While political confusion is driving South Sudan crazy or to unknown direction, I think we need to add spiritual/religious to the list.
South Sudan is home to major Christian denominations from Episcopal, Catholic, Presbyterian, Pentecostal and other emerging evangelical denominations. Beside Christianity and Islam are ancestral believes/deities or traditional belives that is still being practiced in many parts of South Sudan.
In all South Sudanese denominations, there are very patriotic and religious leaders who suffered during the war and who understand South Sudanese better. The best example will be Bishop Lokudo, Bishop Taban, Bishop Nathaniel Garang, Dr Majok Dau, Dr Daniel Deng Bul and the list goes. In recent years, I have seen South Sudanese politicians seeking spiritual guidance from external religious leaders example being the West or South African religious figures.
In 2017, Prophet Shepherd Bushiri Major One was invited to Juba, and he was seen with Dr Wani Igga, the Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan. In February 2019, Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife were arrested on the charges of ‘fraud and money laundering involving more than R15 million’ by the South African specialised investigation unit. Bushire has done many other controversial things, including showing to his masses that he could record himself on Ipad while coming down from heaven.
In 2014, Nigerian preacher TB Joshua was summoned to the Lagos High Court after the building owned by his church collapsed, killing many people. He is a pain of God, but he couldn’t help stop a man-made disaster. The collapse of the building was alleged to have been caused by ‘structural problems’, but the church has a different version of what happened.
Internally, South Sudanese politicians are also struggling with the notion that Ngungdeng Buong or Arathdit prophecies are real. The best example was seen when the Dang of Ngudeng Buong was return from London and the emergence of ‘Prophet Dak Kueth’ who let some youth into conflict in 2013. Many politicians are trusting the prophecies made by local and international prophets and such habits are swaying decision making in the country. Another ironic thing is that a lot of myths are being created and scammers can’t miss this chance. I wonder if many South Sudanese politicians or leaders understand the role of an astrologist, psychic, mind readers and even magician.
Any praise or statement said by the above mentioned can be treated with a big deal because they are categorised as religious prophets, witch doctors. This kind of thinking is now driving many South Sudanese to believe that there are potent deities/black magic in Nigeria, Congo and India. Any South Sudanese will be familiar with the following statements. …….’ I will go to Nigeria to get a powerful deity to prophet me ……..’ Indian has the best and robust protection.’ …….’ Go to Gongo and get yourself medicine to protect yourself from bullets’.
Furthermore, In April of 2019, South Sudanese politicians and religious leaders were in Rome for the retreat with Pope and head of the Anglican Church. Both Pope Francis and Dr Justin are among the most respected religious figures around the world. What were the positive impacts of the trip that cost millions of Sudanese pound? After the retreat, these political leaders learn nothing from the kissing and the powerful prayers that were offered to them.
Realistically speaking, many of our brothers in the political world or those who believe anything need to read many types of research on Religion, Spirituality, and Mental Health. I am a very religious person, but how religion is being taken in South Sudan will hurt both individuals mentally and the nation at the same time. In the world that we live in today, it is essential to pay attention to the role being played by some religious leaders. In what way can a religious leader who is already a subject of investigation in his home country be considered as a spiritual guide in another country destroyed by war. If Jesus/God can’t listen to a poor Bishop who is struggling to have food for his children, then how do you expect him to listen to a millionaire Bishop.
Many of the South Sudanese Bishop are poor because they have believed that God can provide if they work for others. If South Sudanese authorities can invite Prophets Bushire, who had been to prison for alleged ‘fraud and money laundering,’ in what way will God listen to him? Since his visit to South Sudan, what has changed? While questions are yet to be answered about the collapse of the building owned by Bishop TB Joshua, what values are coming to South Sudan with him? Many politicians still believe that Ngundeng Buong prophecies are real yet they are called John or Micheal, are we religiously confused?
Let know one take me wrong on this. I’m a very religious
By Ajak Deng Chiengkou, Melbourne, Australia.