Together with Africa: 101 days of prayer with the people of Sudan
Sudan is entering a critical period as the January 2011 referendum approaches. Mandated by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the referendum gives the people of Southern Sudan the right to determine their future status – one of unity with the North or independence. (Read a recent NewsNotes article on this issue here.) Monumental challenges remain in the way of a free and fair referendum. Some point to the possibility of renewed war between the North and South over a complexity of issues – from the honesty of the referendum itself to the sharing of oil revenue; from the status of Southerners living in the North to the demarcation of North-South boundaries and on and on, but the Southern Sudanese are committed to moving into the future in a responsible and peaceful way. They have asked the international community to accompany their process, including through prayer.
In their statement A future full of hope, Sudan’s Catholic bishops wrote, “We call upon our brothers and sisters and all people of good will to pray earnestly for a peaceful and fruitful referendum. May the God of Justice and Truth guide us all at this momentous time.”
From September 21, 2010, the International Day of Peace, through January 1, 2011, the World Day of Peace, people of faith in Sudan and around the world will pray for a peaceful and just referendum in Sudan. Organized as 101 Days of Prayer Towards a Peaceful Referendum in Sudan by Solidarity with Southern Sudan and Catholic Relief Services, this campaign of prayer and reflection invites many different forms of participation, from public action to private prayer.
During these 101 days, Together with Africa will circulate materials prepared for the campaign: weekly reflections written by African theologians and others deeply committed to peace and reconciliation, as well as daily quotes reminding us to hold Sudan in prayer. We also will send updates on the situation in Sudan as preparations for the referendum continue, and requests for action when appropriate.
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Banner celebrating the "101 Days of Prayer" at community center in southern Sudan. Photo by Fr. Paul Masson.