Solidarity with the People of Southern Sudan
January 5th, 2011
On 9 January 2011, the people of Southern Sudan will vote in a crucial referendum whether they will unify with or secede from Northern Sudan. The vote will likely give a birth to a new country; however what happens in the wake of the referendum is less certain. The people of Southern Sudan have endured almost five decades of war and displacement. Southern Sudan is the least-developed part of the country, but contains important natural resource wealth, particularly oil.
The Catholic Task Force on Africa, of which the Oblate JPIC Office is a member, is closely monitoring the situation. CTA has in the past hosted briefings with Catholic Bishops from Sudan and religious workers from different congregations working in the southern Sudan through Solidarity with Southern Sudan which is sponsored by the members of the Union of Major Superiors (USG) and International Conference of Superior Generals (UISG) in Rome. The Missionary Oblates is a member of these international religious groups and is supportive of the missionary work done by the Solidarity with Southern Sudan initiative.
The U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Office of International Justice and Peace in conjunction with Catholic Relief Service issued a statement on 28 December 2010, “Peace in Sudan: Your Help Needed as Vote Nears” which encourages U.S. Catholics to pray and advocate for their brothers and sisters in Sudan. The Bishops are urging schools, schools, religious communities to offer special prayers for people in Sudan, especially on January 9th and in the weeks following the referendum vote.
More information and action suggestions can be found at Catholic Relief Services – Peace in Sudan