Synodal Process Ongoing in South Sudanese Diocese Despite “humanitarian emergency”: Bishop

Bishop Stephen Nyodho Ador Majwok of South Sudan's Malakal Diocese. Credit: AMECEA

The people of God in South Sudan’s Malakal Diocese are taking part in the ongoing preparations for the Synod on Synodality despite the humanitarian emergency due to floods, the Local Ordinary of the South Sudanese Diocese has said.

In an interview with ACI Africa, Bishop Stephen Nyodho Ador Majwok underscored the value of the Synodal process, and described it as “an important journey for the people of God.”

“Our concern has been on emergency, humanitarian emergency”, Bishop Nyodho said during the February 19 interview, adding that despite efforts to address threats to livelihoods due to floods, “we continue also to sensitize the faithful about the importance of the Synod, because it is the journey together, the journey of faith with the people of God.”

Credit: ACI Africa

“The issue of flooding has affected pastoral work as people are concerned about their livelihood,” he said, adding that the Diocese, one of the most affected by floods in South Sudan, is “under water”.


“The Diocese is under water up to now,” Bishop Nyodho said, and added, “the floods have affected most of our parish work, and (since) we could not manage, some of our Parishes are closed … most people have fled to higher grounds.”

South Sudan has been experiencing heavy downpours since May 2021, according to reports by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).

In the report, UNOCHA notes that the country’s largest camp for displaced persons in Bentiu that “has been hosting 107,130 people is now hosting 120,000 people and is surrounded by floodwaters cutting its access by road and is kept away from flooding by a 3 metres high dyke.”

In the February 19 interview with ACI Africa on the sidelines of the Episcopal Ordination of Mons. Mark Kadima Wamukoya for Kenya’s Bungoma Diocese, Bishop Nyodho said that despite the floods, the Diocese of Malakal “is trying to make it (Synodal process) real for the people of God” as “an important journey for the people of God.”

Credit: ACI Africa

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The Synodal process is a journey “that we have to walk together, starting with the Bishop, the Clergy and Religious and all people of God,” the South Sudanese Bishop said. 

He went on to express his gratitude to those who have reached out to those affected by the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan, highlighting the support from Kenya.

“I appreciate and am grateful to the people of God in Kenya, the faithful for the humanitarian assistance, most especially for the prayers,” Bishop Nyodho who has been at the helm of Malakal Diocese since his Episcopal Ordination July 2019 said. 

Credit: ACI Africa

“The people of God in Kenya have been standing with the people of South Sudan for long during the time of liberation, and especially with the church,” he said, adding, “we are grateful for that; God has answered the prayers and peace has come to South Sudan.


The South Sudanese Bishop further said that “although sometimes we go back to our personal quarrel in the country, but we still appreciate the people of Kenya for the great role they played in helping the people of South Sudan.”

Sheila Pires is a veteran radio and television Mozambican journalist based in South Africa. She studied communications at the University of South Africa. She is passionate about writing on the works of the Church through Catholic journalism.