Presbyterians in Northern Ireland have been urged to pray for peace in South Sudan this Christmas.
Presbyterian Moderator Dr Rob Craig made the plea in his Christmas message, saying he fears the region may be on the verge of widespread conflict.
“I would appeal to the leaders of South Sudan to lay down their weapons and cooperate in seeking peace through dialogue and negotiation,” said Dr Craig.
“It is vital in this land with so much potential, that the political differences of a few national leaders should not be allowed to plunge its people into widespread tribal conflict. Let us cry out to God that such a tragedy be averted,” said the Moderator.
Dr Craig said the prize we all long for is one of peace, and this can best be found at Christmas when we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace.
“Among all the many gifts this Christmas is there any more necessary than the gift of peace,” he said. “Be it in our political and civic life or in our personal and family life peace is the prize for which many are longing.
“Jesus, the Prince of Peace, has come to be our Peacemaker with God and to call us to be Peacemakers.”