Bishop Abraham Yel Nhial of the Diocese of Aweil, South Sudan has written an open letter to South Sudan’s political leaders. It expresses some of the deep frustration that so many South Sudanese are feeling with their leaders.
A MESSAGE FOR SOUTH SUDAN POLITICAL LEADERS AND CITIZENS
I want to appeal to South Sudanese political leaders, that if you believe in God, you must also believe that killing is a sin. Can you believe in God and not believing that killing is a sin? You all the times go to church to pray, what really do you pray for? What does God means to you and your faith? I thought that you, our leaders in persons of President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar knew what God’s will is for you in your leadership as leaders of our beloved nation over the last eight years? It is very unfortunate that both of you are forgetting why God gave you this responsibility to lead this nascent and fragile young nation.
Brothers in Christ, our leaders of South Sudan; God’s will for you President Salva Kiir Mayardit and former Vice Dr. Riek Machar is to bring peace, reconciliation and forgiveness among yourselves and to our innocent civil population who are dying because of you. South Sudanese have dangerously broken apart under your leadership. Please turn back and see by yourselves the damages that a month long war has caused this nation. How many people have died? What reasons have they died for? Have they taken part in your political debate in Juba? Give peace a chance!
Juba, Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile states have lost all citizens that you would want to vote for you tomorrow to unjustified war. What message will you tell the remnant? All the remnants and those who are directly or indirectly affected are left with terrible trauma and or physical damages.
President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar, if you turn to peace, reconciliation, forgiveness and national healing, both of you will be remembered as great sons of South Sudan in this generation and generations to come. Please think and make your decisions wisely!
All in all, allow God to change your hearts! Scripture says, “Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful” (Colossians 3:14-15). We, all Christians of South Sudan have one mission. Our mission in this fighting in our beloved nation is to plant peace, forgiveness, and national healing where hatred and unjust killing had been planted.
I believed all Christians have peace to offer to our politicians who lost the vision and the mission of South Sudan as a nation. It is also our role as Christians to encourage our people who are silently grieving for the killing of their beloved ones to accept reconciliation and forgiveness as the only way forward so that their contrite hearts are inwardly reversed. I appeal to all Christians to stand strong through the storm of conflict with message of peace in our heart knowing that this conflict will come to pass. Blessed are the peacemakers (Matthew 5:9). Be a peacemaker!
Finally, we all are heartbroken because of the wrong direction our nation has taken and continues in it. As a servant of God, my advice to you all is to take charge of your life and take charge of the future of our nation; don’t allow being used by desperate politicians.
Above all, lets continue praying to God to bring divine intervene soon and restore back the South Sudan in just peace; our hope is in Jesus alone. Jesus is the true foundation of our unity without Him we will never be united.
Written by Rt. Rev. Abraham Yel Nhial
The Bishop of Diocese of Aweil
Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan (ECSS &S)
Northern Bahr el Ghazal State
Republic of South Sudan
Bishop Abraham’s ministry in the Diocese of Aweil features in chapter 15 of my new book, Backpacking through the Anglican Communion. Bishop Abraham is also the author of a book of his own, Lost Boy No More.