Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori discusses Sudans January referendum in new video
"I ask for your action on behalf of the people of Sudan,"
Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori states in a new video posted on the Episcopal Church"s Sudan Resource page: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/sudan
A Sudanese-wide referendum is slated for January 9, 2011 which, if successful, will establish a separate Southern Sudan with full rights to self-determination.
Noting that there are great concerns "about the potential for violence leading up to the election," the Presiding Bishop notes: "I ask your prayers, I ask your learning, I ask for your action on behalf of the people of Sudan."
A Season of Prayer for Sudan, comprehensive resources and information for use by individuals, churches, groups, and dioceses, has been prepared to better understand the situation and to engage in the process.
In addition to the Presiding Bishop"s video message, other resources on A Season of Prayer for Sudan include:
Video detailing why this referendum is important
Fact sheets about the Episcopal Church in Sudan, the election and the possible outcomes
Map of affected area
Video of Episcopal Church of Sudan Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul
Links to info and organizations including Episcopal Public Policy Network (EPPN), American Friends of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan (AFRECS), the Episcopal Church in the Sudan, and dioceses/churches.
A Season of Prayer for Sudan resources are available here: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/sudan
Sudan is Africa"s largest country in area and is the tenth-largest country in the world. Touching nine other countries, it is central to the African and Arab worlds. Many expressions of African, Muslim and Christian faith traditions are found here.
In the recent past, the north and south were governed separately. Civil wars lasting about 40 years came to an end in 2005 with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which gave the south political autonomy for six years, to be followed in 2011 by a referendum on secession. That referendum is slated for January 9, 2011.
About 17% of the population of Sudan lives on less than $1.25 US per day.
If the referendum vote is conducted fairly, most believe that the south will secede.
There are a myriad of issues standing in the way of peace, among them: just revenue sharing from oil; definition of borders; usage rights of the Nile which divide the country; repayment of debt to the world bank; recognition of religious and civil rights for all Sudanese; and full cessation of violence in Darfur.
The Episcopal Church of the Sudan is based in the southern city of Juba and claims 4 million members. It has been a long-standing and outspoken voice for peace. The Episcopal Church is neither pro- nor anti-secession, but rather pro-peace.
Southern secession will leave Episcopalians in the north in need of protection. Rights of Muslims and other minority religions in the largely Christian south would need protection as well.
Recently, Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul of the Episcopal Church in the Sudan led an ecumenical delegation to the United States seeking support and acknowledgement of the situation in that African Country.
The Episcopal Church welcomes all who worship Jesus Christ in 109 dioceses and three regional areas in 16 nations. The Episcopal Church is a member province of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
Resources for A Season of Prayer: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/sudan
Episcopal Church in Sudan: http://www.sudan.anglican.org/
The Episcopal Church: www.episcopalchurch.org