The World Council of Churches (WCC) welcomes and supports the important visits being undertaken by Pope Francis to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and – together with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland – to South Sudan.
They will serve the salutary purpose of drawing international attention back to these two countries whose people have suffered for so long from protracted conflict and instability, and too often without adequate international solidarity and support.
These visits are truly in the apostolic tradition, and very much in the spirit of the ecumenical pilgrimage of justice, reconciliation and unity espoused by the recent 11th Assembly of the WCC.
We pray that in addition to bringing comfort and hope to the victims of violence, extreme poverty and injustice in these countries; the visits will lift up their continued struggles and generate renewed commitment and action by its political leaders to work toward peace, reconciliation and justice.
Further, we hope that all members of the international community would urgently respond to needed humanitarian assistance for the most vulnerable communities and provide sustained solidarity and support.
Rev. Prof. Dr Jerry Pillay
World Council of Churches