Sudanese Bishops’ Official Statement

by Michael Ford last modified 17 May, 2012 04:16 PM

The Bishop of Sherborne, Dr Graham Kings, has welcomed recent news from Sudan.

Sudanese Bishops’ Official Statement

Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul of Sudan

Bishops from the Episcopal Church of Sudan have issued a statement on the results of the Referendum in Sudan. The statement calls for unity, highlights a number of ongoing issues and requests support from the international community.

99% of southern Sudan voted for independence. The House of Bishops met in Juba in February (11-12) to discuss the future of the Episcopal Church of Sudan in light of the decisive results.

Referring to Bible verses on reconciliation and peace, the Bishops said:

“We congratulate the President of the Republic and Chairman of the National Congress Party (NCP), Field Marshall Omer Hassan El Beshir for his courageous decision to honour and accept the results of the Referendum. We also congratulate our Joshua, First Vice-President of the Republic, President of the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) and Chairman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), General Salva Kiir Mayardit for accepting the will of the people of South Sudan.

“We congratulate the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission and the South Sudan Referendum Bureau for their dedication to the task of organising a peaceful, fair and credible referendum. We congratulate the people of South Sudan for exercising a peaceful, orderly and successful referendum. We appreciate the fact that there was no violence or other related issues during this time.”

The statement, signed and sealed by Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul, mentions the Bishops’ concerns about ongoing fighting, particularly in Darfur and in the troubled area of Abyei on the north-south border, and the need to retain the unity demonstrated during the voting period.

It calls for corruption to be addressed, for a constitution to be drawn up, and for the separation, and co-operation, of church and state.

The Bishops conclude, “We pray that Almighty God will help us foster unity, peace and democracy as exhibited by all Sudanese and witnessed by the whole world during this Referendum process. We must all embrace the spirit of self-sacrifice, hard work, respect for one another, tolerance, and honesty as we endeavour to build the two new nations.”

The Bishop of Sherborne, who chairs the Salisbury-Sudan Link, said today, “I am delighted that the bishops of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan have committed themselves to remaining one Church in two countries. As with the Church of Ireland, this will assist ECS to ensure that bridges between north and south remain open. It will also mean that Christians in the mostly Muslim North remain at the heart of the Church’s life.”

ENDS

Notes

Bible verses quoted in the statement (from the New Testament):

  • He has committed to us the message of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:19b)
  • Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you (John 14:27)

The Diocese of Salisbury has been linked with the Episcopal Church of Sudan for over 38 years.

Links
Full text of the statement 
The Salisbury Sudan Link 

Further information contact
The Revd Jonathan Ball, Bishop’s Chaplain and Press Officer
01722 334031, 07500 872081, bishops.chaplain@salisbury.anglican.org

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