Together with the All Africa Conference of Churches and the Fellowship of Christian Councils and Churches in the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa, the solidarity visit to Sudan is taking place from 20-25 April.
This visit was originally planned for early 2020, but was prevented by the COVID-19 pandemic. “It is now being undertaken in a context that in the meantime has greatly changed, in particular due to the events of October 2021 in which the Sudanese military suspended the Constitution and dissolved the civilian administration,” notes Rev. Ibrahim Wushishi Yusuf, WCC programme executive for Peacebuilding in the African Region. “That administration formed part of a joint transitional government since the ouster of President Omar al Bashir in December 2018.”
The 12-person delegation includes Dr Agnes Abuom, moderator of the WCC central committee, Peter Prove, director of the WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, and Yusuf. The delegation is led by Bishop Musa Panti FIlibus of the Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria, current president of the Lutheran World Federation.
“The core purposes of the ecumenical solidarity visit are to serve as a physical expression of the commitment of regional and international ecumenical partners in accompanying the churches and people of Sudan amid such significant changes and challenges,” said Prove. “We express our support for the churches of Sudan in their witness and ministry, and encourage national ecumenical cooperation in addressing the needs of Sudan’s people.”
In addition to close consultations with the leadership of the churches of Sudan and of the Sudan Council of Churches, the delegation is meeting with political leaders including the minister for Religious Affairs, representatives of the “Forces of Freedom and Change” and the Sovereign Council, as well as civil society counterparts.