Episcopal Church demands answers to Jonglei state harassment
In a statement published earlier this week, the Episcopal Church of South Sudan (ECSS) has raised a number of concerns about incidents in which worshippers and clergymen were harassed and arrested in Jonglei.
‘We do not know why ECSS workers are targeted as if they are not citizens of Jonglei state. It remains unclear whether state officials are acting individually or on behalf of the state government’, the letter reads.
In particular, the ECSS refer to an incident last Saturday which saw two Bishops turned away from a pastoral visit by security services in Bor. The Rt. Rev’d Gabriel Thuch Agoth and Rt. Rev’d Zechariah Manyok Biar were ordered out of Bor shortly after they had arrived, and were later forced to return to Juba by land. It is claimed no valid reason was given for their forced return.
‘This is the third of such incidents that has happened to ECSS Bishops in Bor town’, the statement asserts.
The ECSS also allege that the Archishop-elect and Bishop Commisary of Bor Diocese were ordered out of the town on 23rd December, after they had arrived to celebrate Christmas with worshippers. They remain under house arrest in Juba for reasons unknown.
Both incidents follow claims that ECSS youth were shot at by police officers while singing in Langbar (B) parish, a few days before Christmas.