Joint ecumenical solidarity visit to Sudan

The World Council of Churches led a delegation on a visit to Sudan from 18-22 April. The ecumenical group included included the World Council of Churches (WCC), All Africa Conference of Churches, ACT Alliance, Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa Global Ministries, Fellowship of Christian Councils and Churches in the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa, General Board Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church, and Norwegian Church Aid.


The joint ecumenical solidarity visit signified a collective commitment to stand with the churches and people of Sudan in their time of need, offering both spiritual and moral support as they strive for peace, healing, and reconciliation.

The goal of the visit was to express solidarity and provide spiritual and pastoral accompaniment to the churches and people of Sudan following a one-year war.

The ecumenical delegation was led by WCC general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Jerry Pillay and WCC president from Africa His Holiness Most Rev. Dr Rufus Okikiola Ositelu, of the Church of the Lord (Prayer Fellowship) Worldwide, who preached on 21 April in the Cathedral of Christ Province of Episcopal Church of Sudan.

The solidarity visit to Port Sudan was informative, enlightening, alarming, and shocking,” said Pillay. We engaged in conversations with church leaders, women, youth, the president, vice-president, other government officials, other religious leaders, and different groups of people.”

More than eight million people in Sudan are displaced, living in schools under very poor conditions. Religious sites have been destroyed. Women have and are still being persecuted. People are hungry. 

We heard the plea of church leaders and people to help stop the war in Sudan and the need for urgent humanitarian assistance,” said Pillay. While the government underlined the need for humanitarian aid, it was considered that there is an over-exaggeration that 25 million people are starving when the real issues are infrastructures, and production and service delivery of food to the people.”

The ecumenical delegation emphasized that humanitarian aid must reach people who are really suffering. The delegation also identified a need to rebuild churches after the war.

The government also attributes much of the conflicts in Sudan to the political interference and interests from other countries in the world,” said Pillay. The WCC calls on the leaders in Sudan to resort to dialogues to resolve the current conflicts, to put the interests of the people at heart, especially considering the humanitarian challenges faced in the country and the ravages of violence.”

The WCC further called on international communities to offer humanitarian support to Sudan and work towards ending the war. We call on our member churches and all people of goodwill to uphold Sudan in prayers and support,” said Pillay. 

The delegation met with Sudan president General Abdul Fattah Al-Burhan. 

I informed him about the composition and work of the WCC, and how we have been engaged in peace missions in the past and present, including Cuba, Colombia, Palestine, and Sudan in the past,” said Ositelu. I also expressed our concern about the situation in Sudan and shared how we are also involved in humanitarian assistance.”

The delegation also met with the vice president of Sudan, Malik Agar. 

Agar praised the efforts of the World Council of Churches and its keenness on peaceful coexistence and upholding the values of tolerance and love among all peoples. 

Pillay stressed the government's endeavor to lay the foundations of peace in Sudan, promote the values of religious tolerance, and work to establish peace and community security. 

Pillay also reiterated concern about the inability to deliver humanitarian aid to those who need it. 

Agar described the Sudanese government's plan and vision for peace, which consists of four stages, indicating that the process is still in its initial stages and work will continue to be implemented for the sake of peace and stability for the people in Sudan. Agar also expressed his appreciation for the government's ideas on how to work for peace despite the difficulties and complexities.

We look forward to making our contributions as a World Council of Churches, working-hand-in-hand to be able to contribute to the peacemaking processes in Sudan,” said Pillay. 

The ecumenical delegation, during the course of its visit, also provided spiritual encouragement and pastoral care to the churches and people affected by conflict. They assessed the humanitarian situation and raised awareness about the humanitarian crisis. 

The delegation will follow up on its visit by continuing to accompany the Sudan Council of Churches as it reorganizes and strengthens; by increasing advocacy and awareness across the world for the plight of the Sudanese people; by planning future visits with member churches in Sudan; and by inviting global prayers for peace in Sudan.  

Joint ecumenical solidarity visit to Sudan 2

Ecumenical delegation meets with the Sudan Council of churches, youth & women leaders at Sisters' School Hall in Red Sea state.


Members of the delegation:

Rev. Prof. Dr Jerry Pillay, general secretary, World Council of Churches (WCC), head of the delegation

Rev. Dr Kenneth Mtata, programme director, WCC Public Witness and Diakonia

H.H. Most Rev. Dr Rufus Okikiola Ositelu, of the Church of the Lord (Prayer Fellowship) Worldwide, WCC president from Africa 

Most Rev. Panti Filibus MUSA, archbishop of the Lutheran Church of Christ in

Nigeria (LCCN), a member of AACC eminence persons

Fr James Oyet Latansio, general secretary, South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC) and chairperson FECCLAHA

Jeannette Uwizeye, executive director, Fellowship of Christian Councils and Churches in the

Great and and Horn of Africa (FECCLAHA)

Agum Rin Mabeny Adut, university lecturer and a member of AACC general committee

Rev. Dr Jin Yang Kim, liaison for Peace and Justice, General Board of Global Ministries, United Methodist Church

Elizabeth Kisiigha Loy Zimba, ACT Alliance regional representative for Africa

Rev. Fr Dr Paul MungAthia Igweta, coordinator, Integral Human Development AMECEA

Rev. Charles Berahino, executive secretary for Peace and Diakonia, All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC)

Mahlet Abreham Tibebu, programme executive, Horn of Africa Peace Program AACC

Mariam Patricia Bruschweiler-Lamas, WCC programme assistant, CCIA

Dirk Peter Hanekom, NCA Sudan country director

Bishop Santo Loku Pio, auxiliary bishop of Juba, Catholic Church

Rev. Dr Ibrahim Wushishi Yusuf, WCC programme executive, Peacebuilding in Africa

Photo gallery

"WCC urges prayers—and action—for the plight of people in Sudan" (WCC interview, 25 April 2024)

Joint ecumenical solidarity visit to Sudan 3

Shelter for displaced people in the Red Sea state, Sudan.