National News

Religion can unite South Sudanese: Activists

Youths during the debate

By Jale Richard

A group of peace activistshave held a peace debate on Wednesday highlighting the role of religion in bringing peace in South Sudan.

The debate organized by Humanity South Sudan, a local non-governmental organization in its campaign to restore the image of South Sudan was aimed at identifying ways through which religion can be used to bring peace to the war torn country.

BongiriPeter,the Executive Director, Humanity South Sudan said the roleof religion can be used more to unite the people of South Sudan.

“We are Children of God; Religion and faith can unite us all,” he said.

“Our different sixty four tribes are our shared beauties in the country given by God while we all know that Faith and Religion unites us all as the Children of God’s Nation, whether being a Christian or Muslim, we are bound to respect our religion and commonality as we respect God and our people and ancestors.”

He said that the conflict has destroyed the unity and shared culture of South Sudanese. Peter added that the conflict has also fragmented government institutions, and made many South Sudanese become “refugees by identity”.

Pastor Moses of the Repentance and Holiness Church said even though the majority of South Sudanese are Christians, their deeds do not justify the true values of Christianity.

“There is no agenda of forgiveness through reconciliation. The door to the end of this country is forgiveness and reconciliation. Unless we forgive and reconcile, the suffering will not end,” Moses said.

Gloria Ananiyo, Program Manager Community Initiative for Progress and Development one of the panelists said the church should engage more in spreading the message of peace. “The church can mobilize people for peace through using sports activities, peace education and preaching the message of peace,”Ananiyo said.

She added that since the conflict in the country is not religious, the only thing that can unite the people for peace is religion because it brings together people from all ethnicities.

Philip Lang Kuor, one of the panelists argued that many churches in the country are polarized on tribal lines which create different impression of their roles in preaching for peace. “Those churches which preach in the local languages are supposed to be for understanding of the message of the Bible. It should not be used to convey messages that incite conflict,” he said.

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