ICC Note: Fighting broke out between government and rebel forces at an Anglican youth festival, forcing the hundreds of Christian children attending to flee. There were no casualties but three injuries; the fighting continued on for many hours as the children took refuge in a small church. This is another outbreak of violence in the country that has recently been torn apart by fighting between the government forces and rebel forces that has resulted in the death of hundreds of people and the humanitarian crisis the country now faces. While it is not violence directed specifically towards Christians, the Christians in South Sudan are suffering on account of this violence and the Church there is one of the main providers of aid in the crisis they now face. Church leaders have urged the young Christian community to not let this instance of violence keep them from continuing to hold events such as this youth festival and to pray for the country.
07/29/2016, Juba, South Sudan (Christian Today) – Hundreds of young people taking part in an Anglican youth festival in South Sudan were forced to flee after a gun battle erupted.
The three-day outreach festival in the Anglican Diocese of Juba attracted up to 1,000 young people, according to Anglican News. The Juba diocesan secretary, Rev Jackson Aripa, was closing the festival when he was interrupted by gunshots. The congregation fled as bullets flew above them.
There were no casualties, but three young people were badly injured as they sought refuge in a small church hall. The gun battle continued until late into the night, forcing them to remain in the church until morning. They later spoke of having to lie flat while government and rebel soldiers shot at each other.