March 11, 2017 (JUBA) A top south Sudanese religious leader asked the president and those who attended the National Prayer Day to choose peace instead of evil, warning the crowd that the prayer prayed by the president was dangerous.
- South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir kisses a hand of the Roman Catholic Archbishop Paolino Lukudu Loro during a Christmas mass in St. Teresa’s Cathedral in Juba December 25, 2010. (Reuters)
Catholic Archbishop of Juba Diocese, Paulino Lokudu Loro asked President Kiir why he had called the prayer, questioning the president’s motives for peace or evil. “This prayer is dangerous today because if you have come here I believe this bitterness of our heat will not go in vain, but God will reply to us. Therefore, I say if this prayer is correct and is true, then it is about peace. We are standing for peace, are we going to choose peace or evil,” asked the Archbishop.
“Your Excellency, I want to question you: why did you call these people to the heat here like this? Are they coming to choose peace? Is that what your intention is, to bring us here to suffer like this? I hope nobody will be sick today because of this heat. I believe you have invited us to see this suffering because you want peace,’’ said Archbishop.
The top religious leader went on to what the government planned after the prayers took place saying, “our government, which way are we going to take and what is the government going to do after this prayer? Is the government going to choose evil or peace? Mr President, take heed after this. We are telling you that after this prayer your Excellency, go into a room and pray and decide for peace in the country”.
Isaiah Majok Dau, bishop of the Pentecostal church said the South Sudanese were the problem and not that they have been cursed. “I hear people say God has cursed South Sudan, I am afraid I disagree. We are not cursed, we are blessed but we are sinners. That is why we hate ourselves, that is why we kill ourselves and that is why we backbite ourselves. So we are the problem. But we have been given the opportunity to be forgiven to be enriched and to be healed” said bishop Dau at the prayer on Friday.
The bishop said he would love to die when the country is at peace because he was born at the time the country was at war, grew up in war and continued to live in a situation of war.
Bishop Dau went on to add, “for those of us who were born in 1955 we were born in the war, grew up, got married and even our grandchildren were born during the war. But if today we are turning away from our sins, then I pray that I will not die in the time of war. I want to see the blessings of God South Sudan before I die, I want to see the people of South Sudan united. I want to see them live in peace and harmony that is my prayer”.
The Bishop called for a change of heart in conformity to the theme of the prayer, saying it would be meaningless if one continues to behave in a way that does not show any difference from the time of the prayers.
“If you are repenting today and you use to kill people, don’t kill anyone because you have repented. If you are repenting today and you use to abuse others, from today begin to love people. If you were a thief, now that you have repented, you begin to give to people instead of taking from people. That is repentance. It is meaningless to say we are repenting and then we go do our normal things that we do every day. We are not cheating God, we are cheating ourselves,” he stressed.
A call against the promotion of ethnicity was mentioned by the Bishop, saying the people should begin to talk about South Sudan as an identity instead of various tribes.
Bishop Dau went on to say, ““If we are repenting, we should stop saying that tribe or this tribe, and that person; we begin to say the people of South Sudan are my people. Let us turn from our wicked ways people of South Sudan. If we want God to forgive us, let us humble ourselves. We need true healing in this country. We are sick with hatred, killing, war, poverty and tribalism, we need healing. We need complete healing”.