Home | News    Monday 5 April 2010

Church calls for peace among contestants in Sudan elections

Ngor Arol Garang

April 3, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — Leaders from different churches in both North and South of Sudan have called for peace and reconciliation among political contestants in the upcoming elections saying elections are never meant for violence but for a peaceful transfer of power.

Bishop Rudolf Deng Majak of Wau Diocese, during a church service yesterday, is reported to have called on all Sudanese particularly Christians to love one another and use the Easter period to embrace peace reconciliation and forgiveness.

Sudanese Christians from various denominations and churches yesterday joined the rest of the world in celebrating Easter. The religious day is celebrated by Christians worldwide, marking the news that Jesus rose from the tomb after having been crucified on a Friday. Easter is the reason that Christians worship on Sundays, since it is the day of the week on which Jesus is said to have been resurrected from death. Easter ends the period of mourning or fasting known as Lent.

On Friday, Sudanese in Wau Diocese attended the pre-Easter day of mourning known commonly as "Good Friday." Arriving at the church at 10 a.m., caretaker Governor Effesio Kon Uguak was accompanied by members of his administration including his minister of finance. They attended the Passion of Christ and assured the church of peaceful upcoming election in the area.

"There will be no violence to interrupt conduct of free and peaceful elections in this state. It will peaceful. All potential voters should come out in their numbers to vote in favor of candidates of their choice but be warned that their rights to vote should not return them to suffering," said he.

"Your right to vote in favor of a candidate of your choice should not be interfered with but do not make a mistake that may encourage return of history of concern. It must be a wise choice and this should be made in favor of party with history of achievement and delivery to people of South Sudan particularly people of Western Bahr el Ghazal," he warned.

Delivering a sermon, Bishop Deng Majak called for forgiveness and reconciliation among political leaders and their supporters as they run in the upcoming elections due to take place as scheduled on 11-13 April 2010.

The bishop who is versed in Sudanese political history went on to say the death of Jesus should unite all Christians urging believers to learn how to imitate and practice it. "We should all imitate Jesus Christ for the love he showed on the cross of Calvary," he said.

He also called on Sudanese to love one another and use the Easter period to embrace reconciliation and forgiveness.

In the Episcopal Church of Sudan in Khartoum, Reverend Samuel Dut, while conducting evening prayers at Hai Yusuf, east of Khartoum, called on the government, the church and political parties to unite.

He said there is need for Sudanese to use the Easter period to embrace true repentance and forgiveness. "Just as it is written in Matthew 6 verse 14, if we don’t forgive one another, God will not forgive us. We need to have good will towards each other. We should not live in suspicion of each other," he said adding Easter centres on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Reverend Samuel further called to celebrate Easter in "an atmosphere free of tribalism, nepotism and all these vices".

"All pain and sufferings were dealt with on the cross. This is a time to celebrate peace," he said reiterating his call on Sudanese to love one another despite their political inclinations.

He called on the church to reconcile people, adding political leaders have an obligation to accept conducting peaceful elections, reconcile and not to speak hate against each other during electoral campaign rallies.

He advised politicians to put their differences aside and reconcile and share a light moment and crack jokes together. He also urged political leaders to use palatable language that depicts love and respect whenever they are criticizing each other.

He said the current scenario where political leaders use unpalatable language to criticize each other creates an impression that there is enmity between them adding that despite their diverse political views, politicians should advise each other in a polite manner.

Karlo Mawien, a Catholic Church catechist in Aweil town, during a telephone interview with Sudan Tribune, also advised Christians to unite with other across communities regardless of religion saying this is exactly what God wants human beings to preach and do to one with others wherever they live particularly at a time of difficulties and during political events.

Easter, according to him, is therefore a unifying factor for all the people in other faiths and political affiliations. It unifies us with a large component of love which Christ gave us.

He said Good Friday should remind Christians of the crucifixion of Christ and that the nails that were used on the cross should beautify and heal life. And Easter, he said, should give Sudanese a new appreciation of life and a new perspective on how to manage the country.

"Christian parents are expected to bring back the spirit of love and selflessness in their families during this Easter," he said adding Sudanese should pay special attention to widows and orphans this Easter by giving them a special touch of love.

"Easter is one of the greatest gifts that God has given to humanity because it teaches people how Christ selflessly gave His life to save humanity. Christians should therefore use Easter as an opportunity to reconstruct their lives through Christ’s crucifixion, death and resurrection," said the catechist Karlo Mawien.