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DEVIL-In church warns Nyandeng

By James Atem Kuir

The Vice President for Gender, Youth and Humanitarian Cluster, Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior has warned the bishops of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan (ECSS) of a ‘devil’ that has gripped‘ leaders’ of the church and working very hard to set the Anglican Communion apart.

VP Nyandeng made the remarks while addressing the opening of the eleventh General Synod meeting of the ECSS attended by 61 diocesan bishops at the All-SaintsCathedral in Juba yesterday.

Vice President Nyandeng who herself is a member of the Anglican communion, did not explain how the so-called ‘devil’ was manipulating the faithful against each other but bitter disagreement among senior clerics of the church had in the recent past sparked public uproar.

In August last year, Archbishop and Primate of the Province of Episcopal Church of South Sudan [ECSS]dismissed Bishop AkurdidNgongAkurdidas Archbishop of Jonglei Internal Province, one of the eight provinces under the church, after the latter refused to cancelthree additional dioceses,he had created without approval from the church headquarters inJuba.

Akurdidrejected his defrocking and accused his boss Archbishop Justin Badiof ‘un-procedural’ sacking after he was accused of canonical disobedience, misconduct and violating church constitution.

The rift between the duos deepened after Justin named Bishop Moses AnurAyom as a replacement for Akurdit,a move that prompted the latter to declare independence from the administration in Juba,with rivaling followers engaging in confrontation.

“… I’m saying this because I have seen that the devil has come to the church, and he is playing very hard in us. He’s deviating our leaders instead of directing their flocks,” lamented Vice President Nyandeng who also insisted that most African leaders lacked the three ‘tools of leadership’ which she said include“putting God first, Word of God the second and Love third.”

Last month, the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) Acting Commander of ground forces, Major-General AtenyMayenJokAlieraccused the ECSS of interfering in the affairs of its religious wing, the SSPDF Chaplain and threatened to close down houses of worship belonging to the church.

The ECSS eleventh General Synod 2021 will run until Saturday November 13, 2021,and is expected to approve legislation affecting the church, formulates new forms of worship, debates matter of national and international importance, and approves the annual budget.

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