Loading
Bishop Gassis working for peace in Sudan as crucial vote nears
Bishop Macram Gassis.
Bishop Macram Gassis.

.- As the war-torn country of Sudan moves past its recent elections and towards a crucial vote that will decide if the south splits from the northern region, Bishop Macram Gassis is continuing his tireless efforts to promote peace.

Bishop Macram Gassis of Sudan was the subject of a recent National Catholic Register piece that spoke about the prelate's efforts since his appointment in the 1980s within the conflict-ridden country.

As leader of the El Obeid diocese, where Catholics make up only 1.6 percent of the population, Bishop Gassis has faced countless struggles in securing peace and religious freedom for the area's non-Muslim inhabitants.

In 1998, the African prelate started the Bishop Gassis Relief Fund with the aim of bringing food, clothing, shelter, medical attention and evangelization to the people of Sudan.

“I can bear witness to more than 20 years of religious persecution, enslavement, rape, torture, starvation and murder of my people at the hands of the Sudanese government,” wrote the bishop in a statement on the relief fund's website.

Without hesitation, Bishop Gassis added, “the Sudanese government has bombed churches, schools, hospitals and refugee centers. For over 20 years, the Catholic Church has provided the people with the basics needed to preserve life and to find Christ.” Even more disturbingly, Bishop Gassis said that the government “has tortured and killed its own citizens including catechists, teachers and priests. I can tell you that the Sudanese government supports the selling of Christians and non-Muslims as slaves.”

Among the many initiatives his relief fund has engaged in over the years, this bishops' charitable efforts include hospitals, assistance to refugees, schools and digging wells to provide drinkable water.

Speaking to the Register, Bishop Gassis stated that his“vision has been to give hope to people who lived in isolation and continual war.”

“When people live in a battlefield, they are living in insecurity. The Church joined them and gave them strength and hope,” he said. “We gave them a vision: The war is an evil, but we can get something good from the war.”

“We managed to go to areas that the government would have blocked in peacetime. We were able to do good during a period of isolation and uncertainty. This is the grace.”

As Bishop Gassis welcomes coadjutor Bishop Michael Didi Adgum Mangoria, who was appointed on May 29 of this year, his country is moving into unprecedented political territory. After a tumultuous election, Sudan faces a critical referendum vote this upcoming January that will determine whether or not the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) – the rebel movement in the south – breaks off from the Khartoum-based Islamic government in the north.

Under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement Act (CPA) of 2005, both groups entered into a temporary power-sharing deal that has ended nearly 20 years of civil war.

Bishop Gassis told NCR that whatever the outcome of the referendum vote, he is grateful for the appointment of Bishop Michael Didi Adgum Mangoria, though he plans to stay involved in the diocese, despite his health concerns.

“It’s about time for someone who is young,” the bishop said. “I will be there to help him. I’ll be the father who brings the food to the family. He can shepherd the diocese, and I will take care to be the breadwinner for ongoing projects.”


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Aug
22

Liturgical Calendar

August 22, 2014

The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 22:34-40

Gospel
Date
08/22/14
08/19/14
08/18/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Ezek 37: 1-14
Gospel:: Mt 22: 34-40

Saint of the Day

Queenship of Mary »

Saint
Date
08/19/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 22:34-40

Homily
Date
08/22/14
08/19/14
08/18/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: