Yei Church Leaders Attacked - Please Pray

Posted by Roger Cooke, 18 days ago | 0 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

Last week, we received a troubling update from Bishop Hilary (currently based in Arua, Uganda) about an incident in Yei town, in which church leaders were attacked and injured. The attack took place around midnight on 25th July. In all, five households were targeted, with eight people badly injured and their money and possessions stolen.

Bishop Hilary reported that “the attackers were soldiers in uniform of the SPLA and carried guns. They spoke the local Kakwa language, meaning these were local people in the army who turned round to attack their own people.”

This is the latest in a series of brutal attacks on church leaders in Yei and in surrounding areas. Bishop Hilary is convinced that the Church (particularly its leaders) has become a specific target. This marks a significant change for the Church’s presence and ministry in the midst of the conflict.

Bishop Hilary writes,

“From the start of the crisis in Yei last July, the ‘United Church’…took a firm decision together to remain in town with the people. They saw this as being important and a fulfillment of their moral and spiritual obligation to give encouragement to the people and to strengthen the weak, the abandoned, the widows, the hungry, the dying, the scared and the vulnerable. It’s a very serious sacrifice made by the church leaders to remain in Yei at a time when security had broken down and our members were being killed at ease.

“The Church has been the only trusted and effective tool standing on behalf of the masses. It has been the Church that engaged very high level delegations of different groups from Government of South Sudan to high level representatives of UN agencies, telling the truth to them.”

The mediating role of the church and the work for advocacy for peace is being undermined by such atrocities.

Responding With Prayer
Let us stand together with our brothers and sisters as they face new dangers because of the stance they have taken. Please pray for those who have been directly impacted by these recent attacks and pray for the security situation in Yei and the wider country. Pray too that God would grant wisdom and guidance to church leaders as they consider how best to respond amidst increased opposition.

Responding With Donations
Emergency funds given to Yei through CMSI have been used to …
+ Provide food and shelter for pastors and families in Yei
+ Provide food for children attending primary school
+ Establish an operational base for Yei Diocese in Arua, Uganda
+ Provide logistical support for Bishop Hilary’s work in refugee camps in Uganda

The diocese has been able to set-up a parish network within the refugee camps and Bishop Hilary has been regularly conducting confirmations.

Donations are still welcome for CMSI’s South Sudan Appeal – to support our partners as they respond to the ongoing crisis.

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