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Letters from South Sudan

Regarding concerns of continued political unrest and humanitarian needs in South Sudan, the Catholic Bishops Conference is making an urgent appeal to the world for pastoral resources to help what they call a “desperate” situation in the country.

“The pastoral resources of the Church in this Diocese are sparse:  much of the Diocese of Malakal is not evangelized.” The church leaders wrote on Feb. 12 in a letter appearing on the Vidimus Dominum website, a communication tool for religious worldwide.

“So were moved to seek the services of more priests, sisters and brothers to carry out evangelization and peace building.”

“No doubt the conditions will be challenging and difficult in the rural areas, but we need zealous missionaries who can undertake primary evangelization,” the bishops also wrote. “The increased presence of the Church among the pastoralist communities would help provide development and stability.”

Resulting from an assembly at the end of January in Juba, members of the conference of Sudan and South Sudan also wrote a pastoral exhortation titled, Let us Refound our Nation on a New Covenant.  In this document the bishops recognized the complexities of the violence, the call for reconciliation among political leaders, and the prophetic voice of the church in building peace.

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This is the second installment of Letters from South Sudan. In the weeks to come, as long as access to email continues to be viable, we will continue share letters with NCR readers, giving a fuller picture of the complexities of the political violence and hopes for peace.

[Colleen Dunne is an NCR Bertelsen intern. Her email address is cdunne@ncronline.org or follow on twitter @coldun14.]

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