Last week, the South Sudanese government closed down Bakhita FM, a Roman Catholic radio station in headquartered in the capital of Juba. The radio station featured religious messaging, music, social affairs programming and news. The world’s youngest nation, South Sudan separated from Sudan in 2011 following the cessation of a second civil war between Sudan’s predominantly Arab and Islamic north and Christian and African south. Engulfed in a violent conflict split largely along Dinka and Nuer ethnic lines, the promise of majority-Christian South Sudan providing a respite from violence for Christians mired in decades-long civil wars is quickly and dissipating.
09/05/2014 South Sudan (Radio Tamazuj) – The Auxiliary Bishop of Juba Archdiocese on Friday used an image of death to describe the leaders of South Sudan and Sudan, calling them “dry bones” in need of spiritual revitalization.
This comes after the South Sudanese government shut down Bakhita FM, the Roman Catholic Church’s radio station in Juba.
Bishop Santo Loku Pio said he was forced to conclude that “dry bones are in charge of governance.” He referred to the conflict situations in the two countries, and pointed also to great fear among citizens in Juba who “choose to be prisoners” by living under UN protection “because of being afraid of leaders.”
The bishop’s use of the term ‘dry bones’ appears to be a reference to a vision of the prophet Ezekiel, described in the Bible, in which the prophet sees a valley littered with dry bones. He is then asked by God, “Can these bones live?”
The bishop said that the authorities “need to embrace love for God and one another to revitalize their diminishing spiritual flesh.”
He was speaking on Friday on behalf of the Archbishop while closing a workshop of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA), a collaborative organization of Catholic churches of East Africa.