Bishops in Southern Africa Dedicate Christ the King Solemnity to Prayers for Holy Land

Members of the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference (SACBC). Credit: SACBC

Dioceses covered by the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference (SACBC) are to celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King that marks the conclusion of the Liturgical year by praying for peace in the Holy Land.

The administrative board of SACBC announced at the close of the Bishops’ three-day meeting that was held at Lumko Institute in South Africa that the Church in the region will also be praying for other war-torn areas including Sudan, Burkina Faso, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

“The board proposes that on the Feast of Christ the King (26 November), the Prince of Peace, all Parishes in the Conference area have a special prayer for Peace in the Holy Land and other war-torn areas,” the SACBC board members said in a statement that they shared with ACI Africa on Monday, November 13.

They added, “The Board invites all the Bishops of the Conference area and their Dioceses to continuously pray for peace in the land of the birth of our Lord.”

“We are moved and inspired by the example of the Lord, who loved and cherished the humanity of everyone regardless of nationality,” the Bishops said in the statement that was signed by Bishop Sithembele Sipuka, the President of the conference that covers Botswana, Eswatini, and South Africa.


While appreciating the comprehensive coverage of the war in the Gaza, the SACBC members challenged the media to also amplify the devastation in many other war-torn areas in Africa that they said had been forgotten.

The Bishops called for unity not only in praying for the current crisis between Israel and Gaza, but “for a just, peaceful, and sustainable resolution to this long-standing tension between these two nations of the Holy Land”.

During the meeting that ended Thursday, November 9, the board members also expressed their “great sadness” concerning the escalating intensity of the war in the Gaza Strip and West Bank that has resulted in massive killings of civilians.

Since October 7, at least 1,200 Israelites have reportedly been killed with about 6900 more being injured. The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry has reported that at least 11,240 people have been killed and another 29,000 have been injured in the neighboring Gaza Strip.

Bishops in Southern Africa have expressed concern that the number of those killed including civilians, journalists, and the United Nation’s staff in Gaza continues to grow.

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“The gruesome attack and killing of Israeli civilians by Hamas, including children and the elderly, sparked off this present version of defense by the Israeli army, which in practice does not differentiate between the innocent civilians and the targeted Hamas,” they said.

They added that the “killing of civilians by both sides is against all the conventions of war and indicates an extreme hatred that both sides are not able to control but instead are controlled by it.”

The Bishops expressed their support for any engagement that seeks to restore peace in the region in order to stop the killing of innocent civilians, children, the elderly, and women.

“We re-echo the appeal to the simple truth that two wrongs do not make a right. We renew our call for an immediate ceasefire and creating a safe space to deliver the much-needed aid,” the SACBC members said.

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.