– Southern Sudanese from the United States Diaspora vote for freedom, January 2011. (Photo credit: Faith J. H. McDonnell)
By Faith J. H. McDonnell (@Cuchulain09)
It is the eve of Independence Day in the Republic of South Sudan. Tomorrow, July 9, will mark the nation’s second birthday. To prepare for this solemn and joyful occasion, the Most Reverend Daniel Deng Bul, Archbishop of Sudan and South Sudan (Episcopal Church of Sudan) has called the whole country to prayer. All over South Sudan there will be city and community-wide prayer services, including in Juba Stadium in South Sudan’s capital city.
The archbishop is chairman of the committee, with Catholic Bishop Emeritus Paride Taban as Vice-chairman. The Committee for National Reconciliation includes a number of other Christian and Muslim religious leaders, a representative of each state, and members of civil society representing women and youth.
Prayer concerns include:
- Justice that leads to peace for all the people of Sudan
- An end to violence
- The transformation of hearts
- The safety of Reverend Idris, Joshua Idris Nalos, Pastor Trainee David Gayin, and all who have been detained
- Jonglei state and other places that have known inter-tribal violence
- Good leadership and governance for the young nation
In January of 2011, Southern Sudanese from every people group came together to participate in the Referendum on Secession from the nation of Sudan. The photos included with this blog post are of some of the many Southern Sudanese living in America that participated in the referendum in Alexandria, VA in the Washington, DC area. Voting took place from January 9-15, 2011, and the results were announced on February 7. It was an overwhelming 98.83% in favor of separation from Sudan. On July 9, 2011, the two countries separated officially, and the nation we now call the Republic of South Sudan was born.
South Sudan’s national anthem, written by the students and teachers of Juba University just in time for South Sudan’s Independence, included the prayer that is on the hearts of most of the people of South Sudan today:
We praise and glorify You
For Your grace on South Sudan,
Land of great abundance
Uphold us united in peace and harmony.
(From “South Sudan Oyee!” National Hymn of South Sudan)