* We appeal to the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) to address the following problems as the cause of instability in our nation:
o Cattle raiding
o Excess drinking
o Traumatisation of our people
o Imported cultures
* We appeal the Government of Southern Sudan to allow the religious leaders to be involved in the monitoring of the forthcoming elections and referendum between now and 2011 – for fair and transparent polls that will produce good governance for our people.
Let us pray to you, the Lord, the Shepherd of my people –
We remain without care. Come and rescue the people of Sudan, come and strengthen the weak, heal the sick and bind up the injured. Help us to uncover and revoke those that are destroying the CPA [comprehensive peace agreement], those that are stealing cattle and those that are abusing their political power and wealth. Lord Jesus, protect this country and let her live in love, peace and unity, for ever and ever.
I wish you all a most blessed and joyful Easter.
The Most Rev. Dr. Daniel Deng Bul Yak
Archbishop, Primate and Metropolitan of the
Province of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan
and Bishop of the Diocese of Juba
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