The Anglican Primates in Congo and South Sudan have spoken about the global ecumenical day of prayer for peace in both countries, that took place earlier this year. At the beginning of February, Pope Francis used his weekly Angelus address in St Peter’s Square to call on Catholic faithful to set aside 23 February – Ash Wednesday – as a global day of prayer for the two countries. And he encouraged Christians of other denominations to join in. It was a call taken up by leaders of many different churches, including senior Anglican leaders.
“That was a wonderful time for us because it shows all the world was concerned about Congo, praying together all over the world for a country like Congo,” Archbishop Masimango Katanda, Primate of the Province de L’Eglise Anglicane Du Congo – the Anglican Church of Congo – told ACNS at the end of last month’s meeting of Primates from the Council of Anglican Churches in Africa (CAPA). “That was helpful for us. It was a kind of relief for the suffering we are going through,” he said. “So we thank all over the world the Christians who were praying for Congo.”
And he said that the prayers were bearing fruit: “We are experiencing the hand of God,” he said. “There is a response, because the Kasai crisis now is down and also the crisis in Eastern Congo is trying to be sorted out; so slowly we are working towards the peace process.”
The sentiments were echoed by Archbishop Justin Badi Arama, who was installed as the new Primate of the Anglican Church of South Sudan in March. Speaking to ACNS at the time, he said: “I was extremely happy about [the global call to prayer] because it was a demonstration that we are not forgotten. We are loved by our spiritual fathers, both in Vatican and Canterbury; so, for me in particular, I am glad about what the Pope did.”
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