Kiir scraps work permit payments for missionaries

Kiir scraps work permit payments for missionaries

President Salva Kiir directed the immigration department to exempt all the missionaries working in South Sudan from paying for work permits.

This directive was announced by the minister of presidential affairs, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin.

The directive came after the Vatican Ambassador, Ionut Paul Strejac, delivered a written message from Pope Francis to President Salva Kiir in Juba on Friday, three months after the Pope visited the country.

“I would like to see full implementation of peace in order for the people to develop the country,” reads the Pope’s message to the president, according to the post on the president’s press unit.

Ambassador Ionut, on his behalf, expressed his gratitude to the government for the good working relationship with the missionaries across the country.

Marial said this directive by the president was to facilitate the good work missionaries are doing in various parts of the country, sponsoring students, building schools, and hospitals, among others.

The directive will be viewed as an effort to mend the rift between the government and the religious sector, which has suffered a blip in the past due to attacks on clerics. For instance, Rumbek Diocese in Lakes State made headlines for the wrong reasons in 2021 when Bishop Christian Carlassare was shot on both legs, condemning him to a lengthy spell in the hospital in Kenya. President Kiir condemned the act, and the suspects were later arrested and prosecuted.