By Charles K Mark
Episcopal Church of South Sudan in a communiqué, reiterates a call for reopening of the Church in Bor.
ECSS Primate of Juba, His Grace Archbishop Dr. Justin Badi Arama, and others lament that the faithful of the diocese have been worshipping under trees since the closure of the Church.
For over three years now, ECSS leaders have endured humiliation, torture, and restriction at St. Peter’s Church, Langbaar in Bor.
Bishop Arama recounts that the men of God have suffered several acts of injustice in the country.
“We strongly condemn the attack on Bishops in Bor, the burning of the Bishop’s car on Morobo-Kaya Road, and the closure of St. Peter’s Church at Langbaar and request for the reopening of the Church,” Bishop Badi Said.
The ECSS bishops urge local community leaders and politicians to distance themselves from Church affairs.
This is the second time Bishop Badi and Anglican Bishops have issued an appeal, following one in August, this year.
The bishops had warned to take a measure if the government failed to reopen the closed Church in Bor.
“We did say last time. We appealed for the Church to be opened and up to now the Church is not yet opened,” Dr. Badi emphasized.
He echoed the appeal of the Bishop to the government to open the Church.
“We are again appealing for the government in Jonglei or the National government to open the Church,” Bishop Badi said.
The Primate stressed that the Church could take further measures, but still continues with the appeal.
“I continue to convince our bishops not to start praying now because the repercussions will be great. So, we just appeal. Please let the Church be opened” Bishop Badi persisted.
Dr. Justin Badi Arama told the media that the displaced Christians were consoled to embrace peaceful measures and be patient while waiting for God to intervene.
Bor ECSS Church wrangles started three years ago when ex-bishop, Ruben Akurdit Ngong, was defrocked for misconduct.
Meanwhile, Bishop Data Musa of the Episcopal Diocese of Morobo was attacked in June by bandits on the highway, creating fear among the faithful.
Bishop Data Musa whose one-month-old brand-new Land Cruiser was burnt down by unknown Men in Uniform in June this year, narrated the ordeal to his colleague clerics.
He said that the incident happened while on his way from Kaya Parish 4 kilometers to the headquarters of Morobo where he was ambushed.
“They humiliated us and then they left us, and we didn’t know any of them because they had covered their faces,” Bishop Data recalled.
It had taken the parishioners in Morobo Diocese, and friends and well-wishers in Juba $50,000 to acquire the mobility for their Bishop before the hater brought it down in a month.
Bishop Data explained the heartless act brought down the morale of the Christians who contributed from their little to support the work of the Lord.
The Diocese Bishop observed that he now uses a motorcycle to continue the pastoral role across the parishes.
“The situation is calm. I move from Parish to Parish and I’m using motorcycle now, so I move in all parishes, and you know, our belief is that God is the one who takes care of us,” he said.
With control of the government in some areas, Bishop Data agreed that Morobo County is experiencing relative peace with few isolated incidences of attack and looting.
The influx of returnees from Uganda and Congo also contributes to instability due to competing priorities and the search for survival among community members.
There is a belief that in the refugee camps there are no food ratios and people are now having a lot of challenges, so they are coming back home,” the Bishop revealed.
The Bishop said the returnees are worrying situation due to lack of food as they currently rely on friends, relatives, and the small support from NGOs.
“There is no support that is given to them by the Church apart from praying for them that God opens for them a way that they can get something little for their survival,” Bishop Data regretted.
The Anglican bishop recommended that the government and all citizens must embrace peace and forgiveness.
“If we don’t embrace one another, we will continue to live in misery and many of us are dying and many people are living in poverty,” he decried.
Patriotism is paramount for South Sudan now according to Bishop Data adding that it should not only be spoken but action taken.
He dissed those who decided to invest in other countries rather than their own, that such people do not carry this country at heart.
“But when we do development outside when we go to other countries and we develop there, we don’t put the country in our heart,” he said.