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Clashes in South Sudan - Updates for Prayer

by Kate Brankin last modified 24 Dec, 2015 03:02 PM
Prayer requests and other updates received from brothers & sisters in South Sudan during the current crisis

Such a timeWe are told very little of what is really happening in South Sudan at this time via news channels in the UK. Below we share information received from our brothers and sisters in South Sudan and elsewhere to inform prayers at this time.  Please pray for those who are fighting, the civilians who are affected and for clergy as they minister to them.

Updated 24/12/15 - Members of the SPLM-IO have arrived in Juba this week and are meeting with government officials.  Please pray as this next stage in the peace process continues.

Updated 08/06/15 - Members of ECSS&S visited Rwanda to learn lessons from the Church there, you can read their statement here.  The following week members of South Sudan Council of Churches made a similar visit, they have issued a statement which can be read here.

Updated 03/05/15 - Conflict continues within South Sudan with violations to the numerous Cessation of Hostilities agreements.  Many people remain displaced while others have tried to return home.  The effects of the conflict include reduced revenue from oil, the strong US Dollar, weak South Sudanese Pound and market prices rising sharply all make it very difficult for local people to afford everyday essentials.  Please do continue to pray for peace, stability and the opportunity for South Sudan to grow.

Updated 29/03/15 - Church leaders in South Sudan have issued a message following the collapse of the latest round of IGAD mediated talks. You can read their letter here.

Church Leaders in South Sudan issued a "message of peace and reconciliation" which you can read here and clergy statements are available here and here.  The Archbishop of Canterbury, together with Cardinal Turkson & Rt Revd Lorna Hood, has issued a joint peace plea which can be read here

News and maps, from the UN, detailing numbers displaced, situation reports and other useful information to inform our prayers can be found here.

Updated 05/02/15 - The dry season hasn't seen as much fighting as was expected... but there is still some ongoing.  The latest round of talks ending with another signing committing to peace but neither side appear particularly sure about how or when it will be implemented.

Updated 24/09/14 - Continued fighting is reported in Renk, please pray for Bishop Joseph and those in the town - many of whom had started to return home.

More detail from Bishop Anthony on the separate situation affecting Kajo-Keji in Moyo District can be found on our prayer wall here.

Updated 17/09/14 - Peace talks continue in Ethiopia - please pray for Rejaf's Bishop Enock has he Chairs the Faith Based Organisations group.

Please pray for Bishop Anthony and the Diocese of Kajo-Keji - providing support, shelter and food to a number of South Sudanese displaced from their homes in Moyo following a border dispute this week.

Updated 10/06/14 - Archbishop Daniel has written an open letter to the people of South Sudan; click here to read it.

Updated 16/05/14 - The Archbishop of Canterbury speaks of his visit in January, the current crisis and the role of the church in South Sudan.  You can watch the video here.

Updated 10/05/14 - A peace deal was signed in Addis Ababa on 9th May, the text can be read here.  There is some optimism that this will be more credible than the agreement signed in January as it was signed by both President Kirr and Riek Machar. There is however a long road ahead for all involved in implementation. Archbishop Daniel was present in Addis as was the Catholic Archbishop of Juba - Paulino.  Please continue to hold the people of South Sudan in your prayers as they work towards peaceful resolution. 

Updated 22/04/14 - Easter messages were received from a number of ECSSS Bishops over the weekend; you can access them via the News and Information page here.

Updated 17/04/14 The National Platform for Peace and Reconciliation have issued a press statement which you can read here

Updated 13/04/14 The South Sudan Council of Churches have issued a statement which can be read here.

Updated 04/04/14
The Peace Talks in Addis Ababa have again been suspended; this time until 30th April.  Meanwhile, the rainy season is starting in some places which will make it harder for those displaced to return home.

Updated 21/03/14
Peace talks were due to resume in Addis Ababa yesterday (20 March), however not all parties were present.  Fighting was also reported in Malakal. Please continue to pray for peace and for all involved in the talks to find a way to attend and make progress.

Early rains in Juba are making conditions in the UN camps difficult, increasing the likelihood of disease.

Updated 07/03/14
The Renk Media Team have received news from Diocese of Renk's Bishop Joseph; they write:

"All of the NGOs (non governmental organizations) have pulled out of Renk County except MedAir. Many citizens have already fled. More IDPs keep coming in from Malakal, etc.

"There are relief supplies in storage in Juba. However, there is no one to distribute needed supplies in Renk County. No one in Renk is being given authority to receive and distribute aid. 

"Bishop Joseph will meet with people in Juba on Monday to ask why distribution isn't happening. Renk Diocese and the Renk Relief Agency has the capability to distribute aid. The big question is WHY ISN'T IT COMING FROM JUBA TO RENK, for which it is designated.

"An emergency committee has been formed by 4 bishops in the area to address this immediate need. The government of Malakal is moving to Renk, along with all the Ministers. As has happened in Juba earlier this week (at least 65 killed over pay disputes), if troops come to Renk for salaries as the requirement states, there will be much confusion and disturbance. There is trepidation about this move.

"And, Bishop Joseph sadly reported, that the bodies in Malakal have not yet been buried."

Updated 01/03/14
The latest snapshot from UNOCHA shows less IDPs than previously, though numbers of refugees in neighbouring countries have increased - there are still nearly 700,000 people displaced within South Sudan and 190,000 seeking refuge in nearby countries.  Please continue to pray for peace and provision of food, water and shelter for these people.

Please continue to pray for the peace talks in Addis Ababa - the violations of the cessation of hostilities agreement is not good news. There are some special prayers on page 25 of the latest edition of the Diocese of Wau newsletter Renewal, which can be found here.  

Updated 18/02/14
Renewed fighting has taken place in Malakal today; it is not entirely clear who has control of the town tonight.  Our friends in South Sudan ask our continued prayers at this time; peace talks are continuing.

Updated 12/02/14
The South Sudan Council of Churches delegates in Addis Ababa have issued a statement which can be read here.

Updated 10/02/14
Bishop Nicholas launched the Diocese of Salisbury's appeal at Diocesan Synod on Saturday 8th January. Details of how you can give towards the humanitarian need can be found here.

Updated 04/02/14
The Communiqué from the Emergency House of Bishops'meeting, held on 28th and 29th January 2014, can be read here.

Updated 03/02/14
Reports from the Archbishop of Canterbury's visit to South Sudan on 30th & 31st January can be read here and here.

Updated 02/02/14
Bishop John (Area Diocese of Bentiu) writes:
"Thank you so much for your prayers. I was trying to send you the List of church leaders who became Victims as resulted of Juba incidence. This is just to Pray for and be aware of what was happen during Juba incident. Many church leaders are now in UN camps around the Country. Please let the prayers for this situations continues.

"Despite ceasefire Agreement, Government fighting still continuing in Bor and Unity state, Warrap, and others contested Areas. About 50,000 IDPS all from Bentiu were Re-displaced  Leer was burn down to ashes. Communities are now run to bushes without food or shelters. Please prayer for them.

"Be blessed.  Bishop John Gattek Wallam"

Updated 01/02/14
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, visited South Sudan on 30th & 31st January; he met with Archbishop Daniel and other leaders (including President Salva Kiir).
ABC with ABD

During the visit he tweeted "Big crowd in Juba, great joy in worship, realistic determination in prayer, children's choir sings "Lord, give us peace in South Sudan. Bor - shattered vehicles, bodies in streets, looted, a place of evil deeds. Asked to bless mass grave before use.  Left South Sudan after meeting with church leaders today. Need for prayer, establishing truth, Archbishop Den Bul powerful brave leader."


Updated 27/01/14
Bishop Hilary (Diocese of Malakal) writes:
"Kindly find our update on the situation on the ground and the need for prayers for our displaced clergy and staff.  +Hilary"

Bishop John (Area Diocese of Bentiu) writes:
"I was given 45 days annual leave by the provincial administration, when the security situation seemed to be not good for me in Juba and Bentiu. Bentiu was completely destroyed during the second fighting during recaptured by government. I do not have news for today maybe the ceasefire is now holding as we are hoping for.

"Thank you so much for your prayers. Bentiu Area Diocese has gone back to zero level as you saw it [see Sentinel Satellite images]. My family was financially supported by Bentiu areas Diocese faithful who are now scattered by recent SPLM/SPLA Factional.

"About five church leaders lost their lives in Juba and Malakal. It is a serious issues that needs a lot of prayers and effort to reconcile South Sudanese communities. We thank God and UNMISS for their great roles of protecting civilians in South Sudan Incident even today. About 30,000 sought refuge at UN compound in Juba and many in other UN camps in South Sudan, they are in desperate needs of foods and non food Items.

"Thanks so much Bishop John Gattek Wallam"

Bishop Anthony (Diocese of Kajo-Keji) writes: 
"In Juba for an extra-ordinary meeting of the ECSS & S House of Bishops on 28-29 January. Pray for fruitful deliberations. After the Bishop's meeting, we will welcome the Archbishop of Canterbury who is visiting South Sudan this week."

Updated 24/01/14
Bishop Abraham (Diocese of Aweil) writes:
"Praise the Lord! The ceasefire agreement was sign on January 23, 2014 in Addis Ababa. God did answered our and people praying for us across the globe. I hope the ceasefire sign will be put in practice.

"But the Church leaders must be on a journey of reconcile the political leaders and build trust among the citizens, especially Dinka and Nuer who has been used to kill each in one way or other by the politicians. 

"Also, many people still wondering why their love one were killed. And there are so many orphans, widows and disabled people of recent fighting need to be comforted, counselling and trauma training for them to accept the life they are in today and accept peace and forgiveness as forward. 

"Many of these people look to the church to help them because they lost trust from the politicians/government. Thanks be to God for hearing our prayers and may God continue to guide our politicians. 

"Yours in Christ's service, Bishop Abraham Nhial"

Updated 23/01/14
We give thanks that today a Cessation of Hostilities and agreement on the status of detainees were signed.  They are due to be effective 24 hours after signing.  Talks are then planned to take place in February to deal with the issues.

Bishop Anthony (Diocese of Kajo-Keji) writes: 
"We thank God for the signing and pray that the ceasefire will hold between now and the time they will have discussions."

Updated 22/01/14
A friend in Lakes State (Awerial Area Diocese) has sent news of today's events in Kalthok, he writes:
"The Nuer Militias attacked and burnt down Kalthok in fact over-ran it. Sending waves of fear to Mingkaman. They were fighting their ways to the river side. The civil population were running in disarray, the NGOs evacuated the area. More prayers for our people. There is hope that these pockets will be cleared possibly tomorrow. The agony and suffering of Aliab People and Bor IDPs. Its horrible. Seeing children, elders and women wondering what to do with their lives. Forced to run again after thinking of evading death in Bor. They are traumatised…"

Bishop Hilary (Diocese of Malakal) writes:
"Kindly find here attached an update of what is going on in Upper Nile Cluster and the needs for prayers and support in kind and words. Thanks alot andGod bless you richly. +Hilary"

Updated 21/01/14
Bishop Hilary (Diocese of Malakal) writes:
"According to what we know the Government have retaken control of Malakal though the rebels deny it. It is difficult for us to reach them now with telephones. But we still have some of our elderly priests there inside Malakal. So let us continue to pray for people of south Sudan. +Hilary"

Bishop Abraham (Diocese of Aweil) has written an open letter to South Sudan political leaders and citizens.  "...I appeal to all Christians to stand strong through the storm of conflict with a message of peace in our heart knowing that this conflict will come to pass..." Read the full letter here.

Updated 20/01/14
Bishop Anthony (Diocese of Kajo-Keji) shared on twitter earlier:
"We had an inter denominational prayer day in Kajo-Keji today. Reflections on repentance, forgiveness, peace and reconciliation were given. I spoke on the importance of reconciliation with God and each other. We need to shun the culture of revenge or "an eye for an eye…..". Reminded them of the Bible quote: "Vengeance is mine says the Lord" and what M. Ghandi said that en eye for an eye will make the world blind."

Rev Jesse Zink has written a blog which includes reports and photographs from Bishop Hilary in Malakal and Bishop Ruben in Bor; click here to read it. 

Updated 19/01/14
Trevor Stubbs (Bishop Gywnne College) has sent news of Malakal's Bishop Hilary; he writes: "Bishop Hilary Garang and his family are in Juba. He told the cathedral congregation this morning that he and his family were forced to flee on foot to an airfield where they managed to get a plane out. Malakal cathedral has been set on fire and his cars have been destroyed by fire too. He urges us all to continue to pray for the people of his diocese, most of whom are now refugees."

Updated 17/01/14
We rejoice with Rev John Chol Daau and his family on the arrival of Abraham, born on 15th January. 

Bishop Joseph (Diocese of Pacong) writes:
"Greetings and best of wishes to you all in the precious name of Jesus.Thank you so much for your concerned and prayers for us. We are very grateful for the efforts you making to support IDPs in South Sudan.

"I have also sent to Anglican alliances an appeal [see yesterday's message below] to help Bishop David Akau of Awerial Area diocese/County to Support IDPS in Guolyar,some are Yirol and Warrap State about 10,000 Bishop Moses Deng Bol and Bishop Abraham Yel told me told me today. We are also contributing something small locally, Bishop of Rumbek have started and diocese of Pacong to help Bishop David Akau. Continue praying for us."

Richard Dean has sent the latest news from Juba Diocesan Model Secondary School which you can read here.

We've heard via Bishop Gwynne College from Bishop Grant (Area Bishop of Horn of Africa) in Ethiopia where some South Sudanese are fleeing, more details here, he writes:

"Thanks so much for the prayers - they are appreciated. We are dealing with new refugee issues - but what we are dealing with is nothing compared to what folks in Juba, Malakal, Bor and other places are facing. Much sorrow and much praying going on here in Gambella. 

"Blessings, +Grant"

Updated 16/01/14
Bishop Moses (Diocese of Wau) writes:

"I understand the Rebel Leader Dr Riek Machar has effused to sign a ceasefire unless the following demands;
1) Release of 11 detainees
2) Withdrawal of Ugandan troops

"The President has also refused to accept these demands. The two gentlemen are heavily protected by their personal  or tribal militias while the Civilians are dying from gun, drowning in the water, hunger diseases etc.

"Please pray that the International Community specially the powerful Nations such US, UK put pressure on these two power hungry leaders to stop the fighting immediately.

"Every blessing"

News from a friend about Renk 

"We just had a call from Tim, Director of Operations for MAF (Nairobi). That office is the one that serves Renk and other parts of South Sudan.

"Tim’s information, as of a few minutes ago, was that Malakal was now under the control of opposition forces. The offices of two NGOs had been looted.

"Tim’s reports further stated that fighting had broken out in Renk today. NGOs in Renk had been told to stay confined for the next several days. There is concern, of course, that with Malakal being somewhat of a gateway to the north, that opposition forces might move there in numbers. And the feeling on the ground is that Government forces were not sufficient to defend the city.

"Of course all of this is difficult to confirm, and Tim’s reports say that specifically. It was serious enough, however, that he picked up the phone to call us directly from Nairobi.

"Please pass this along to others for prayer.  Peace,"

Bishop Joseph (Diocese of Pacong) writes:
"Dear Brethren in Christ,

"Greetings in Jesus name! On 15 December 2013 heavy fighting broke out in Juba between the presidential guards and soldiers loyal to the former Vice President Dr Riek Machar. The incident took us by surprise and resulted in the loss of thousands of lives. 

"However we are grateful to God for sparing our lives so that we can continue the ministry God has entrusted to us. We've been praying for speedy evacuation of our people, support and peaceful settlement, but it has not been fully realized due to financial constraint. We want to be a channel of blessings to several of the victims who have escaped to Awerial County in Lakes State. Some of them travelled more than 2 days one way to reach there. 

"I am writing this letter in pain, appealing for your help following the current conflict in South Sudan. Since then the fighting has spread to some parts of the ten states of this new country, particularly in the Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile States. In Juba, over 500 people are feared dead and thousands are displaced. Although the situation in Juba is calmer now and is in full control of the government, Bor, the capital city of Jonglei state is still under the control of the rebel soldiers as I write now and has been totally destroyed. Many people lost their lives - although we cannot give a figure as we are still gathering more information – tens of thousands of the internally displaced people fled Bor across the River Nile to Awerial for safety. We’re desperately in need of assistance and I have summoned up courage to contact you. I’m seeking for assistance from well-wishers through the internet and ready to take back any assistance to our people who are displaced. Our priority is to meet the needs of some 5000 displaced people or more depending on the availed funds, who have since settled at Awerial town as soon as possible. Many South Sudanese are currently without medicine, blankets, mosquito nets, Jeri cans, utensils, clothes, tents, bibles, milk for children, bathing and washing soaps, sanitary towels, and lotions for children, water and food which is causing severe malnutrition and the outbreak of diseases. We need to respond very quickly. 

"In Bor, the capital of the Jonglei state, we’ve continued receiving incredible reports of total destruction and looting of the town, with thousands of people displaced and hundreds of lives lost. Most of the people who could not run especially pregnant mothers, old people, persons with disability and children are currently living in bushes. 

"Shops have been turned ‘upside down’ some burnt to ashes, banks vandalized; Bor main referral hospital was also looted. Pieces of boxes from looted shops and burnt building characterized the ghost town of Bor. Minimum deaths also occurred during the two-week battle for Bor. A few Corpses could be seen lying on the streets. The Bor branch of Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), a pioneer bank with the widest coverage in the country was not spared. The attackers did not only loot it but also set the building ablaze. 

"I appeal to you to pray for us and lobby your governments, organizations and churches to come in our aid. The crisis began as a political struggle within the SPLM party, but it turned into a military struggle which later on took the dimension of ethnic problems. And as a Church, we are deeply concerned and worried that if the situation is not contained it will lead into chaos which will be uncontrollable. Also we are worried that the fighting may turn into genocide or ethnic cleansing. We still don’t know how the situation may evolve in the next twenty-four hours, days weeks and months ahead of us. I also do appeal to charitable organizations and agencies to please help alleviate the affected people as some of them are now dying of hunger, diseases such as diarrhea and malaria, particularly the children and the pregnant mothers. Although there are some NGOs present providing some assistance, the humanitarian crisis has reached a breaking point Your donation will provide: Medicine, blankets, mosquito nets, Jeri cans, utensils, clothes, tents, bibles, milk for children, bathing and washing soaps, sanitary towels, and lotions for children, water and food for our desperate people currently camping at Guolyar town in Awerial County of Lakes States.

"Thanking you for supporting us and many blessings in Christ our Lord Yours in Christ
Rt. Rev. Joseph Maker Atot Bishop of diocese of Pacong and Chairman of Bahr-elgazal Cluster"

Updated 15/01/14
A joint statement has been issued from the Peace & Reconciliation Commission, the Specialised Committee of Parliament on Peace & Reconciliation and The Committee of National Healing, Peace & Reconciliation (Chaired by Archbishop Daniel) which can be read here.

Updated 13/01/14
Bishop Ezekiel (Diocese of Twic East) writes:
"... We are not sure about our Congregations in Bor and Twic East because the war had killed many people both men, women, children old and young people in both Dioceses. 

"The survivers might have cross the River Nile to west of the Nile in Yirol County; some of them had drown in the Nile because they can't swim most of the people are scatted in the bush.

"Bor Town is now laying in ashes and the war is still going on, many things are looted many houses are burn down.  Our hearts are broken when we hear our dear fathers, mothers and children laying dead in Bor Town and allover the land, but what do we do only God is the answer.

"This war had affected us in many ways we the church leaders of Bor and Twic East Diocese. we are not able to go where our Congregation is to trace them because still there is war which has caused insecurity in the State of Jonglei capital Bor

"Our Pastors in the two Dioceses are scatted with the people and we are not sure of their whereabout and their survivals, I have heard some of my pastors have reported in Kakuma Refuge camp in Kenya. 

"Only God know how we will survive in this war devastation of R. South Sudan with our congregation and our families; any way our hope is based on the promises of God.

"Keep on remembering us in your prayers and may God Almighty be with you."

Bishop Moses (Diocese of Wau) writes:
"Greetings, Wau is fine. I have just received a report from our Development Coordinator who had gone to Gogrial West and Twich Counties of Warrap State where many IDPs from Unity State have run to. As usual the IDPS are in need of food, medical care, water among others.

"Please pray for  them as well as for the peace talks to resume in Addis Ababa and for agreement to be reached.

"Every blessing"

Updated 12/01/14
"Let my people live in peace and harmony" - the South Sudan Council of Churches have issued a statement which can be read here.

Updated 11/01/14
Saturday 11th January was a day of prayer in South Sudan. Many joined in across the Diocese and beyond.  At a prayer vigil in Salisbury Cathedral we used liturgy written for the day which can be downloaded here.

Updated 10/01/14
Bishop Francis (Diocese of Rokon) writes:
"Thank you so much for your prayers and concern about the displaced and the women and children. 

"I arrived Juba yesterday from Rokon and the situation I left was calm only that the children of the rebellious army left their families behind and the diocese find it difficult to care for them and please kindly pray for them.

"Yes, we buried the lost ones the rebels army they left 12 soldiers dead and buried in Rokon but the rest ran away in hidings places. The road between Rokon and Juba is opened and people goes on with their normal business. My family is safe as most of my children are in Nairobi or in Kampala,Uganda studying.

"My concern now is the families of the soldiers as they lost all their belongings and children sleeping in open without any cover leave alone the food for the kids and mothers.

"The situation is going further north of the South Sudan in Malakal but the government is trying to put things down, we continue praying for the peace talks and soon some of these problems will be resolved.

"Yes, we trust God at this time of strife and pains and we believed that God will not allow blood shed of the weak and the disadvantaged. We know God will not leave us alone as this is a test in life.

"Thank you so much for your prayers and support.  God blessings,  Bishop Francis Loyo."

Updated 09/01/14
Richard Dean
has sent us good news of Juba Diocesan Model Secondary School (JDMSS) which you can read here.

Bishop Abraham (Diocese of Aweil) has sent more details of the mission of reconciliation in Kakuma, Kenya which you can read here.

Bishop Bismark (Diocese of Mundri) writes:
"Thanks for your message. Yes it is true that there has been some fighting here Mundri (about 3 km from our home!) and 12 soldier got killed in the fight! But we are safe and so are the people around the place of fighting.

"However there was a lot of fear though now everything is fine except what is going on in the rest of the Country which causes us concern. Please continue to pray for us and thanks.  Bismark"

Bishop David (Area Diocese of Awerial) writes:
"Thank you for the message and the big concern for the people of South Sudan.

"The affected areas are Bor, Bentiu and Malakal and most of the people from Bor are crossing the river to Lakes State, Awerial Area Diocese (Awerial County) with the population of 127, 697. So the host community is also affected and we continue to ask you to pray for us and the people of South Sudan.

"And the areas of concern or to remember us in your prayers and supports.

Health, many children are sick
Shelters- People are all under tree
This month is very cold in this area.
Needs of counselling, because most of the people are get trauma.

"Those of Awerial are greeting you so much, pass my thanks to our people over there in Salisbury Sudanlink.

"Thanks and God bless you, Bishop David Akau"

Updated 08/01/14
Bishop Justin (Diocese of Maridi) writes:
"Greetings to you from Maridi, South Sudan.

"I am happy to inform you that Maridi is still calm and peaceful. There was some disturbance in Mundri and Lui, but not yet in Maridi. Thank you for your concerns and prayers. We continue to pray for the general situation in the country."

Updated 07/01/14
Bishop Ruben (Diocese of Bor)
has been speaking to the BBC, you can hear the interview here.

Bishop Stephen (Diocese of Lui) writes:
"New Year Greetings to you from the Diocese of Lui in South Sudan.  We hope that you had a very wonderful Christmas and New Year Celebrations.

"Thank you very much for your e-mail that we received, it is so good to hear from you more especially to know that you are concern and praying about the church in South Sudan and Sudan.

"We feel honored to have the opportunity of attending the 40th year celebration of partnership between your diocese and the province of Sudan.

"Please continue to pray for us as our country is going through difficult times at the moment we are seriously facing the challenge of war.  Last Friday and Saturday has been a very challenging situation for us in the Diocese of Lui when the fighting broke among the solders at the village of Lanyi in Lui Archdeaconry and Mideh village in Mideh Archdeaconry and Lui village where the See of the Diocese of Lui is sited.  People from all this villages had to run for their live into the forest and the shops at the local markets are all looted, so far we have no idea about how many people whom have died or injured.

"Today in Lui life is moving slowly back to normal but it is not ease. Please join us in prayers for the permanent peace in South Sudan.

"God Bless You. Bishop Stephen Dokolo"

Updated 06/01/14
The Anglican Alliance have published a copy of a letter written by Archbishop Daniel to the Archbishop of Canterbury on 3rd January, you can read it here.  The Anglican Communion News Service have written about the response of Anglicans around the world which can be read here.

Bishop Joseph (Diocese of Renk) has been in touch with the Renk Media Team - they write: "This morning, Bishop Joseph reports that it is quiet in Renk, although IDP's are coming into Renk from Malakal. Malakal has been under attack. He says this current crisis is destroying the trust among the people which is sad. His wife Roda and the twins are safe in Nairobi."

Updated 05/01/14
We have heard from friends in Juba and beyond of shooting in Juba, Rokon and Yei overnight on the 4th January.  The reasons are not yet clear but our friends ask for and value our continued prayer.

This morning, an interview with Archbishop Daniel was played on Radio 4's Sunday programme - you can listen to it, starting at 1 minute10, here.

Received 01/01/14
Bishop Hilary (Diocese of Malakal) writes:
"We have prayed today and many churches as well."  Good news after prayers on Christmas day were cancelled due to fighting.

Received 31/01/13
Bishop John (Area Diocese of Bentiu) writes:
I am fine here in Juba, I could have gone to Nairobi [to see family], but finance situation is not good here in Juba.

"People of Bentiu are okay, situation in Town is calm but government troop and the Rebel are continuing fighting around Bentiu and Warrap state border. My vehicle was collected today in the morning by rebel soldiers. I have sent Bishop commissary for it release that they may be tomorrow. Please pray for South Sudan situation.

"thanks, +Bishop John Gattek"

Bishop Abraham (Diocese of Aweil), now returned from Kakuma Refugee Camp (see previous entry), writes:
"I would like to inform you all that I arrived safely todate to Nakuru where my family live and I thank you all for your prayers. The mission was successful because of your prayers, we had celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ at Zone Parish where more than 3,000 Christians attended the church. 

"On Friday December 27, 2013, I met with pastors from Nuer and Dinka, who are serving South Sudanese people in the Camp. These pastors has demonstrated their call as peacemakers and ambassadors for Christ for reconciliation as they preached the message of peace, forgiveness, and unity of our people in their Churches. They promised me that they will keep the unity of our people regardless of what politicians are doing now in our beloved nation. We refused to be divided. We are Christians and we are one before God. I am proud of them. 

"However, these pastors need urgent training on peace building, mediating and reconciliation for them to be more effective in the Camp and back home. They are willing to go back to South Sudan as a team to preach the message of peace, unity and love to our people.  

"If your organization or a church is willing to come to train them or sponsor the training they will appreciate it very much. Also, today in Nairobi the Dinka and Nuer pastors, community and youth leaders are meeting to work together as peacemakers.

"Again, thank you all for your prayers and advocacy work you all are carry on for your brothers and sisters in Christ in South Sudan. We appreciate every thing you do to stop this fighting. Happy New Year 2014. God bless you all.

"Yours in Christ's service, Bishop Abraham Nhial"

Received 30/12/13
Rev Jesse Zink has spoken with Bishop Abraham (Diocese of Aweil) and Bishop Hilary (Diocese of Malakal) today; read news from Bishop Abraham here and from Bishop Hilary here.

Received 28/12/13
Bishop Anthony (Diocese of Kajo-Keji) sent news from Bishop David (Area Diocese of Awerial), he writes:
"Bishop David Akau of Awerial reported that over 20,000 people crossed over from Bor to Awerial. He said that the displaced persons now occupy even his own compound. When asked on what the immediate needs were, he mentioned the following:
1.    Food: there is a need for immediate food for the displaced person.
2.    Shelter: although this is the dry season, temperatures drop at night – hence
       contributing to children becoming sick.
3.    Medicine: there is a need to provide needed medicines for the people
4.    Water and sanitation: It is important to provide clean drinking water. 
The above needs are also required across all parts of South Sudan that have been affected by the fighting."
Please pray that aid agencies are able to access the whole country and supply those in need.

Bishop Hilary (Diocese of Malakal) called -
He told us that the town is "not functioning" following the recent violence; it was hoped the Governor would return today. Please pray as people who fled return to the town and begin to rebuild.

Received 27/12/13
Bishop Hilary (Diocese of Malakal)
was interviewed by the BBC yesterday (26/12/13); the podcast is available here (Bishop Hilary at 4:30); Rev Jesse Zink has added a some background on his blog.

Received 26/12/13
Bishop John (Diocese of Ezo) writes:
We had a peaceful Christmas prayer yesterday here in Ezo. There was heavy fighting in some parts of Malakal.  We continue to uplift God's people in those troubled areas in our daily prayers.We are safe from that violence in Ezo / Western Equatoria State."

Bishop Ruben (Diocese of Bor) has been speaking to Rev Jesse Zink; Jesse has shared details of the conversation on his blog which can be read here.

Received 24/12/13
Bishop Bernard (Diocese of Torit) writes:
"We are saddened by the incident which started and Juba and is now extending to Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile. We need to pray for them all.

"Torit diocese is peaceful but is hosting many IDPs from Juba and some families from Jonglei especially in Nimule.

"Pray for us so that we remain peaceful as we are now.  Regards, +Bernard"

News from Bishop Samuel (Diocese of Nzara) and Bishop Joseph (Diocese of Renk) received via the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa can be read here.

Received 22/12/13
Bishop John (Diocese of Ezo) writes:

"We are out from Sunday service.  We had joint prayer for the PEACE in the country and for our leaders to resolve the ongoing conflict between them.

"We thank the Archbishop of Canterbury and all those praying with us since this incident started. God will bless them for such a great concern for us in time of trouble."

Bishop Anthony (Diocese of Kajo-Keji) writes:
"Attached is the text of a radio broadcast that I made yesterday (21 December 2013) in Bari and English through the two local FM radio stations in Kajo-Keji to the people of Kajo-Keji County and surrounding areas in which I asked that we pray in all churches for peace in South Sudan.

"At the English service at Emmanuel Cathedral this morning, we prayed for peace for our nation."

Received 21/12/13
Bishop Justin (Diocese of Maridi) writes:
"Dear Friends in Christ

"Christmas greetings to you all in the name of our saviour whom we look forward to celebrate His coming to earth in human flesh on 25th December.

"On behalf of the Christians in the Diocese of Maridi, I want to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to you all for the fellowship, friendship and partnership we have enjoyed together. Thank you for your encouragements to us that has enabled us to preach and demonstrate practically the love of God to His people in South Sudan.We look forward to continue in fellowship and partnership with you.

"Though with much worries and fears, Maridi Diocese and the whole of Western Equatoria is still calm and peaceful. It is our prayer that this peace will hold and continue to expand to all the other states where there are conflicts. We request your prayers for all Church leaders in South Sudan that they will stand firm to console,reconcile and preach the message of hope and peace at this confusing moment in our Country.

"We wish you all Merry Christmas and a Happy new year 2014.
Justin Badi - Bishop of Maridi Diocese"

Received 20/12/13
Bishop Moses (Diocese of Wau) writes:
You may know that very sad things are happening here in South Sudan and many people fear for the future. This should be a time of peace, we should not be fighting and killing each other. My brother in faith, Bishop Abraham has put out a message asking for prayers, I want to share this with you and encourage you support his request.

"Please may you, your family, and your Church join us on this coming Sunday on December 22 to pray for peace, wisdom to our leaders, those who lost their lives, and families affected who to be comforted by God. Please keep me in your prayers and all the Bishops so that we can deliver God's message to His people at this time. Thank you all for your prayers. God bless you all and Merry Christmas."

We thank you all for your kind care and support for us in Wau and for all of South Sudan. Our nation needs your prayers at this difficult time, please keep us in your hearts and join with us in prayer on Sunday. If you are able please pray for us that God may guide us back to peace this Christmas, it would be a present worth having. 

Blessings for Christmas  +Moses"

Bishop Anthony (Diocese of Kajo-Keji) writes:
"Last night I received a call from someone I know in Bor asking for prayers. Please pray for all those displaced in UN centers, churches.  Pray for all those involved in efforts for peace that dialogue will be accepted by all parties to end the suffering of people of South Sudan. At the end of a 3 day Christian children's camp for 600 children in Kajo-Keji, we prayed for peace in this country." 

Bishop Stephen (Diocese of Lui), (thanks to Lui Network for sharing) writes:
"We are thankful to you for keeping us continuously in your prayers, we need your prayers and we need it always because Christmas is at the door but our country is going through difficult time especially those who are in Juba and other places where there is gun shoots.

"We need peace and we are praying for permanent peace that will give us rest.

"May the birth of Jesus Christ as prince of peace during this Christmas time bring new meaning in our lives and transform us into installment of peace in our countries and beyond.

"Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2014.”

Received 19/12/13

Bishop Elijah (Diocese of Cueibet) called and was able to tell us that the area is quiet and he is safe.

Bishop Anthony (Diocese of Kajo-Keji) writes: 
"I am back in Kajo-Keji. At Nairobi airport this morning I was asked as to why I am returning to South Sudan when everyone is leaving.  I told them that I need to be with the people especially during Christmas."

A friend in Juba writes:
"We thank God for his full protection.  Pray for the situation in Bor especially children who are suffering due to lack of food, water and shelter. I am now in the [Juba} hospital and the situation of those wounded is very terrifying due to lack of enough medicines - pray for this situation." 

Bishop Abraham (Diocese of Aweil) writes: 

"I want to thank you all for your prayers. Your prayers did change things in Juba. Praise the Lord! But, I want to ask you all to continue praying for people of Bor town who were attacked last night and they are now scattered. I believe that even though our beloved nation is in conflicts God is in control and this conflicts will soon come to an end. Pray for our leaders to be guided by our God so that they make wise decision.

"Also, you all have been concern where I am now, I was celebrated early Christmas with my family in Kenya and I was to go back to South Sudan on December 18 but this conflicts broker out in Juba. I was to go back today to South Sudan but I was told that there are no flights operating from Juba to Aweil. Also, my beloved pastors advised me not to come now. I thank them for their love and concern they have for me. So I am here in Kenya with my wife and children. We are safe but my heart is with people in South Sudan.

"Moreover, we, four Bishops of Anglican Church and a pastor from Presbyterian Church (Dinka and Nuer) went today to met with South Sudanese Ambassador Majok Guandong in Kenya to discussed how we can talked with South Sudanese who are living here in Kenya especially Dinka and Nuer not to fight themselves because this recent fight in South Sudan is not about Dinka and Nuer. It is about politicians. 

"Therefore, the out come of the meeting is that I am going to Kakuma Refugee Camp to talk and pray with our people there I will go tomorrow if possible. One Bishop will go to Nakuru to talk and pray with South Sudanese there, another Bishop will go to Eldoret and two Bishops and a pastor will remain in Nairobi area for talk and prayers and they will be join by Ambassadors on Sunday. 

"Please may you, your family, and your Church join us on this coming Sunday on December 22 to pray for peace, wisdom to our leaders, those who lost their lives, and families affected to be comfort by God. Please keep me your prayers and all the Bishops so that we can delivered God's message to His people at this time. Thank you all for your prayers. God bless you all and Merry Christmas." 

Received 18/12/13
Bishop Moses (Diocese of Wau)
"I got caught up in Nairobi after coming for my Studies at St Paul's University. 

"I have been in touch with people in Wau and they say the situation there is calm although I heard that one person was killed in Kuajok (Capital of Warrap State) yesterday and some Politicians in the State arrested.

"The Eastern African Countries are sending delegations to South Sudan tomorrow to negotiate peace between the two Leaders (Kiir and Machar) and their groups. Please pray that an agreement is reached so that peace returns to the Country."

Bishop John (Diocese of Ezo) writes:

"Ezo is safe from the fighting taking place in Juba. We are told it spread to Bor town of Jonglei state."

Bishop Justin (Diocese of Maridi) writes:

"Many thanks for your prayers. The situation is now a bit calm in Juba.

"The worry is about some politicians who have escaped with some armed followers after them. We do not know what they plan to do. There are some news of unrest in other towns like Bor in Jonglei. 

"Western Equatoria is calm and I am now back home in Maridi.

"Happy Christmas and best wishes for the new year."


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