Freedom to religion denied, Adventist pastor says

By Adia Jildo

Seventh Day Adventist church pastor has said freedom to religion and worship has been denied following Lawmaker Salva Mathok Gengdit’s setting of church ablaze in Gogrial East County of Warrap State.

MP Gengdit in an interview with No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper confessed that he did burn the church alleging that it was abolishing the traditions and cultures of his community.

Pastor Chol Dol of Aker Abouk Seventh Day Adventist Church said the action was not the first of its kind hence denying the rights to practice religion.

“On the 1st September 2022, Manyiir church was burnt down, and now Aker Abouk has also been burnt down,” he said.

“From the constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, there are freedom of speeches, of religion. The church is preaching the gospel,” he cited.

Chol stated that the lawmaker acted out of the law by taking it into his hands.

He called on the government to protect its citizen citing that the church members are citizens and under the law of the country to be protected together with their property.

Chol said that they are keenly waiting from the police of their steps of the incident as they have already taken the case to the police.

Abraham Wek Bol, the head deacon and a member of the church said the general took the law into his hands.

“We are talking of what is in the Bible and nothing was spoken out of the Bible. We are not forcing people to join the church. You have a choice whether to join or not,” he said.

He added that cases that were not lawful should have been taken to police where it would be handled lawfully.

 “There is a freedom of worship and human right as well. Now that you have burnt the church and did not consult or dialogue with us, how shall we know the reason,” he questioned.

The pastor called on human right defenders to stand for the church as well as protect the rights of the people.

According to eye witness, armed men in uniform drove to the church premises and set the church ablaze.

Salva Mathok Gengdit later on in a funeral prayer revealed that he was behind the incident of the church being burnt citing it as a step he has taken to save his community from western culture.

Attempts to talk to the Secretary General of the council of churches Fr. Oyet, the commissioner of Gogrial East county Maluach Lueth was in vain.

Comments are closed.