Anglican Bishops lay peace plans for Lakes, Jonglei States

Anglican Bishops lay peace plans for Lakes, Jonglei States
From L- R: Bishop Joseph Alem Arok, Bishop Michael Jalang Jalueth, and Bishop Joseph Alem Arok after they have been blessed and confirmed (photo credit: courtesy)

The three newly appointed Bishops of the South Sudan Anglican Church have vowed to promote unity, love, and reconciliation among the divided communities of Lakes and Jonglei States.

Bishop-elect, Abraham Duot Kuer of Mading Bor Diocese said his priority would be peace and reconciliation among the communities in Jonglei State.

He promised to work together with other bishops from different denominations to enhance love and unity among the people in the area.

“We must work together as the families of God. I know the conflict created negative impacts within our communities but there is a need to remove all the bad deeds out from the hearts of our people,” Duot said.

“All the Churches of the Anglican parishes in my area have been closed down because of the floods. People have been displaced and we pray that our people will be able to go back to their respective homes so that we to continue preaching the words of God,” he added.

On September 12, 2021, the Archbishop of South Sudan Anglican Church, His Grace Peter Bol Arop, and his counterpart Joseph Muchai—who is the Archbishop of Nakuru Archdiocese in Kenya— announced the appointment of three bishops in South Sudan.

Bishop Joseph Alem Arok has been appointed as the new Bishop of Juba Diocese in Central Equatoria State, Bishop Abraham Duot Kuer for Mading Bor in Jonglei State, and Bishop Michael Jalang Jalueth was assigned to Aliab Diocese of Lakes State.

Bishop-elect Michael Jalang Jalueth of the Diocese of Aliab of Lake State said there was huge work lying ahead of him saying the people in his Diocese have not been following the words of God due to the continued revenge killings in the area.

 Need for healing

“There is no love among the communities of Lake State because if there should be love, people should not [be] fighting among themselves not only in Lakes but in all parts of this country,” Jalang said.

“We are going to unite the people to become one people and one nation,” he added.

The three bishops are expected to be installed in December this year before they disperse to their respective places of assignment.

Pastor in-Charge of St. Joseph of Anglican Church in Sherikat, Paul Malwal Ajak said the appointment of the three bishops was a milestone in the history of the Anglican Church in South Sudan.

“Some of the members of the congregation shed tears of joy. The crowd did not believe that church could come with that kind of history to appoint of three bishops in one day,” Pastor Malwal said.

“If they go to their respected diocese they will be able to open schools, clinics, and agricultural activities and some training will be conducted in their respective diocese,” he said.

The Anglican Church of South Sudan was initiated in 2009 in Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya after nine pastors broke away from the Episcopal Church of South Sudan due to what they termed administrative issues.

The misunderstanding that arose in the Church brought about the separation resulting in the formation of the Anglican Church of South Sudan.

The nine pastors set up the church administration while in Kenya and nominated one of the pastors, Peter Bol Arop, who was a senior archdeacon by then.

Mr. Bol was appointed bishop and got consecrated on June 11, 2016, in Nakuru Archdiocese of Kenya Anglican Church where he and other pastors developed a strong partnership with the Anglican of Kenya.

Since his arrival to South Sudan, Bishop Peter Arop established churches in Twic East in Bor town of Jonglei in Golia Mingkaman in Lake State, in Juba Central Equatoria State, and Kapoeta and Nimule in Eastern Equatoria State.