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Southern Sudanese participate in a day of prayer at a church before the independence referendum vote in 2011 in Juba, Sudan. Thinkstock

Is the church helping?

Christians and the conflict in South Sudan

Only two years ago South Sudan was celebrating its independence from the repressive Sudan regime. After 20 years of civil war, a beleaguered yet hopeful people had overcome internal tensions to establish a new state. Churches helped usher in a new era of South Sudan state politics, encouraging participation in the independence referendum and educating South Sudanese on the particulars of voting.

But the spirit of celebration came to an abrupt halt in December 2013 when virulent and sudden violence broke out. At least 10,000 people died, and over 800,000 people were displaced. As the conflict continues, some Christians are resisting the violence while others are complicit in it.


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