Monday, 20 December 2010

Pray for Sudan

This media advisory was issued on 20 December 2010.

Anglican Archbishop calls for prayer for referendum in Sudan

The Most Revd Dr Thabo Makgoba, Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, has called upon the Anglican Church in Southern Africa to join in praying for a free and fair referendum in Southern Sudan, where voting will run from 9 to 15 January 2011.

Archbishop Makgoba said ‘I invite everyone else who cares for lasting justice and peace on our continent, to join in the special prayer which I have issued. I am commending it for use from Christmas through the entire referendum period, and then on until the results have been counted and announced, and a peaceful transition is set in motion to whatever future lies ahead.’

Dr Makgoba went on to say ‘One of the titles of Jesus which we remember at Christmas is his coming as “Prince of Peace”. So let us pray urgently that true peace may come to all the peoples of Sudan, who have suffered so painfully, over so many years.’

Archbishop Makgoba’s Prayer for Sudan

Lord Jesus, you who said, "I leave you peace. My peace I give you," look with mercy upon our sisters and brothers in Sudan during this Referendum period. Send your Spirit to guide them in choosing a future of godly peace and abundant life for all. May the voting be peaceful, free and fair. May the results be honoured by all. Grant healing from the agonies of the past, and bring a new beginning of lasting hope, harmony and justice to the people of this land. We ask this in your name, Lord Jesus, Amen

Issued by the Office of the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town on 20TH December 2010 Inquiries: Ms Sisanda Majikazana on 021-763-1320 (office hours)

The following background note was issued to the Anglican Church in Southern Africa, giving information on the Referendum in Sudan, and sharing the perspective of the Bishops of the Episcopal Church of Sudan.

From 9 to 15 January 2011, the people of Southern Sudan will vote in a referendum on whether they should remain a part of Sudan. A simultaneous referendum will be held in the region of Abyei to decide whether it should become part of Southern Sudan. There will also be ‘popular consultations’ in the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains on their future. The referendum is part of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement reached in 2005.

There are many concerns around the preparations for, and conduct of, the referendum; as well as about how the outcome of the vote will be received, in both the predominantly Christian South and Muslim North. There are particular worries for the safety of Christians in the North and Muslims in the South, after results are announced.

The Bishops of the Episcopal Church of Sudan issued a statement at the All Africa Conference of Bishops in August 2010, which gives fuller background. It is available at http://www.sudan.anglican.org/100829statement.php. The Sudanese Bishops particularly ask for the following support in prayer:

1. that all the churches of Africa stand firm with the people of Southern Sudan, Abyei, Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile, and support the choice they make in the upcoming referenda and popular consultations – whether for unity or separation.

2. for the Church in northern Sudan as it continues to face official persecution from the Khartoum government, with brothers and sisters who daily witness to faith in Jesus Christ experiencing suffering as they do so; and for the future of Christianity in northern Sudan.

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