Instability Has Made Us Beggars, Sudanese Catholic Bishop Says in Christmas Prayer

Bishop Macram Max Gassis. Credit: AMECEA

The Bishop emeritus of the Catholic Diocese of El Obeid in Sudan has penned a heartfelt Christmas prayer bemoaning the worrying state of Sudan and South Sudan where he says people are suffering in violence and poverty.

In the letter, Bishop Macram Max Gassis who served as the Local Ordinary of the Diocese before he was exiled from the country in 1990 finds it regrettable that the people of God in the two countries are living “without love and without peace” and that the two counties have continued to rely on others for support.

In his prayer titled, “People with guns bring suffering and death, Jesus brings peace and life”, Bishop Macram says, “Lord Jesus, you are the Prince of peace and love…It is sad to see Sudan and South Sudan still living without love and without peace.”

“Many people were mowed down by that awful instrument of killing,” the member of the Comboni Missionaries (MCCJ) says in his Christmas prayer obtained by ACI Africa Friday, December 17.

He adds, “Others instead live in abject need of food, clean water, medical services and the need of decent shelter. This has made us become beggars in many countries.”


Bishop Macram bemoans the state of Sudan and South Sudan where he served before he was exiled when he spoke out against human rights abuses that defined the then Islamist military dictatorship in Sudan.

He laments that people have continued to rule others by force and that many are being killed with “hateful weapons of destruction.”

“I ask why people should be shot by hateful weapons of destruction. Their only desire is to live in peace and harmony. I ask, why should they be killed and tortured by those who rule by force?” he poses.

In his Christmas prayer, the 83-year-old founder of Bishop Gassis Relief & Rescue Foundation implores, “Oh my Jesus, Prince of Peace and Love, I raise my heart and pray to you at this Christmas and throughout the New Year. Save us from those who rule with guns to oppress and exploit our people. Their hands are full of the blood of the innocent and their hearts have become full of evil.”

He adds, “Jesus, Lover of the innocent and of Peace, be with us at your coming and save us from those who govern with the gun and with violence force. Save Sudan and South Sudan. Give us your blessings, give us your peace.”

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His prayer is that those who rule nations with cruelty receive conversion.

“Many people do not know you and do not love you. You have given us the dignity of human beings and you have shared our humanity,” Bishop Macram says in his prayer, and adds, “Jesus, on behalf of my brothers and sisters, I cry in their name and ask that you open the hearts and minds of those who rule the Nations by the barrel of the gun.”

The Sudanese Catholic Bishop who was at the helm of Sudan’s El Obeid first as Apostolic Administrator since October 1983 until his retirement in October 2013 won the hearts of many when he spoke out against human rights abuses in Sudan.

For speaking out, the member of the Comboni Missionaries paid the huge price of being exiled from his country when he faced a major threat on his life.

Details of how the Sudanese Bishop fought enslavement, religious persecution, forced starvation and mass murders in the country that also experienced many years of civil war are found in the recently published book, “An Angry Shepherd: Sudanese Bishop Macram Max Gassis.” Authored by John Ashworth, the book was published by Pauline Publications Africa.


Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.