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Sudan declared 39th province of Anglican Communion

Author : Mohamed Alameen | Published: Monday, July 31, 2017

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby (center) and the new Archbishop of ECS Ezekiel Kondo (right) on Sunday, July 30, 2017 | Photo | Facebook

The Episcopal Church of Sudan and South Sudan has finally separated in a ceremony presided over by the Archbishop of Canterbury in Khartoum.

The ECS joined the Anglican Communion 1976.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby on Sunday declared Sudan the 39th province of the worldwide Anglican Communion, 6 years after South Sudan gained independence from the Sudan.

Speaking to Eye Radio, Father James Oyet, the secretary-general for the South Sudan Council of churches, confirmed the separation.

“Now we have the Episcopal Church South Sudan. It has its own primate. The new archbishop and primate for the Episcopal Church of Sudan is called Archbishop Ezekiel Kondo,” Fr Oyet told Eye Radio Monday.

The Episcopal Church of South Sudan, the 38th province, remains headed by Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul, who is expected to retire in November.

Archbishop Ezekiel Kondo

The Anglican Church in Sudan, a majority Muslim country, had been administered from South Sudan since the 2011 split.

For his part, Archbishop Justin Welby urged the Sudanese government to guarantee the religious freedoms in the country.

“Such tolerant coexistence needs freedoms,” Archbishop Welby said during the inauguration in Khartoum.

“So the Christians may live confidently and the more they are free, the more they will be a blessing to the Sudan.”

Since the 1989 coup that brought Islamist-backed President Omar al-Bashir to power, authorities in Khartoum have pursued sharia in a bid to unify the country.

This stirred resentment and helped trigger a devastating civil war that ended with the secession of the mainly Christian south.

Christian communities in Sudan today are mostly found in the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan state. Experts say that between three and five percent of Sudan’s about 25 million-population are Christian.

On October, US President Donald Trump is expected to decide whether to permanently lift sanctions imposed in 1997 over Khartoum’s alleged backing for Islamist militant groups.

(Additional information by Joakino Francis)

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