The solution to South Sudan’s conflicts lies with committed Christians, the Archbishop of the Internal Province of Bahr el Ghazal said in a recent sermon.
The Most Rev. Moses Deng Bol’s sermon, reprinted in the September-December edition of Renewal, said peace will come when Christians live by the teachings of Jesus.
“According to Jesus, my neighbor is anyone who is near me at any time, regardless of their tribe, race or color, gender, age, height or size,” he said. “In Mathew 7:12, Jesus gave the answer to the question of how do I love my neighbor as myself in what is now known as the Golden Rule: ‘So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.’”
A problem in South Sudan, he said, is that “many of us are Christians by name and by going to church on Sundays, but we have not been taught to understand and obey Jesus teachings as he stated in the Great Commission in Mathew 28:16.”
The archbishop recalled a sermon he preached to village elders near the border of Nuer and Dinka land: “I asked the elders whether any of them would like the Nuer to come to his village and kill him, his wife and children, take his cows, and burn his house. They all responded with a big no.
“Then I asked them who among you would like the Nuer to come to Toch … stay peacefully performing their Nuer cultural dances, and then say goodbye to the Dinka herders during the rainy season as they go back to their villages. All of them said that is what they wanted.
“So I told them to do to the Nuer what they want the Nuer to do to them.”
Afterward, the village chief asked whether the Nuer people would hear the same challenge.
“He said he believed that if the Nuer Bishop was preaching the same message to the Nuer as I was doing to the Dinkas, it would take less than two years for the conflict between the Nuer and the Dinka communities to stop without any intervention of the police or army.”
Adapted from ACNS