Who we are?
The South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC) is an ecumenical alliance of seven member churches and a number of associate churches, formed as a separate body from the Sudan Council of Churches when the new country gained independence in 2011. The Church has a decades-long history of peace building in the Sudan since civil war first erupted in the 1950s. The SSCC is a member of the global ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together), a confederation of Protestant churches and church-based organizations working on relief and development, as well as a member of the Caritas confederation of the Catholic church.
The SSCC provides a platform to enhance the spirit of ecumenical cooperation towards collective action for peace. By its very nature, the church is a peacemaker – its essential ministry of bringing reconciliation between God and people stresses a long-term process and not just a project to be implemented. Through its country-wide constituency accessed through the Inter-Church Committees and regional facilitators, the Church remains a broad channel for reaching hundreds of communities across the country with peace messages.
The Church is an ethical and moral beacon, seeking to speak as a voice for the voiceless, articulating their common concerns. Its ability to facilitate confessional spaces where no-one is judged or condemned helps people perceive it as working with all parties, acting in a nonpartisan way, while upholding the dignity of the people. Hence, by working at all levels – local, national, regional and international – the Church seeks to encourage voices to be heard and dialogue to build the new nation peacefully.
What we do?
Action Plan for Peace (APP)
The Action Plan for Peace is a home-grown and church-led roadmap towards peace and reconciliation, taking into account the root causes and long-term effects of conflict in South Sudan. It consists of four main pillars and one thematic area to support the overall goal of peace:
- Advocacy helps to influence opinions and policies towards peacefully resolving conflict, changing the narrative from one of conflict to one of peace, while bringing the voice of the voiceless to be heard by leaders, the region and the world;
- Neutral Forums provide an opportunity to stop or prevent violent conflict, build safe spaces for people to discuss root causes of conflict and to envision a peaceful future through dialogue, even as the dialogue is being facilitated or mediated;
- Reconciliation supports the restoration and healing of relationships within the nation. Longer-term platforms for dialogue, trauma awareness and healing and networks for peace supported by training. It is only through forgiveness and reconciliation that we can overcome our difficult past, secure a hopeful future and live together as one nation.
- Organizational strengthening recognizes the need for robust church structures to manage large-scale and long-lasting processes, through knowledge and with professionalism and accountability.
- Gender approach includes the SSCC national women’s programme, mobilizing women leaders from civil society organizations, parliament and churches to unify the South Sudanese women’s agenda for peace and urging other women to participate in addressing conflicts peacefully.