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Ecumenical Message to the Leaders of the Church in Sudan

04 September 2004

4 September, 2004



Brothers and Sisters,

We write to you from Nairobi, Kenya, where we are meeting as representatives
of the Christian ecumenical bodies of the eight continents and regions of the world
- Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, North
America, and the Pacific - and of the World Council of Churches. We are meeting
during a time of appalling and continuing instances of conflict and violence,
from nearby Sudan to North Ossetia in Russia and in the Middle East, but we
greet you in the name of him who said, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers'.

Sudan has had a special place in the life and mission of the ecumenical movement,
since our ecumenical engagements in the peace process go way back to the early
seventies. WCC and AACC have played a major role in giving en ecumenical and
global voice to the prevailing situation in the Sudan. We affirm the pastoral visit
to North Sudan by WCC and the AACC earlier this year as an exercise of listening
to the churches, seeing the situation first hand and also encouraging you to
embrace the hope for peace. We assure you of the love, care and solidarity of the
churches of the world. We pledge ourselves to continue to urge the churches of
the world to work closely with the ecumenical fellowship in Sudan to promote
health, food security and education for all people in the country.

The situation in both the Darfur region and Southern Sudan continues to be a
source of great concern to us. We have been greatly encouraged by the signing of
the peace agreements in Naivasha on June 13th, 2004. We are conscious of your
concern that all the stakeholders should be encouraged and required to abide by
the terms of agreement. We see your self-determination achieved. We will urge
the church to be vigilant in order to ensure that the peace agreements from the
Naivasha meetings are implemented without rancour and take effect on schedule.

We are anxious that the loose ends in the agreements will be soon tied up.
The world church is standing by to respond to the call to assist in the daunting
challenge of rebuilding your beautiful country.

The urgency for the resolution of the crisis in the Darfur region is a matter of
great priority for us. We are disturbed at the continuing killings of the people by
the Janjaweed militias. We insist on the responsibility of the government of Sudan
in fulfilling its responsibility of caring for all the peoples of Sudan. We add our
voice to those that call for a free movement of the humanitarian agencies to pro-
vide care and assistance to the people caught up in this unfortunate situation. We
are greatly encouraged by the sending of peace forces into Sudan by the African
Union. As representatives of world ecumenical Christianity we assure you of our
solidarity with you in your ministry in this situation and long for the day when
these conflicts will be finally resolved.

In the light of this we stand to hear from you more of how we could be of greater
assistance to you and your communities in the struggle for peace in Sudan.

Your Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The Rev. Dr H. Mvume Dandala
General Secretary
All Africa Conference of Churches

Dr Ahn Jae Woong
General Secretary
Christian Conference of Asia

The Rt Rev. Dr Kingsley Lewis
Member Continuation Committee
Caribbean Conference of Churches

The Rev. Dr Keith Clements
General Secretary
Conference of European Churches

The Rev. Israel Batista
General Secretary
Latin American Council of Churches

Guirguis I. Saleh
General Secretary
Middle East Council of Churches

The Rev. Dr Karen Hamilton
General Secretary
Canadian Council of Churches

The Rev. Valamotu Palu
General Secretary
Pacific Conference of Churches

The Rev. Dr Bob Edgar
General Secretary
National Council of Churches USA

The Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia
General Secretary
World Council of Churches