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Episcopal Bishop of Yambio put on leave to diffuse conflict


December 31, 2012 (WAU) - The Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of Sudan and South Sudan, Daniel Deng Bul has sent the Bishop of Yambio Diocese, Peter Munde, for a Sabbatical in Uganda, apparently to diffuse a diocesan conflict in which some pastors are reported to have abandoned the Church, believers and religious leaders told Sudan Tribune on Sunday.

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The centinary of Missionairies arriving in Western Equatoria State is celebrated at Timbiro Episcopal Church in Yambio, South Sudan, 28 December 2012 (Photo: Phillip Mbugo William)

Archbishop Bul was responding to calls asking him to contain an internal dispute between Bishop Munde and pastors to avoid further defections from the diocese following the resignation of nine high profile pastors in February 2012.

The Church has not released any statement surrounding the circumstances which triggered the mass resignation and subsequent dismissals. Religious leaders have avoided commenting on the dispute in the media although privately they acknowledged the existence of administrative challenges which require resolution.

Anonymous religious leaders in interviews with Sudan Tribune on Sunday from Yambio, the capital of Western Equatoria State, charged Bishop Munde of nepotism, misappropriation of the diocesan funds and promotion and assignment of illiterate pastors.

Internal attempts to resolve the dispute were unsuccessful, leading to Archbishop Bul sending Bishop Munde on leave for one year leave, source said. In his place he appointed Reverend Samuel Borete as Vicar General for Yambio Diocese and Bishop Justin Badi of Maridi Diocese as Caretaker Bishop.

“Bishop Peter Munde will be sent for [a] sabbatical [for] one year leave in Uganda after consultation with Christians. This is the only way to resolve the dispute. Actually this is the best way to handle such situation”, a pastor who did not want to be named told Sudan Tribune on Sunday.

The religious leader claimed that Christians in Yambio celebrated the news with joy and happiness.

"What remains unclear now is whether Bishop Peter Munde will come back as a Bishop of Yambio Diocese", the church leader said, considering that he is accused of "misusing Church money" and chasing away educated Pastors from the Church only to replace them with "village pastors.”

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The centinary of Missionairies arriving in Western Equatoria State is celebrated at Timbiro Episcopal Church in Yambio, South Sudan, 28 December 2012 (Photo: Phillip Mbugo William)

Archbishop Bul announced the changes on 28 December during centenary celebrations to mark 100 years of Christianity in the Episcopal Church Sudan Diocese of Yambio. In a televised statement on South Sudan Television on Sunday, Archbishop Bul urged Christians and believers who converged to celebrate centenary to have a vision like the missionaries who brought the gospel to Western Equatoria State a century ago.

"Missionaries from England came to Western Equatoria in 1912 to give good news of salvation to our people in this state. This is why we have 100 years of gospel in this country which is what we are celebrating today. We must also have a vision for the next generation”, he said in a statement broadcast by the state owned South Sudan Television (SSTV) on Sunday.

The Archbishop called on Christians to remember their ancestors who first received the gospel in their prayers and kept it until the present generation. He appealed for the return of the nine pastors who resigned from the Church in February and called on Christians to initiate persuasive dialogue so that pastors return to the church.


Meanwhile, Western Equatoria State governor Bangasi Joseph Bakosoro said he appreciated Archbishop Bul’s attempts to resolve the internal church dispute and to promote peace and unity. Governor Bakosoro said that South Sudanese who follow traditional African beliefs should convert to Christianity, submit to God and start a new life with peace and harmony.

As well as his religious message, the Governor reminded the congregation to make education a priority as well as embracing food production and improving security.

The Chairperson of the event’s organizing committee, Phillip Ayoub Gaza, who is also the Chairperson of Western Equatoria State’s Public Grievances Chamber, hailed the work done by the elected committee in just four months to make the celebration a success.

Reverend Mark Kumbayanki, who spoke on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church, said that when Missionaries came to South Sudan they faced many challenges. Most South Sudanese, Kumbayaki added, have left behind traditional African belief systems in favour of Christianity.

The Commissioner of Yambio County, John Kuzee, who also attended celebrations, expressed happiness for 100 years celebration of Christian faith in Western Equatoria. He pointed out that most government officials studied in the Church and he was not happy to see Yambio Diocese getting into the recent troubles that led to some Christians and Pastors to abandon the Church.

However, he expressed hope that, after the Bishop Munde leaves for Uganda the Church in Yambio will grow as fast as it was before.


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  • 31 December 2012 07:22, by Jeti

    Thanks for preaching peace, Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul. God love you and we also love you.

    repondre message

  • 31 December 2012 09:24, by Wiyual

    Everyone in South Sudan becomes corrupted. Even Church leaders become money lovers, too. Fantastics!

    repondre message

  • 31 December 2012 09:33, by Gangura

    I believe chritianity has become business better I will remain pegan re than attempt to join any domenination on this world.

    repondre message

  • 31 December 2012 11:29, by master

    corruption & triblism among bishops & pastors !!!
    What God you talking about
    sexaul scandles in Eu & north america !!!
    triblism in south sudan !!!

    repondre message

  • 31 December 2012 21:44, by JAMES KUOI STEPHEN

    Southern Sudan had inspirated by the love of Christ Jesus who had died for their sins.Leaders should focus on spiritually needs among Christian,to maintain cooperation in their faith. Bible said, respect your pastors leadership, because they watch on your spirituall souls,which demands some proper prosperity among Southern Sudanese Churches.Creative resolution without projuice is important.

    repondre message

  • 31 December 2012 22:55, by Northern Sudanese

    Happy new year to all my friends & enemies :D

    repondre message

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