Religions of South Sudan
Unlike the predominantly Muslim population of Sudan, the South Sudanese follow mostly Christianity and traditional religions. Roman Catholic missionaries began work in Sudan in 1842; there are now some 2,009,374 South Sudanese practicing Roman Catholicism. The majority of Christians in South Sudan are adherents of either the Roman Catholic or Anglican churches (represented by the Episcopal Church of the Sudan) but there are several other small denominations represented. Speaking at Saint Theresa Cathedral in Juba, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit, a Roman Catholic, stated that South Sudan would be a nation which respects the freedom of religion.
According to the Federal Research Division of the US Library of Congress: "in the early 1990s possibly no more than 10 percent of southern Sudan's population was Christian".
South Sudan's population is mostly Christian or follow traditional religion. Amongst Christians, most are Catholic and Anglican, though other denominations are also active, and animist beliefs are often blended with Christian beliefs. In recent years Christian churches have grown, often as a sign of resistance to the hostility from the Arab-Muslim north; a hostility which is frequently characterized as racism, rather than religious persecution, between the predominantly Arab North and the non-Arab/black African South.
The Christian for Israel International South Sudan will organize a Christian tour to Israel in the months of March, April and October in 2012. Each trip would take a limited number of 200 people.
The Churches in South Sudan are putting their full effort in spreading the reconciliation message to all communities in the country. The Archbishop of Juba Catholic archdiocese Paolino Lukudu Loro, while presiding over the Christmas mass in 2011 urged for peace, justice and reconciliation in South Sudan.
November 27, 2011
President Salva Kiir Mayardit called for joint efforts and cooperation between Government and the Church for a strong foundation for peace and stability among the communities in the country. The President addressed the faithful on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee of the Catholic Diocese of Yei River County. Kiir called on Yei River citizens to remain united in good and in difficult situations.
November 25, 2011
Archbishop of Juba Catholic archdiocese Paolino Lukudu Loro urges for peace, justice and reconciliation in South Sudan. Presiding over the mass at St Theresa Cathedral in Juba, the Archbishop said "We observe this day as important occasion in our newly independent State after decades of civil wars which displaced thousands and claimed lives,". He said that the Church will extend it's full cooperation to the Government in preaching reconciliation message to all communities in the country.
July 16, 2011
Bishop Cesare Mazzolari of Rumbek while celebrating Mass. The 74-year-old Italian Comboni missionary had been working in South Sudan since 1981, enduring the nation’s 1983-2005 civil war. He even risked his own life many times for the nation. At one point, he was kidnapped by rebel fighters and kept in 24 hours. He was named Bishop of Rumbek in 1999. On July 9, he presided over the official opening prayer during the Independence Day celebration at Freedom Square in Rumbek, which made South Sudan the newest nation of Africa.