Presbyterian Church Encourages Prayer for East Africa
The Presbyterian Church encourages prayer for East Africa as they describe the situation there as ‘alarming’. Parts of South Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia have now suffered two seasons of prolonged dry spells and crop failures. As a consequence of this, over 14 million people at risk. This has resulted in the secretary of the PCI’s Global Mission, Rev Uel Marrs, encouraging everyone to pray for the region.
“Three short months ago we encouraged continued prayer for South Sudan. The United Nations had cautioned of the possibility that the world’s newest nation was ‘at risk of outright ethnic war and genocide being committed’. The developing food crisis in East Africa is significant and alarming,” Mr. Marrs said.
He went on to say that he would encourage people to pray for rain to alleviate the current drought in particular. Also to pray for governments and aid agencies to intervene urgently and do all they can to help those facing food shortages and to prevent the situation worsening.
Mr Marrs also added, “Sadly the famine in parts of South Sudan is clearly due to a combination of prolonged drought and a consequence of the ongoing conflict in the country. This began in December 2013. Planting and harvesting crops over many seasons has been affected and the conflict has severely hindered the economy of the world’s newest nation.”
The Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) has close links with the country through the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan. Its Moderator was welcomed to Belfast for PCI’s 2014 General Assembly.
A famine was declared in South Sudan earlier this year. As a result the Presbyterian Church encourages prayer for East Africa region.
Famine was declared in parts of Unity State in South Sudan earlier in February. This made it the first official famine in any part of the world in the past six years. The United Nations has stated that some 100,000 people are currently facing starvation, with a further million people on the brink of famine in South Sudan alone.
Kenya’s National Drought Management Authority announced last week that 2.7 million people face starvation if more help is not provided. Also at risk of famine are Somalia and parts of Ethiopia. Again this is due to the prolonged drought in the region.
“In East Africa, our church partners with the Presbyterian Church of East Africa. I would encourage prayer for them at this time. In particular to pray for their leadership as they seek to help those in need. Also that they will be able to provide pastoral care to their members in difficult circumstances,” Mr. Marrs said.
Find out more about the Presbyterian Church in Ireland’s Global Mission news and projects here.