South Sudan, January 15, 2015
By grace of God and the blessings of His Beatitude Theodore II, the Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, Metropolitan Narkissos (Gammoh) of Nubia founded the first missionary center in South Sudan – the newest independent state in the world, a long-suffering nation plagued by civil war for more than 30 years, with little cessation of hostilities.
This first missionary center will be named in honor of the glorious Saint Apostle and Evangelist Mark, the founder of the Alexandrian Church. The missionary endeavors will be housed on Mongala, an eastern suburb of the capital Juba, 500 meters from the White Nile.
In his short speech, His Eminence conveyed to the faithful the absolute love and watchful interest of the Patriarch for South Sudan, praised the few Greek, who remained in the area despite all the difficulties and dangers, and wished this day to be the beginning of a lasting peace and unity for South Sudan, so that this wounded people will prosper and advance.
Next day, January 11, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated for the first time after 38 years in St. Stylianos church in downtown Juba, by Metropolitan Narkissos of Nubia. A holy excitement and unspeakable joy took over the few Greeks who remained in South Sudan despite the adverse political conditions, while the Bishop prayed that 2015 will be a year of peace and bring reconciliation and unity among the people. Before the dismissal, the bishop blessed and distributed a Saint Basil’s pie.
On January 12, the Metropolitan was received by Mr. Moses Telar Cindwt, the country’s Minister of Religious Affairs, to whom he stressed the historical presence and contribution of the Orthodox Church in the region and the will to continue this presence and offer in the future, now that South Sudan is an independent state. In turn, the Minister pledged that the new state will provide every possible assistance to the Orthodox Church to achieve its much-needed mission.
Finally, on January 13, the bishop visited Wau, another city of the South, to meet several Orthodox families living there, celebrate the Divine Liturgy in Prophet Elijah church and conduct the baptisms of many children.
Metropolitan Narkissos of Nubia