Ecumenical Solidarity delegation visit Sudan to convey a message of Peace, Unity and Cooperation
A twelve-member delegation of the joint ecumenical solidarity from the World Council of Churches (WCC), All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) and FECCLAHA call on the church and the government of Sudan to work towards inclusive dialogue, unity, peace and justice for all during their visit to Sudan in April 2022. FECCLAHA was represented by the FECCLAHA Chairperson, Executive Director and members of FECCLAHA’s Regional Working group on Peace and Security.
During the seven-day long visit which began on 19th April 2022, the delegation held a series of meetings with different stakeholders including: the Ministry of Religious Affairs, the Head of the Sovereign Council of the Republic of Sudan; The two wings of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC), Norwegian Church Aid (NCA), ERAD; church leaders, women and the youth in an effort to finding lasting solutions to the current political situation for peace, stability, and development in Sudan.
Led by Archbishop Musa Filibus, current president of the Lutheran World Federation, the delegation conveyed a message of peace and highlighted issues of justice and dialogue during their courtesy visit to H.E Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the Chairperson of the Sovereign Council of the Republic of Sudan and the military president currently steering the transition in Sudan following the October 25th 2021 military takeover and resignation of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok then leader of the transitional government.
H.E Abdel Fattah appreciated the coming of the church leaders’ delegation as a sign of African solidarity and assured them that he was working hard to set an atmosphere of dialogue for a peaceful Sudan despite the challenges that come with the transition process. He acknowledged the role of the church and appealed for concerted efforts from the church in Sudan in addressing the challenges the nation is facing.
In their meeting with the Minister of Religious Affairs, the delegation expressed their solidarity with the churches, the Government and the people of Sudan; appealed for an open space for all faith communities in the country. “When the government flourishes, the people flourish and there will be peace in the nation”, Archbishop Musa noted.
While appreciating the role of churches, the minister informed the delegation that the Ministry of Religious Affairs had established an administrative docket to take care of all the churches. “The Ministry of Religious Affairs only plays a supervisory role and does not interfere with internal issues of the churches”, he added.
He also commended the church for its role in initiating the spirit of forgiveness in the country and committed to fostering relationships between the state and the church. However, he challenged church leaders to put “their house” in order to play a more meaningful role. “The more divided the church is, the less strong the voice of the church becomes”, he emphasized.
The delegation also held a meeting with the church leaders, women and youth to provide them with spaces to air issues affecting them, the situation of the church in Sudan as well as issues affecting them. The visit culminated into meetings with the Humanitarian wing of the council ERADA and the second wing of Forces for Freedom and Change.
The ecumenical solidarity visit served as an expression of the commitment by regional and international ecumenical partners in accompanying the churches and people of Sudan amid different challenges experienced in the county.