EMMANUEL CATHEDRAL’S UNENDING DRAMAS; SAVE THE CHURCH FROM POLITICAL INTERFERENCE.

By Kon Joseph Leek,

South Sudan's First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, speaks to congregation in Emmanuel Jieng Parish on May 22, 2016(Photo: supplied)

South Sudan’s First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, speaks to congregation in Emmanuel Jieng Parish on May 22, 2016(Photo: supplied)

June 13, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– The use of Emmanuel Jieng Cathedral, renamed Emmanuel Cathedral as a forum by the disgruntled politicians who turns demagogue in their search for sympathy making the church turned in to a political ground is just ridiculous; it is spoiling the church values and the stand of the church to the congregation.

I wrote against the chances that are given to the politicians on Sundays in August 2014 under the title; church and politics; what puts one in to the other? Because when the politician talks, the church only divides itself into antagonistic forces; where others claps for whatever the politician says while the rest ridicules it!

Between November 2015 to May 2016 [less than a year], three dramas happened in that church. The first one was the attack against Mama Nyandeng Choldit [Dr. Garang’s widow] by certain woman who thought that Nyandeng was the one who destroyed Bor and has killed many people and therefore couldn’t have been given a chance to speak, she called her a rebel, an IO, a killer and many other words of discourtesy. This attracted public debates between “she [attacker] was wrong” and “she was right” groups but the dust subsidized thereafter.

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The second one was when Dr. Riek Machar attended the same church and was given a chance. Emmanuel cathedral is a church attended by predominantly Dinka Bor people of whom their home-town, Mading’Bor [which was attacked as a state H/Q] was reduced to ashes by the white army, Dr. Riek’s shield boys. Who could believe that Dr. Riek can come there? But he really came and spoke for over 20 minutes, more than the pastor who preached that day. Only some pockets walked out

Now, the question lies on why could Riek suddenly attend Emmanuel Cathedral when he and the rest of the government team failed to attend the prayers organized by the South Sudan Council of Churches a day before [Saturday, 21st]?

How is it, to Dr. Riek’s decision important to come to Emmanuel Cathedral while failing to attend the one organized by the Council of churches?

Well, it is all cooperation and reconciliation not retaliation that we seek, and Emmanuel Cathedral is as good a church as any to start it but it is just quiet questionable to skip the one you where invited and attend the one you were not!

It is not bad to walk to the churches for peace; the government should have embarked on that but as Kuir Garang, a South Sudanese living in Canada, in his article titled; Kiir is a “constitutional President” not a Democratically Elected President!” described Riek as someone who feeds on public aspirations and exploits them, the rest of the government is still sleeping, so let them lie!

The third drama was last Sunday [21st May] when a renown controversial international Journalist, a BBC correspondent for South Sudan, Mading Ngoor organized a protest with some youth. They are said to have come that earlier morning to request for the demonstration of something in the church but they were denied due to the sensitivity of what they were going to demonstrate. It was sensitive and sensational enough because it was nostalgic in nature. They were dressed in black T. shirts and were carrying rolled posters which carried the pictures of some three generals from Bor killed during the 2013 war in Bor

Those generals were from the communities of the demonstrators and were therefore upset for the reason why the killer of their generals [they could not look at them as SPLA generals, I will come in to that later] was allowed to talk in the church

As the announcement was about to be made, they rose up from all the directions of the church opening their posters. The ushers were then ordered to push them outside which led to huddles that almost turned in to a real fight and the war of words ensured between “you are IOs” and “we are not” factions

It reminded me of 2014 when one writer by the name Tears Ayuen, a member of “you are the IOs” faction wrote an article describing Twic East and Duk youth and politicians as “hanging in the balance, not sure to be with the government or rebels” as paraphrased in Daidit Maa’s article of the same year in response to Ayuen’s

Daidit Maa hit back at the writer for not terming the great people of Aweil rebels of whom Gen. Dau Aturjong had come out openly and was publicly calling on his people to topple the government military, ‘if you are damn scared to call them rebels, then why labeling Duk and Twic East counties rebels when they don’t have generals and youth fighting alongside white army?’ he wondered. Duk was and still is accused by the likes of Ayuen and cohorts for its proximity and neighborhood to Nuer and was also accused for not attacking the white army when they were coming to Bor where as Twic East was accused because of Nyandeng and Dr. Majak D’Agoot. I don’t know why Majak was the target when he was not alone, he was with other 10 ….and other three prior to their release

The church briefly turned in to two aforementioned writers but calmed after the youth dressed in black were apprehended by the police but were later released after the church administration pleaded to the police authority for their forgiveness

On my side, the youth couldn’t have taken the case in to their hands; the two antagonistic forces we knew are the TGoNU now and the hybrid court is awaiting them.

Secondly; the pictures the youth carried in to the church are for the SPLA generals who died on duty [this is where I come to when I said that they don’t need to be looked as community generals]. We have over 2000 civilians who died during that war of insanity, they carried no orders and were not under anybody’s command but they died on no ground. Those are the people of whom they could have carried their pictures and demonstrated for

Thirdly; prior to that Sunday, Dr. Riek had already prayed in five churches since his return and they [youth who demonstrated] have not attacked or demonstrated in those churches, so what is wrong with Emmanuel Cathedral? If they thought, His Lordship Deng Bul, whom they might look at as a Twic member [the people most of the “you are IOs” look as IO] was the one who allowed Riek, then Deng Bul was not in the country then, the chairman of the church and the deputy plus the secretary of the church are not from Twic either or Duk – the perceived brother to Twic [as Ayuen’s statement is concern]

Fourth; it was clear on Friday 21st [a days before Sunday] that Riek would come and pray at Emmanuel on Sunday 22nd, why didn’t they prepare for that demonstration on the day when Riek was there?

Fifth; what is wrong for not carrying those demonstrations to the national parliament, or council of states or state house for that matter [the right places for political demonstrations], why church? My first time to see political demonstrations taken to churches!

Mading Ngoor who has been accused as the leader is the only person I know, we have met and chatted in many occasions. To me as a journalist, Mading is a role model, a young innovative, stimulate and courageous journalist, image of South Sudanese at the international level. I have never expected him or thought of him to be part of this

When the war broke out in 2013, his first reports to the BBC were piecing and shrilling to the government but he changed the course later. But now, he is lowering himself from being an international figure to being just a community shield!

What I loathe most is seeing his lordship Nathaniel Garang Anyieth weeping while giving closing prayers. I hate old person weep because of the misdeeds of the young ones, good enough they ran to Nathaniel for forgiveness and they were forgiven. I am waiting for when they should come and apologize to the congregates they disorganized that day

As for the pastor in charge, he did not announce his resignation as a pastor, he resigned for not being a Bor’ian, he saw it as a Dinka Bor affair and so was leaving the whole thing to them since the majority of the congregates comes from there

What I personally believe is that, these youth did not think of it. Most of them are learned intellectuals who know what to do; I believe that they were paid to do this. There is a big cat behind them. It might have been planned as a proxy against Riek’s campaign. Dinka Bor are carrying a dangerous illusion that they are the most damaged people when in reality it is the whole country that is damaged, anyway, we are gifted with tongues of convincing whoever cares to be convinced but we have to be peace-hearted in order to give cooperation and reconciliation a chance, not retaliation

The writer is a commentator on contemporary  Issues, he is reachable on j.konleek@gmail.com

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