CMSI is calling upon people to pray and fast for South Sudan and DR Congo during Lent. Some may already be staging a one day fast for peace in these two countries, today, Friday, in response to a call from Church leaders worldwide.
Information from CMSI Global Partners show the mass movement of people within and outside South Sudan and DRC is not stopping.
“Over many years, sustained violence and insecurity in both countries resulted in huge numbers of people leaving their homes in search of safety and refuge. Following a recent, tentative peace agreement in South Sudan some people have begun to return home, but this brings its own problems,” states CMSI.
In Olo Diocese of South Sudan, Bishop Tandema has asked for support to help his people who have come back home from exile to destroyed villages. Bishop Hilary of Connor’s partner diocese of Yei has warned that soon the situation might be similar for Yei Diocese as, even in the uncertain peace since Christmas, people have started to return home.
In Bukavu Diocese, DRC, Bishop Bahati has received link parish support to provide food aid for internally displaced people coming from the increasingly infamous Kasai region. In North Kivu, more children arrive at the children’s home, displaced and separated from their families.
Archbishop Masimango has called for people to pray and fast for DRC during Lent:
“With Christ, let us learn that active nonviolence is a force that can transform society when it denounces time and time again the situations of injustice and exclusion that violence feeds. May our families be places where we learn to resolve conflicts in a nonviolent way…” he appealed.
“Every Friday of Lent, I invite you to fast so that God will expel from our hearts and men’s hearts any desire for violence and make them welcoming to his forgiveness.”
A wider call was issued by Church leaders around the globe to set aside Friday February 23 to pray and fast for both South Sudan and DRC. The Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, said:
“Conflicts continue to blight the lives of millions of people. In support of our brothers and sisters in areas of conflict, and particularly in solidarity with those in the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, I join with Pope Francis in calling the Churches of the Anglican Communion and all people of good will to prayer and fasting for peace on Friday 23 February.”
Archbishop Masimango suggested the following prayer:
“God who watches over our world, look at the country where you gave us to live. Grant to all its inhabitants to seek the common good, to those who govern us to do it wisely, so that there is among us more justice, and in the whole world more happiness and peace.”