Prayers of lamentation in Juba over war
Christians including the leadership of the South Sudan Council of Churches gathered yesterday in Juba praying and fasting for peace and lamenting more than two years of civil war that has caused immense suffering and destruction.
More than ten South Sudanese bishops from different denominations gathered at Holy Rosary of the Catholic Archdiocese of Juba on Saturday to pray and fast for peace in the country. Worshippers shed tears as they prayed to God to end the war.
Chairman of the South Sudan Council of Churches Rev. Bishop Peter Gai Lual said that Christians should shed tears for the nation. His words reflected doubt about the progress so far in implementing the peace deal signed last August.
“We know there is peace on the table waiting to be implemented, and the implementation of this peace as we have seen it, it cannot come because something is not yet completed, but we want to pray God that what is not completed now let it be completed. So people are looking and yearning for peace throughout the land, because the suffering of our innocent people became immense, and we need not to continue seeing our people suffering like this,” he said.
The bishop added, “In all these tribulations women are vulnerable, and elderly, and children, they are the ones who bear the pain and they have right to shed tears, because without peace women will not be at ease, women will not be free, because all the time they are crying day and night, even at home, not only in the churches, their children are just going in the streets like they were not born by human beings, these are the things that make women be very terribly upset about what is going on in our country, peace is the only one, we can achieve the rest.”
Gai referred to a spirit of evil that had brought division among South Sudanese.
“My lamentation is that now there is no way for me to put any blame on anyone. The church calls it a devil spirit that is working among us. We cannot let the the devil work among us for so long. I'm lamenting simply because if we talk for our leaders and we think they listen to us, that's why we say that maybe we are losing hope, day by day, when we see things here especially in Juba, so it is something that can make people lament, how the market, our economy, and the rest how it falls, it is very shameful,” said the reverend.
“I am lamenting that this conflict situation cannot continue like this, it is too much to bear, my appeal is to the government because the government is for the people and by the people, it did not come in by itelf, it was brought in by the people, if the government was brought here by the people, let them put the interest of the people who brought them first, and then later on, they will be called leaders.”
Bishop Gai urged the leaders both in the SPLM-IO and the government not delay anything that can bring relief to the people of South Sudan. “Even if it sacrifices some of their accepted positions, it is good, rather than let the thousands perish because of a small thing like power,” he said.