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Violence is escalating in South Sudan with about 1,000 people killed according to U.N. figures.
What initially began as an attempted coup has quickly become internal warfare between different tribes.
VOM Canada's Greg Musselman told the Mission Network News this violence could turn into a new civil war with profound effects on the church.
Here are some quotes from the full article:
Voice of the Martyrs Canada spokesman Greg Musselman says ethnic conflict in South Sudan is a constant problem. But this latest outbreak of violence could launch a new civil war.
“It’s an absolute mess, and we have been working in South Sudan for a number of years,” he states.
Although “this isn’t a Christian persecution issue…, it affects the Church, and certainly we want to be there helping with reconciliation, especially amongst Christians that are on opposite sides of tribes.”
VOM Canada has been working alongside the Christian-majority South Sudan for years; ministry foundations were established even before the region seceded from the Muslim-dominated north.
They’ve been helping refugees and internally-displaced people (IDPs) rebuild and restore their livelihoods, but the new wave of violence is causing major set-backs. Musselman’s daughter was in South Sudan when fighting broke out a few weeks ago.
“She was heartbroken, because she [had gotten] to know some of the people, and [her] new friends were suffering as a result of this [violence],” shares Musselman.
Church leaders are trying to foster peace and reconciliation, the spokesman says. But, “if that doesn’t happen, this thing could become like another Rwanda.
“We pray that that would not happen.”
Will you join them? Pray that the Church will take a leadership role in reconciliation efforts.
“We need to pray for peace, reconciliation, and repentance for those that have, in some cases, done some pretty horrible things,” says Musselman. “The Gospel definitely is the message of hope; it’s a message of forgiveness.”