Catholic Youth in South Sudan Urged to Offer Alternative Voices to Foster Positive Change

Some youths in South Sudan at the inaugural session of their spiritual retreat of South Sudan’s Juba Archdiocese in December 2020. Credit: Courtesy Photo

There is need for Catholic youth in South Sudan to offer alternative voices amid far-reaching conflicts characterized by “hatred and greediness”, a youth leader in the country’s only Metropolitan See has said.

Speaking at St. Theresa’s Cathedral of Juba Archdiocese, the Chairman of Catholic youth in the South Sudanese Archdiocese said that having youthful Catholics “speak about peace and love” can go a long way in fostering positive change and realize peaceful coexistence. 

“As a youth in the Archdiocese our voices should be different. We should be people who speak about peace and love for peaceful coexistence starting from here in the Cathedral and we move outside to our Churches and the society,” Simon Gore on Thursday, May 26.

Mr. Gore highlighted the challenges the East-Central African nation is facing saying, “We know what is happening around our country; our country is full of division, hatred, and greediness that brings differences within our communities.”

“The Church is the only place for us to love one another, help ourselves; and I believe if we can come together in love, we can change our society,” he said. 


The South Sudanese Catholic youth leader challenged young people in Juba Archdiocese to go beyond criticizing political leaders in the country for “not doing enough” and engage in initiatives that can bring about positive change.

He said, “We can shout to our government and those in the system that they are not doing enough, but a single question will be asked for us as a youth in the Archdiocese, what we have done to change the situation around.”

Mr. Gore went on to invite Catholic youth in Juba Archdiocese “to come to ourselves together with our Priests and the Church so that we move to do something good for our society.”

“We should continue with the spirit of loving one another,” the Catholic youth leader reiterated.

Making reference to the Holy Father’s invitation to journey together in the ongoing preparations for the Synod on Synodality, Mr. Gore said, “Let us keep this unity as Pope Francis calls for the synod of Synodality that the communion, the participation in the mission” may help Christians recognize those around them and work together to build the kingdom of God. 

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“The Pope is calling us to renew ourselves and start moving together again,” the Chairman of the Catholic youth in Juba Archdiocese said May 26.

Last month, the Archbishop of Juba urged young people in the country’s Eastern Equatoria State to promote peace and togetherness amid reported cases of violent conflicts. 

Archbishop Stephen Ameyu Martin said promoting peace will encourage the neighboring communities to desist from violent conflicts. 

“God doesn’t tell you to steal and kill; we don’t want to, even if you go a long distance to steal, God will be on your neck,” Archbishop Ameyu said April 25.

The message of peace has been a key highlight in the scheduled ecumenical visit to South Sudan by Pope Francis alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, Jim Wallace.


In a May 7 joint-statement, Pope Francis, Archbishop Welby, and Rt. Rev. Wallace described the planned July 5-7 trip to South Sudan as a “pilgrimage of peace.”

The three church leaders urged South Sudanese leaders to follow the “way of forgiveness and freedom.”

Jesus Christ “shows us that a new way is possible: a way of forgiveness and freedom, which enables us humbly to see God in each other, even in our enemies,” the three church leaders said in their May 7 joint-statement.

They urged South Sudanese leaders to embrace the path of forgiveness and freedom “in order to discern new avenues amid the challenges and struggles at this time.”

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.