Juba, South Sudan, Mar 8, 2017 / 00:04 am America/Denver (CNA).
The call by South Sudan's president for a national day of prayer was met with derision by one of the country's bishops, who called it a “political prayer” and a mockery.
President Salva Kiir addressed South Sudan via state-owned media last week to announce a day of prayer on March 10. The country has been embroiled in civil war since December 2013, when Kiir accused his former deputy, Riek Machar, of attempting a coup. The war has been fought between their supporters, largely along ethnic lines, and peace agreements have been short-lived.
“I have been praying for South Sudan every day. This morning, I prayed for South Sudan. That prayer called by Salva Kiir; I will never and never understand. Unless they carry me as a corpse but I will never attend that prayer. It is a political prayer. It is a mockery,” Bishop Santo Loku Pio Doggale, Auxiliary Bishop of Juba, told Voice of America, according to the Sudan Tribune.
“Why should I go [to] pray where there is no holiness, where there is no forgiveness? It is a joke to hear the president of the country calling prayers while at the moment, the soldiers are hunting people across South Sudan.”
He cited the government's army's displacement of numerous people from their homes. “People are being thrown away from their ancestral land. There have been a lot of robbery of the resources of the people.”