February 16, 2011
Using a bible verse from the New Testament, the bishops of the Episcopal [Anglican] Church in Sudan said the church would remain a single church, even though Sudan plans to split into two nations. They quoted a verse about Jesus, "He has committed to us the message of reconciliation" 2 Corinthians 5:19b
The Church has 31 dioceses, or regions, in Sudan each with their own bishop. After a meeting in Juba in early February, the bishops released a statement about their hopes for the new nations.
There are 14 points, covering poverty, peace, unity, the Lords Resistance Army, conflict in Darfur, etc.
For our Beja friends, two points seem most important. The Bishops write,
We call on the Governments of South Sudan and North Sudan to be inclusive of civil society especially the Church and other faith-based organisations in the reviewing and re-writing process of the new constitutions. A constitution is supposed to be a covenant between those charged with the responsibility of governance and the governed. All stake-holders must be involved and once the two nations have been formed, there must be a constitutional conference to enhance ownership of the two constitutions. We call for an inclusive government where justice shall prevail.
13. Separation of State and Religion
There has been misunderstanding on the issue of separation of state and religion. Our interpretation of this is that no majority religion should be above another and that no one church should have the monopoly of being the State Church. Moslems, Christians and followers of other religions must live in harmony with one another. Individuals of North and South Sudan must be allowed to practice their religions freely whilst being tolerant and respectful of people of other faiths.
Read the whole statement at the Anglican Communion News Service
Also at All-Africa.