Churches push for peace in war-torn South Sudan

bishop_arkangelo_south_sudan

Bishop Arkangelo from the Africa Inland Church speaks on the role of the church in peace building in South Sudan

 

This week the warring parties in South Sudan, together with international community and civil society organisations, will gather at the High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) in Addis Ababa to find ways to bring peace and cease hostilities in South Sudan. Ahead of this gathering, Tearfund East Africa Humanitarian Policy Officer, Sini Maria Heikkila, discusses the role of the church in bringing peace.

Conflict has devastated the lives of millions in the world’s newest state since December 2013. More than four million people have been forced to flee their homes. The brunt of the conflict is born by women and children and UNICEF has estimated that 86% of South Sudanese refugees in Uganda are women and children. 

The third meeting of the HLRF in May – the regional peace process led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development – provides a unique opportunity to achieve an inclusive and lasting peace agreement. In the middle of the conflict, the churches have a key role to play in waging peace and bringing communities together. For instance, Tearfund’s experience shows that generally all churches come together in an ecumenical spirit to promote peace and to work both for development of livelihoods and for spiritual growth. Thus, ensuring that the voice of church is heard in any peace negotiations, including HLRF, remains of utmost importance. [Read more…]

7 reasons why Tearfund works with and through the global local church

Worship at a church in Uganda. Photo: Andrew Philip, Tearfund

Worship at a church in Owii, Soroti District, Uganda. Photo: Andrew Philip/Tearfund

 

As a Christian relief and development agency, Tearfund often works with and through the local church. Lucie Woolley, Tearfund Advocacy Learning and Research Officer, explores the distinctive role the church can play in delivering development and humanitarian outcomes globally. 

The church occupies a unique place in the humanitarian and development sector. At its best, it is able to bring a combination of benefits to humanitarian and development work that is found nowhere else.

It is integral in communities, inspirational for their congregations, and influential through its networks at all levels. Using these three concepts as a framework, here are seven good reasons why the global local church is at the heart of Tearfund’s work.  [Read more…]

Bridging the gap: Connecting communities, churches and governments to do effective advocacy at the local level

serere-district-local-governmentLucie Woolley, Tearfund Advocacy Learning and Research Officer explores how to connect communities, churches and governments to advocate effectively at the local level.

‘Before, you would get a [community dialogue] meeting with maybe only ten or so people attending and speaking on behalf of the whole village. Now, the whole village turns up. They have the courage now.’

 – Joseph Opit, Chairman for Serere District County

The church effect

Local churches are not about the buildings, but about the people who make up their congregations. At their best, they are places of radical community, where everyone is welcome and relationships are formed across social barriers. They can be safe spaces where people talk to different groups in an environment that promotes trust and understanding. [Read more…]