“But now this is what the Lord says: he who created you Jacob, he who formed you Israel, do not fear, for I have redeemed you. I have summoned you by name, you are mine.” (Isaiah 43:1)
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
On behalf of the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC), the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA) and the worldwide ecumenical family, we bring you greetings of peace and blessings.
Since the eruption of the recent crisis in July 2016, the All Africa Conference of Churches, as part of its endeavour for peace for the region and for the continent in general, has taken the initiative and the lead to bring together the ecumenical family, humanitarian actors and other players in order to pray and reflect on possible actions. In that perspective, a number of meetings were held and actions were suggested, among which a solidarity visit from churches in the region was agreed upon.
We therefore make this solidarity visit to South Sudan to reiterate our long-standing commitment to work with all religious leaders and peacemakers and to express support for their tireless efforts to secure lasting peace and stability. Because of this conflict, our hearts have been saddened: so many lives have been lost, people displaced and property destroyed.
We acknowledge and appreciate the Church in South Sudan for working together to address the challenges in the country. We also want to recognize the fact that in the recent crisis, the Church has been present to welcome people fleeing for their lives. The Church has in fact been a sanctuary. We are grateful to the humanitarian agencies for working together with the churches in offering them basic necessities, despite limited resources. We urge you not to relent in your efforts, taking a cue from the Gospel of Matthew 25: 40: “Assuredly, I say to you, in as much as you did it to one of the least of my brethren, you did it to me”.
The international community is looking up to the Church to play its prophetic role to achieve a lasting solution to the crisis in South Sudan. We therefore urge you to remain prayerful and united for a common front.
We call on the government and other political actors to continue to dialogue and to seek for peaceful solutions. It is important that at this critical hour of need, the international community does not abandon the people of South Sudan. We encourage you to continue to support efforts towards a lasting peace.
As an ecumenical family, we want to strongly reiterate our commitment to pray and work with the people of South Sudan to bring lasting peace and pledge our availability to accompany you in the process of seeking just peace.
“Take courage, brothers and sisters, do not stumble, no matter how dark thy path may be; there is a star to guide the humble”.
God bless the people of South Sudan.
Nairobi, 16 August 2016
Members of the solidarity delegation
- Archbishop Emeritus Rev. Dr. Eliud Wabukala, Anglican Church of Kenya
- Bishop Augustin Ahimana Murekezi, Anglican Church in Rwanda
- Rev. Dr. Jesse Macharia Kamau, Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA)
- Mr. Daniel Wang’ombe Kiriethe, AMECEA Secretariat
- Rev. Dr. Lydia Muthoni Mwaniki, All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC)
- Ms. Afiwa Allahare, All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC)