A time for prayer

Chico churches and peace activists join in calling for peace in Sudan

The author is a long-time Chico peace activist and the principle organizer of the Season of Prayer.

In the African country of Sudan, the world has witnessed nearly 40 years of bloodshed between the north and the south. Millions have died, directly and indirectly, and millions more been displaced by a conflict over a set of complex issues ranging from economic hardship to religion and race.

The civil war ended six years ago when a comprehensive peace agreement was signed to begin the process of splitting the country into two nations: North and South Sudan.

Before South Sudan becomes an independent nation on July 9, the threat of violence and unrest may end the comprehensive peace agreement within the region. Already the government of North Sudan has renewed its violent attacks on the people of South Sudan. Sudanese religious leaders have called for a world-wide prayer for peace and self-determination from now until South Sudan’s Independence Day.

In Chico our faith communities have answered that call by opening their hearts and their doors in conjunction with a global prayer each Friday at 8 a.m. for half an hour. A different faith-based group will host the prayer each week. In solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Sudan, please join us in this “Season of Prayer” at:

• June 10—Chico Friends Meeting House, 1601 Hemlock St.

• June 17—Trinity United Methodist Church, 285 E. Fifth St.

• June 24—Chico Peace & Justice Center, 526 Broadway

• July 1—Faith Lutheran Church, 667 E. First Ave.

• July 8—First Christian Church, 295 E. Washington Ave.

Prayers will also be held every Friday at 8 a.m. during morning mass at Our Divine Savior Catholic Church, 566 E. Lassen Ave. The Newman Center, 346 Cherry St., will hold a prayer every Friday at evening mass (5 p.m.).

Finally, on July 9 beginning at 9 a.m., a community prayer for peace and self-determination for the people of South Sudan on their day of independence will be held in the City Plaza.