South Sudanese Christians curse harsh economic times during Easter

A cross-section of South Sudanese Christians in Juba have said this year’s Easter celebrations have been affected by harsh economic times.

A cross-section of South Sudanese Christians in Juba have said this year’s Easter celebrations have been affected by harsh economic times.

 The East African country is currently experiencing hyperinflation, with the cost of basic commodities, including fuel, skyrocketing as a result of damages in the country’s oil pipeline and the conflict in Sudan.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj during Good Friday in Juba, Christina Adut said the celebrations are quite different from previous years due to the country’s harsh economic situation.

She urged South Sudanese to prepare their hearts other than material things, including food and drinks, as most people cannot afford.

“This is the way to explain the true meaning of Easter, not food and drinks but to say Jesus died for our sins so that we know the true meaning, but if we don’t know then we are going to celebrate like other years. The Easter for this year has no difference only that other things are missing,” Adut said.

“I want to appeal to authorities to visit the market and see for themselves how women are struggling because when you are far away, you cannot understand what is happening, but if you are on the ground, you can understand how to address the issues,” she added.

Muna Peter Modi, a woman leader at the All Saints Cathedral in the Anglican Church in Juba, decried the economic situation in the country but expressed confidence in intervention from God to address the situation.

“The situation that we are going through in this country doesn’t give hope because everything is not going well. When you have hope, tomorrow will be better,” she said. 

She added, “This is supposed to be the best Easter celebration because our Lord has defeated death. Today, I want to appeal to all South Sudanese that what we are going through should end with the blood of Jesus Christ crucified on the cross. Tomorrow, we should get something better. I have faith that what is happening in our lives is God’s plan for our lives as South Sudanese. God is going to give us something good.”

Meanwhile, Richard Wudu Bullen, a Christian and a resident of Juba, said the celebrations should not be viewed from monetary aspects but Easter should be a time of reflection and a time of thinking about the gift of salvation.

 “Because of the economic situation things are difficult. The dollar is just floating like nobody’s business because there are people playing about it. There are people playing round about it and that is why the citizens are suffering and there are people who have not even seen the dollar and there are those who want to play about with people and keeping the dollar going high,” Wudu said.

He said Easter should be a matter of people coming to realize the gift of salvation by spending time studying the word of God and spending time to fellowship with one another.

“I believe things will change whether people like it or not. God will intervene in the situation, and his timing and things will be okay,” he said.

Meanwhile, Juba resident Athiei Aluong said: “You feel like you want something, but if you don’t have it, life is about ups and downs. So today, it is there, and tomorrow it is not going to be there, so it is good to have that hope. I know ten years ago everyone was celebrating this Easter in a different way, eating chicken and slaughtering bulls, but now things are very tough.”

“Let us put God first because the Bible says we should not care about the food of tomorrow because God will provide it for us,” Aluong added.