Steer clear of politics, Both tells church leaders

Steer clear of politics, Both tells church leaders

The Secretary-General of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), Peter Lam Both, appealed to the South Sudanese religious leaders to shun politics and recognise one another’s leadership.

Both, who spoke during the inauguration ceremony of the South Sudan Union Mission (SSUM) of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Juba yesterday, challenged religious leaders to accept being led by others without inciting disputes among themselves.

“We have to respect the leadership of the union…I will say that there is no perfect institution as long as there are imperfect leaders. So, let us learn to accept. And this is a key thing for South Sudan. Accept to be led by others so that others will accept to be led by you when your time comes,” Both said.

He stated that effective leaders are those who own up to their errors and maintain unity in the face of division.  

“Now that we are a union, the devil will come after us in a very mighty way and will try to create a division among you or others against you. And for that reason, you need to be vigilant, you need to make sure that whatever mistakes, differences are there, you correct them in ways that reflect the character of the men and women of God,” he stated.

Both stressed that agreeing to be led is a decision and that by deciding to accept someone’s leadership regardless of their flaws, “you are increasing the likelihood that, in the future, they will accept your leadership despite of your flaws.”

He urged church leaders to take diversity within the church into consideration, pointing out that there are 64 tribes in South Sudan and that it is difficult to bring them together in their current form.

“And so ethnic composition, gender, ability, age must be reflected in all the departments that you have,” he stressed.

Both reaffirmed the support of the government for the Seventh-Day Adventist Church and noted that the church had a part in the country’s liberation during the struggle movement.

“The leader of ECD and the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Sudan, that Seventh-day Adventist Church is not any other church. It is a church that participated in the liberation of South Sudan as a country. And that this president you see here is one of the liberators of this country. And so therefore, the government of South Sudan will stand in support of the Seventh-day Adventist Church whenever called upon,” he stated.

The Seventh-Day Adventist Church (SSAT) in South Sudan was an Attached Territory of the SSAT, which was a part of the General Conference’s East-Central Africa Division (ECD) established in 2015. And it is now made as an independent union.