South Sudan: Peace effort by Church of Scotland Moderator Iain Greenshields, Pope Francis and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby provides new hope – Angus Robertson
In a follow-up to the peace summit in the Vatican in 2019, the most senior leaders of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, global Anglican communion and Presbyterianism have pursued a joint mission for the first time in 500 years to encourage peace and reconciliation in a region that has been engulfed in a devastating war for nearly a decade.
It is estimated that 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict; 9.4 million people need humanitarian aid; and around two million people have been displaced in the country.
The Church of Scotland has been working with the South Sudanese Presbyterian church since 2015 to help rebuild communities and encourage the pursuit of peace among the people. The Moderator said it was now “incumbent on the leaders of the country to lay aside their differences and create an environment where their people can flourish”.
As well as leading a service for more than 16,000 worshipers, he and Archbishop Welby later led a large open-air prayer vigil for 50,000 people, while the Pope addressed members of the Catholic Church. Following the visit, South Sudan’s President has said he will re-engage with the peace process. Reverend Greenshields said that the "door is open” to sign a peace agreement in South Sudan. It seems there is hope for the world’s newest country.