At least 10 people have been killed in an attack on Emmanuel Christian College (ECC) in Goli, Yei County in South Sudan on 14 May. The college is a training institution Open Doors constructed in partnership with the Sudan Evangelical Presbyterian Church.
Few details are available at this time, but witnesses blame the Sudan People’s Liberation Army for the attack – it’s unclear why they would choose to target the college.
Those murdered include three ECC guards and five children who attended the Open Doors sponsored Emmanuel Christian Academy; one secondary and four primary school pupils. The remaining two victims were a displaced father and son who fled unrest in Mundri and sought refuge in Goli.
The attackers also raped the 14-year-old daughter of a staff member. We are withholding her name and her father’s position to protect their privacy.
ECC offices, library, classrooms, and single staff houses were all vandalised and looted.
The management of the college have reported the incident to state authorities and are working with them on next steps.
Insecurity in the area has on several occasions interrupted activities at the ECC, and while mostly key staff members remained on the premises, theological and other training moved to Yei.
A call to rally in prayer
News like this is hard to share, and, we know, hard to read. But those who are grieving, injured and violated are in great need of our prayers at this time.
The Open Doors Regional Director for sub-Saharan Africa, JP Pretorius, says, “We call on the international Christian community to rally in prayer around staff at the ECC and the church in South Sudan. 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.”
- For comfort for those who mourn, and healing for those who have been injured, violated and traumatised
- That those who carried out this terrible attack would be brought to justice, and that God would change their hearts and turn them to Himself
- For an end to the hostilities in South Sudan.
Helping the church to grow
South Sudan is not on the 2018 World Watch List, but Open Doors has worked in South Sudan for many years. In 1996, during the height of the civil war and when few groups dared to set foot in southern Sudan, Open Doors launched a small-scale Theological Training Institute program for church leaders of all denominations. Our efforts to supply the church with well-trained leaders started with the training of five students under a makeshift shelter.
Since then Open Doors has trained thousands of South Sudanese leaders to help Christians grow in their love for Christ. Our work expanded to include training to pastors’ wives, support to children’s education and community development. The Emmanuel Christian College was founded to promote training in theology, church ministry and community development for people from all church denominations.
Today, Open Doors continues to provide local believers with various training, development and assistance programs, including theological training at various levels , training for children’s ministry and youth work, development of management skills, facilitating children’s education through support to schools, construction of schools and training of teachers, and community development.
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