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ICC Note: Youth evangelist, Joseph Kiri was killed by a group of unknown gunmen. Kiri’s death is one of many over the last few years in South Sudan. The church in South Sudan is now calling on the international community to rally in prayer and in support of the South Sudanese Christians.

09/11/2018 South Sudan (The Christian Post) –  The national youth coordinator for the Episcopal Church of South Sudan was killed by a group of unknown gunmen when his car was sprayed with bullets. Joseph Kiri, who was known for his work among youth and being an evangelist, was murdered while on his way to the southern town of Yei to help with humanitarian efforts. Thousands gathered at Kiri’s home on Monday to pay their respects to the fallen church leader, whose body was transferred to the capital Juba, according to the Anglican Communion News Service.

Since its independence from the Islamic Republic of Sudan in 2011, South Sudan has experienced a good deal of internal violence due in part to ethnic divisions. In May, gunmen attacked Emmanuel Christian College in Goli, Yei County, killing at least 10 people and raping the 14-year-old daughter of a staff member.

“We call on the international Christian community to rally in prayer around staff at the ECC and the church in South Sudan,” said JP Pretorius, Open Doors’ regional director for sub-Saharan Africa, in a statement at the time. “We also call on the international community to do whatever it can to help bring an end to the hostilities in South Sudan and on the South Sudan government to take swift action to bring the perpetrators to justice.”

Kiri’s death comes not long after South Sudanese leaders met to enact peace initiatives for the young nation.

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