South Sudanese should promote religious tolerance and embrace peace and reconciliation in order to achieve stability in the country, a top Islamic cleric has advised.
The Secretary General of South Sudan’s Islamic Council, Sheikh Abdallah Barac, addressed the media Saturday, and said the Muslim community should embrace the national dialogue initiative announced by President Salva Kiir in December 2016.
“We, as Islamic Council generally, have been supporting the government to promote national unity. We have been always calling on the people to be united and avoid divisions based on ethnicity and conflict between Muslims and Christians,” said Barac.
The Islamic body is working with other religious leaders in the country to unite the people of South Sudan, and has urged men and women in the country to promote religious tolerance in order to achieve lasting peace.
According to Sheikh Barac, Muslim clerics in South Sudan are working in close coordination with members of South Sudan Council of Churches to promote national unity and respect among the people.
He further said South Sudan should be a society where Muslims and Christian communities live in peace and harmony.
“Tribalism is a real problem in the country and this is a big challenge for religious leaders. For us as Muslims, we encourage our worshipers to focus on their religion as the center of their lives. They should be patriotic to their country and respect human life,” said Barac.
Most South Sudanese follow Christianity or traditional religions, but an estimated 6 percent of the population are said to be Muslims.