A woman prays during Catholic mass inside the Protection of Civilians area inside the United Nations base in Malakal, South Sudan. Some 35,000 people live in the camp, protected by UN peacekeeping troops. They were displaced from Malakal following the outbreak of a civil war in 2013.


Seven local staff who were attending a peace conference were reported killed. The fact that the victims were on a humanitarian mission and promoting peace and human dignity in their country makes this tragedy even more painful,” wrote Pillay. The WCC condemns in the strongest possible terms the attack on civilians and humanitarian workers in South Sudan.”

Such senseless violence undermines unity, added Pillay. We commiserate with the families of the deceased, the South Sudan Council of Churches, Norwegian Church Aid, and the churches and the South Sudanese people over the atrocity committed by those who carried out this evil act,” he wrote. "We are frail and weak when we stand alone but strong and resilient when we stand together.”

Pillay encouraged the churches and South Sudanese people to stand together in the pursuit of justice, reconciliation, and unity in these difficult times.

We pray that you may experience the presence and the love of God even in the midst of these challenges,” Pillay concluded.

Read the pastoral letter to the churches of South Sudan and to Norwegian Church Aid

WCC member churches in South Sudan