Pope Francis wraps up his pilgrimage to South Sudan with an open-air Mass on Sunday after urging its leaders to concentrate on bringing peace to the delicate nation torn aside via violence and poverty.
Francis begged South Sudanese other people to put down their guns and forgive one any other.
“Even if our hearts bleed for the wrongs we have suffered, let us refuse, once and for all, to repay evil with evil,” Francis stated. “Let us accept one another and love one another with sincerity and generosity, as God loves us.”
His message aimed to restore hopes on the earth’s youngest nation, which won independence from the bulk Muslim Sudan in 2011 however has been beset via civil conflict and battle.
President Salva Kiir, his longtime rival Riek Machar and different opposition teams signed a peace settlement in 2018, however the deal’s provisions, together with the formation of a countrywide unified military, stay in large part unimplemented and preventing has endured to flare.
“We need permanent peace now and I hope these prayers would yield to lasting peace, said the 66-year-old mother of seven who wiped a tear from her eye as she waited for Francis’ Mass to begin.
The Vatican said more than 100,000 people attended the service, filling the field of the Garang Mausoleum and surrounding roads.
During the three-day visit, Francis, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby and the moderator of the Church of Scotland, the Rt. Rev. Iain Greenshields sought to draw attention to the plight of South Sudan’s most vulnerable people, the women and children who have borne the brunt of displacement and make up the majority of people living in temporary camps.
Sexual violence is rampant
In South Sudan, child brides are common and the maternal mortality rate is the highest in the world.
Edmund Yakani, executive director of the Community Empowerment for Progress Organisation, said the visit of the three leaders was an important push to the peace process.
He called it a “critical exposure of our political leaders towards their personal responsibility for making peace and stability prevail in the country.”
Watch video in participant above.