Image: South Sudan in Africa. From Wikimedia Commons. Author: TUBS, 07.04.11, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:TUBShttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:TUBS Used with permission.. Fighting in Sudan Sudan is a country in Africa. Sadly, it has suffered from many years of fighting. On 9 July 2011, Sudan split into two. A new country was created called South Sudan. This is a great opportunity for the fighting to stop.
Image: South Sudan in Africa. From Wikimedia Commons. Author: TUBS, 07.04.11, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:TUBShttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:TUBS Used with permission.. Fighting in Sudan But some people in Sudan are not happy about this. In one part of North Sudan, there has been fighting. More than 60,000 people have been forced from their homes by the fighting.
The Catholic bishops of South Sudan have called on their people to pray. Join us, and the people of South Sudan, as we continue to pray for peace.
Day one: We pray for Human Dignity Everyone is made in the image of God. More than two million people have died during the war in Sudan. Today we pray that North and South Sudan will be places where everyone is protected as a child of God. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Day two: We pray for the Common Good God calls us to act in ways that help other people. This is called ‘working for the common good’. There have been years of fighting between people across North and South Sudan. If the fighting continues the leaders could forget about working for the common good. Today we pray that Sudan’s leaders will work hard to help all their people. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Day three: We pray for Human Rights South Sudan is home to some of the poorest communities in Africa. Their human rights have often been abused. Now South Sudan’s leaders have an opportunity to change this. Today we pray that the new nation of South Sudan will lead by example to the rest of the world on looking after the rights of their poorest communities. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Day four: We pray for the poor Charity is not enough. The Church calls us to put the poorest people first. For many years, Sudan’s poorest communities have experienced injustice and conflict. As the new nation grows, the poorest of the poor may still be ignored. Today we pray that the leaders of the two new nations will ensure that the most helpless are not forgotten. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Day five: We pray for solidarity Solidarity means that we all belong to each other and are all part of God’s global family. God calls us to work together to look after all our sisters and brothers. As millions of people in Sudan suffer from fighting, we must act to help them. Today we pray for strength and love to support our sisters and brothers in Sudan. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Day six: We pray for Creation We are called to respect all of Creation. It is a gift from God, a gift meant for everyone. The new state of South Sudan has an opportunity to grow in ways that respect human beings and Creation. Today we pray that the two nations, rich in natural resources, will respect Creation as they begin a new time of growth. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Day seven: We pray for reconciliation After 40 years of fighting, the division of North and South Sudan brings great joy and great sadness across the two nations. Reconciliation is difficult and can take a long time. Today we pray for reconciliation and unity between these two new countries. We pray for lasting peace. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Day eight: We pray for subsidiarity ‘Subsidiarity’ means that people in any situation are free to decide what needs to be done and to put their decision into action. In January, the people of South Sudan voted to become a nation. It was a first step for the people of Sudan to work towards ‘Subsidiarity’. Today we pray that the people of South Sudan will be able to plan their future in the world’s newest nation. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Day nine: We pray for peace As children of God, wherever we come from, whatever our language or skin colour or religion, we are called to respect people with all their differences. As South Sudan becomes a nation, its bishops are asking Sudanese people to join together to embrace peace. Today we too pray for peace in South Sudan, and for all those who are affected by the fighting. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
God of Mercy, we thank you for your great love for us and for the people of South Sudan. We ask you to guide the leaders of South Sudan as they start on their journey of independence. Give them your wisdom, love and strength. We pray for all those who died during the long years of war. Loving God, help the people of South Sudan to forgive past hurts and to serve one another in unity and peace. Send your Holy Spirit upon this new nation; bless the Republic of South Sudan. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen. (Adapted from a prayer written by the bishops of South Sudan)
www.cafod.org.uk Picture credits: Caritas Australia