101-Day Prayer Campaign Launched for Sudan

Promotes Reconciliation and Peace

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KHARTOUM, Sudan, SEPT. 27, 2010 (Zenit.org).- In view of growing political tension surrounding the Jan. 9 referendum on the possible secession of southern Sudan, a 101-day prayer campaign for peace was launched.

Sept. 21 was the first day of the campaign, which aims to motivate people of all faiths to pray for peace in that country. It is due to end on Jan. 1, World Day of Peace, a week before the referendum.

This referendum will decide whether southern Sudan will separate from the north and form its own country. It was stipulated by the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which ended the civil war that began in 1983. 

However, in the months leading up to the referendum, violent conflict has been reported in various parts of the country.

In this regard, Auxiliary Bishop Daniel Adwok Kur of Khartoum told Aid to the Church in Need that this prayer campaign could play a crucial part in keeping peace in Sudan.

«The message which comes out of this prayer initiative is that of reconciliation and forgiveness,» he said. 

«All of those involved — both those who vote and everyone else — should be in dialogue rather than giving into feelings of tension and predicting violence ahead of time,» the prelate affirmed.

He continued, «We need to look at this [referendum] process as a peaceful journey, a time which is above all accompanied by prayer, putting God first in each of our lives for the good of our country.»

The campaign will include parish meetings focused on current issues, the use of a prayer booklet, and the distribution of the Prayer of St. Francis. 

It is being organized by a group called Solidarity With Southern Sudan, an organization within the Union of Superiors General of religious congregations.

Bishop Adwok said, «What we want people to think about are the obligations of living in peace, that everybody has to be involved in the process and that we need to reflect on what Pope John Paul II said that if you want peace you have to seek justice.»

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