To mark the tenth anniversary of South Sudan’s independence Pope Francis, the Right Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Right Honourable Lord Wallace, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, have written a joint letter to the young country’s political leaders (11th July, 2021).
The Christian leaders noted that, while there is evidence of some signs of progress, the population continues to live in fear and without the “justice, liberty and prosperity” promised by the country’s national anthem. They urged the political leaders to make personal sacrifices, modelling themselves on the example of Christ’s leadership.
The letter is the latest step in an ongoing ecumenical effort by the heads of the three major Christian communities represented in South Sudan (the Anglican Communion, the Catholic Church and the Presbyterian Church) to bring peace and reconciliation to the troubled region.
In April 2019 Pope Francis, Archbishop Welby and the then Moderator of the Church of Scotland, the Very Rev. John Chalmers, gathered political and religious leaders from South Sudan for a retreat at Domus Santa Marta in the Vatican.
In their letter the three religious leaders recalled the “weighty promises” made on that occasion and expressed the hope that when those promises were met it would be possible for them to visit South Sudan.
Photos : Pope Francis, Archbishop Welby and The Very Reverend John Chalmers on April 2019.
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