Because of insecurity in the Akobo and Pibor areas of South Sudan PC(USA) mission co-workers, Nancy McGaughey and Sharon Curry have had to delay returning to their places of service. Please keep these dedicated mission co-workers who serve in difficult circumstances in your prayers as World Mission staff discern next steps with them and our partner church, the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan. Please also pray for peace to be realized in these conflict-ridden areas of South Sudan. See below:
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Asks for Prayers to End Violence in South Sudan
The crisis in South Sudan’s Jonglei State remains dangerously unstable despite some recent hopeful signs. Continuing violence and insecurity have prompted the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to express renewed concern for the people of the region and to reiterate its urgent call to prayer and action to promote justice, peace and genuine security for the affected populations.
Since the beginning of 2013, the government of South Sudan’s campaign to disarm rebel forces led by David Yau Yau has triggered a growing number of clashes between the South Sudanese military (SPLA) and Yau Yau’s insurgents. These engagements have inflicted heavy losses, . . .
What you can do
Prayer for South Sudan
Watch a video of the Sudan webinar
Violence and turmoil in the Republic of Sudan and South Sudan are in the headlines every week. What can Presbyterians do to respond?
Join Debbie Braaksma of Presbyterian World Mission’s Africa Office for an in-depth webinar that tells you how Christians are being marginalized and persecuted in the Republic of Sudan, inter-ethnic fighting in South Sudan, and violence along the border. In the midst of these crises, you’ll find out how Presbyterians are working alongside Sudanese and South Sudanese partners to be agents of reconciliation, evangelism and justice in Africa.
Hear from a pastor of the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan and U.S. Presbyterians who are making a difference in God’s world. Most importantly, you’ll hear how you can be in prayer for our sisters and brothers in Sudan and South Sudan, and other practical ways you can support them.
GIVE to disaster relief for South Sudan through Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA).
GIVE to RECONCILE's work in trauma healing and women’s peace building to address the violence between the Murle and Lou Nuer peoples.
Join Sudan Advocacy Action Forum to advocate for peace.
Prayer, action needed for South Sudan. 2/1/13
What you can do...
South Sudan president expresses appreciation for churches’ contribution to the new nation
“It is the churches who have the capability to bring people together and help rebuild the country”
South Sudanese in Khartoum increasingly fearful (April 2012)
A South Sudan Tribal Peace Conference held April 1-3, 2012 Read more.
Bishop Elias Taban of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of South Sudan says encouraging the communities' permanent settlement will end the bloody circle of conflicts. Read more
Statement from the Jonglei Peace Initiative (January 23, 2012)
Stay updated on what is happening in South Sudan here.
Republic of South Sudan
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) celebrates more than 100 years of ministry in Sudan. Its engagement in the country has involved ministry through mission personnel and partner church relationships. Since Sudan gained independence in 1956 civil war has gripped the nation for most of its post-colonial history. The war pitted Sudan’s northern-based government, controlled by Arab Muslims, against the southern Sudanese, who are mostly black African Christians and animists. Nevertheless, many people in Sudan struggled to find a common peace.
A referendum in early 2011 was the climax of a 2005 peace agreement that ended two decades of civil war, war that had claimed some 2 million lives. Independence on July 9, 2011, gave the people of South Sudan a chance to chart their own future. Despite more than 50 years of civil war and an infrastructure that is in ruins, a sense of hope now pervades the people of South Sudan. The Republic of South Sudan began nationhood as one of the world’s poorest countries, but it has a landscape with rich natural resources and churches with abundant faith. The PC(USA) is working with its partner churches and organizations, the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan (PCOSS), the Sudan Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Nile Theological College, RECONCILE, Across and the Sudan Council of Churches to help craft a brighter tomorrow for the people in South Sudan.
Nearly 80 percent of South Sudan’s 8.6 million people depend on crop farming or animal husbandry for their livelihood, and most of them are one bad growing season away from the threat of starvation. Almost 40 percent of the people must walk more than 30 minutes to collect drinking water, 50 percent use firewood or grass as their primary source of lighting, and 27 percent have no lighting at all. The PC(USA) joins its partners in a holistic approach to ministry that includes education and leadership development, peace building, community development, evangelism and new church development.
Challenges remain for the new nation, among them major humanitarian and development problems. Thousands of Southerners have returned from the North, adding pressure to communities already struggling to cope. The long-term needs are huge. The threat of inter-ethnic fighting continues, and problems in border areas with the North have yet to be resolved.
Reconcile: Women’s Peace Building in Sudan
This emotional video highlights a women’s peace-building workshop in Southern Sudan, site of traumatic and violent inter-ethnic fighting. The Nuer women of Akobo are ready to work and learn skills such as trauma healing, and to travel the distance to Pibor and invite the Murle women of Pibor to come together restoring health, strength and peace to their post-war country.
Sudan Partner Churches and Organizations
Ever since the first missionaries arrived in the Doleib Hill area of the Upper Nile State in 1902, the Presbyterian Church of Sudan has seen phenomenal growth. Yet it has also seen its share of pain and division. Because of the recent civil war, which was in progress off and on for 49 years, the Presbyterian Church of Sudan congregations were divided between those in rebel-controlled areas and those in government-controlled areas. The PCOSS operates kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, a Bible school, health clinics, a pharmacy, bookshops, a youth department, a women’s work department, a mission and evangelism department and an education department. In spite of the tremendous difficulties faced by the people of the church, there is evidence of a vibrant and living faith among the faithful believers. The members of the PCOSS stand faithful in their call to be Christ’s body in the world and to witness to the Love of God in Christ Jesus to all.
Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SPEC)
The American Mission started in the northern part of Sudan as part of the Egypt-Sudan mission from the Presbyterian Church of North America. In 1964 all missionaries were expelled from the country, leaving the work of the mission in the hands of the Sudanese. And capable hands they were. The SPEC has grown in strength and numbers since that time, with congregations in all areas of northern and western Sudan and more recently in the Republic of South Sudan as a large percentage of SPEC members moved South in anticipation of the forming of this new country. . The SPEC is involved in a holistic ministry, including education for children, health work, literacy training for adults and evangelism. The SPEC has a vision of working in these areas of the north where there is a strong Muslim presence and of planting churches in these areas where there has been no Christian presence as well as planting churches in the Republic of South Sudan.
Across is a Christian NGO serving in Southern Sudan. It was founded in 1972 at the end of the Anyanya war, which lasted for 17 years from 1955 to 1972. At that time Across was an acroynm for "Africa Committee for Rehabilitation of Southern Sudan." Later it changed to “Association of Christian Resource Organizations Serving Sudan.” This has since changed and Across is no longer an acronym. The vision of Across is to see Sudan renewed by the works of the Holy Spirit with a church that is a light to Africa and the world. The mission of Across is to build the church and communities leading to Sudan being renewed.
Sudan Council of Churches
The Sudan Council of Churches exists to engage churches and people of good will in advocacy for peace, justice, equality, and human rights in the Sudan, and to enable member churches to acquire relevant skills and resources for ministering in word and service to the Sudanese people in general, and the poor in particular, in multi-faith, multi-ethnic and conflict situations.
Sudan Advocacy Action Forum (SAAF)
This is a major channel of Presbyterian efforts for advocacy for Sudan, which grew out of the Sudan Mission Network.
Established in March 2004, RECONCILE (Resource Center for Civil Leadership) is related to the Sudan Council of Churches. These Sudanese churches aim to help victims recover from the trauma associated with the 25-year civil war in Sudan. They also help to lead a process of reconciliation and civic education to contribute to nation building in the new Republic of South Sudan.
Nile Theological College
Nile Theological College is one college with two campuses founded to train pastors, theologians and Christian educators for the Presbyterian Church of Sudan and the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church. The Arabic Track and Diploma Program is located in Khartoum, Sudan. The English Track is located in Malakal, South Sudan.
The college has four tracks: Christian Education, Pastoral, Exegetical and Theology.
The college offers a quality education to women and men in preparation for serving Jesus Christ in the difficult circumstances of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan.
Sudan Mission Network
The Sudan Mission Network is among more than 40 networks that connect Presbyterians who share a common mission interest. Most participants are involved in mission partnerships through congregations, presbyteries or synods. Network members come together to coordinate efforts, share best practices and develop strategies.