A coalition of Protestant churches that includes the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Reformed Church in America and The Episcopal Church have called for an international day of prayer for South Sudan on Feb. 16. In a statement, Gradye Parsons of the PC (USA) explained, “The ceasefire that went into effect in South Sudan on January 23 provides a sign of hope. Our brothers and sisters need our prayer and support as they seek to move into a future of justice and peace.” Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori also released a statement, saying, “The new nation needs peace, in order that all its people might thrive.” Fellow Christians are invited to pray for the country, which has been embroiled in a violent conflict stemming from disputes over land and power in recent months. Church leaders have also been encouraging members to donate to disaster relief efforts in the region. The PC (USA) has posted a suggested prayer on their website in lead up to Feb. 16 that says, in part:
We give thanks for the ceasefire, but we pray for our brothers and sisters as they face the tasks of building a future together. God of reconciliation, we ask you to send your Spirit of unity and peace to guide the people and the leaders of South Sudan from violence and into the paths of peace and justice. Strengthen them with the power of your Holy Spirit as they witness to the strong love of Christ, advocating for peace and justice in a situation that is only hopeful because we follow a resurrected Christ.