Distressing news was confirmed by the Church in South Sudan today. The Anglican News Service confirmed that several female church workers, who had fled to a church in Bor for refuge during the recent violence, died during an attack. The rebels descended on St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, raped, and murdered the women, several of whom were elderly.
Five of the women—Dorcas Abuol Bouny and Akut Mayem Yar, both 72, Tabitha Akuang, 60, and Mary Alek Akech and Martha Agok Mabior, both 70—worked as pastors in the church. A prominent lay leader, Agel Mabior, 72, was also killed.
“They were all clergy. They all worked at the church. They did different jobs, [including] Bible reading,” South Sudanese Anglican Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul told local reporters.
Though the conflict has been painted in the West in ethnic terms, a local church official was quick to underscore that he did not believe the women had been killed because they were Christian, but because they were in the line of fire.
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We continue to pray for peace, justice and reconciliation for our sisters and brothers in South Sudan.