Home | News    Thursday 8 January 2009

Sudan’s Vice-President meets US evangelical leader

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January 7, 2009 (WASHINGTON) — A prominent U.S. evangelical Christian leader, Franklin Graham, received a visit from the President of Southern Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, on Wednesday in Boone, North Carolina.

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Franklin Graham welcomes the President of South Sudan government, Salva Kiir Mayardit, to Samaritan’s Purse headquarters in Boone, N.C., on January 7, 2009 (photo Samaritan’s Purse)

Graham is the president of the charity Samaritan’s Purse, which said it has spent more than $60 million in the South Sudan in support of four hospitals, new schools and food aid. He is also the son of the charismatic preacher Billy Graham, who gained a large following and was a friend to every living U.S. president.

President Kiir thanked Samaritan’s Purse for assistance during Sudan’s second civil war and for rebuilding 227 churches that were destroyed during the conflict.

During the war (1983-2005), the northern government of Sudan declared jihad against the partly Christian south, prompting some sympathy from Christians in the United States.

“Samaritan’s Purse did not run away from us,” President Kiir said. “They did not abandon us. We will never forget about you.”

Graham told Kiir’s ministers and reporters, “He has been a great friend to us. It is a great privilege.”

The Sudanese leader arrived to the town of Boone after spending Sunday through Tuesday in Washington, meeting with President Bush, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other officials. Kiir, who is himself a Catholic, thanked Franklin Graham and the ministry “for working to strengthen the faith of believers who endured horrible persecution,” said a statement from Samaritan’s Purse.

“Faith is important to the people to determine their destiny,” he said, then describing forced conversions to Islam during the war, in which some Christians renounced their faith.

“Those who resisted are the real Christians,” he said. “And they will have to be supported to become stronger.”

Kiir became the leader of the semi-autonomous region of Southern Sudan after a 2005 helicopter accident took the life of Dr. John Garang, the founder of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), which is now the ruling party of Southern Sudan and a partner in the national government. SPLM has relied on foreign aid money to boost revenues from oil exports in its efforts to govern the vast southern region while contesting for power at the national level.

Samaritan’s Purse plans to rebuild another 110 churches in Sudan during 2009.

(ST)

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  • 8 January 2009 12:44, by DAVID N.

    Please check "Rod Parsley".
    The President of South Sudan Salva Kiir should meet with Pastor Rod Parsley.
    www.rodparsley.com
    I know Pastor Rod Parsley helps South Sudanese, and his connection in the South Sudan has been strengthening even more.
    He loves South Sudanese very much!

    repondre message

    • 8 January 2009 19:54, by dellphin

      The President of South Sudan Salva Kiir is a great man with big heart and full of the willingness to change not only Sudan but Africa. Indeed the liberation of Sudan was fought not only by SPLA, but churches, individuals and group of people who spent their time in prayer and public awareness for the people of south Sudan.

      What I can Ask to the President Kiir is to come also to Canada and see the tomb of the late combatant, and come to Calvary Temple for a big rally.

      I have to admit that, Calvary temple of Winnipeg did a wonderful job of mobilizing southerners to pray and march for their country.

      Please continue to pray for peace of Africa.

      Dellphin

      repondre message

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