In a pastoral letter to churches and ecumenical partners in Sudan, World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Jerry Pillay extended prayers for peace for the suffering of the people.
“We have received with sadness and alarm recent reports of the escalating impacts of the current conflict and insecurity on the churches and religious communities of the country,” Pillay wrote.
He lamented the news of the attack on worshipers in the Mar Girgis (St George) Coptic church in Omdurman during the service on 14 May, the serious injuries suffered as a result, and the expulsion of the priests and nuns of the community.
Pillay also shared grief at the shelling, damage, occupation, and vandalisation of so many churches and houses of worship, including the Anglican and Roman Catholic cathedrals in Khartoum, as well as churches and mosques in El Obeid, Geneina, El Fashr, Nyalla, and many other places.
“Further, the violent destruction of the nation of Sudan continues, despite efforts and appeals for a lasting ceasefire,” Pillay wrote.
“The people of Sudan are the victims of this conflict between the military leaders, turning the country’s humanitarian crisis into a catastrophe.”
On behalf of the WCC global fellowship, Pillay conveyed Christian solidarity to all the people and religious communities of Sudan.
“We pray that the military leaders will put aside their arms and their rivalries and recognize their responsibility and accountability to the people, against whom they have already done so much harm,” he wrote.
“We pray that they will realize their moral and legal obligations to protect civilians, and to stop their desecrations of places of worship.”
The situation in Sudan will be addressed by the WCC executive committee which will meet 22-26 May.
“In the meantime, we lift you, your churches, your families, and communities up before our merciful and loving God,” concluded Pillay.
“May God protect, guide, and comfort you, in the midst of these present tribulations.”
Read the pastoral letter in English and Arabic here
First published on the World Council of Churches website on 17 May 2023.Jump to next article