MPs and other public figures will meet with the Anglican Archbishop of Sudan this afternoon (11 January 2010), at a meeting to discuss peace, war, faith and the future of his troubled country.
Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul, leader of the Episcopal Church of Sudan, is making a brief tour of the UK, and organisers say the gathering offers "a unique opportunity to find out more about his work for peace in conflict-ridden Sudan and views on where Sudan should go from here."
The meeting will be hosted by Rt Hon Alun Michael MP as a joint event arranged by Christian Aid, the Christian Socialist Movement, the Liberal Democrat Christian Forum and the Conservative Christian Fellowship.
In 2009 South Sudan experienced the most violent year since the signing of the peace agreement between the formerly warring North and South. Around 2,500 people have been killed and 350,000 displaced recently.
In the western region of Darfur, millions continue to suffer in temporary camps. Archbishop Daniel is a leading voice calling for peace and reconciliation both within the South and with the North. He makes regular visits to all the Sudanese Diocese, despite the poor infrastructure, and has swelled the ranks of the ECS since taking office.
A referendum is now due to be held in the Southern region on whether to separate from the North, a decision with significant and far reaching consequences.
Given the violence, all out conflict could be set to return to Sudan. "This meeting therefore comes at an important time for the nation. Archbishop Daniel’s tireless work towards peace has never been more important for the future of Sudan," say the joint organisers of the meeting today in parliament.
The meeting will begin at 5pm in House of Commons Committee Room 5. All are welcome to attend.