New archbishop for South Sudan


New archbishop for South Sudan


George Conger

The Provincial Synod of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan has elected the Rt. Rev. Justin Badi Arama, Bishop of Maridi, to succeed the Most Rev. Daniel Deng Bul as Archbishop of Juba and Primate of South Sudan.

Four candidates stood for election at the meeting held on 20 Jan 2018 at All Saints Cathedral in Juba: Bishop Badi Arama; the Rt. Rev. Abraham Yel, Bishop of Aweil; the Rt. Rev. Francis Loyo, Bishop of Lokon; and the Rt. Rev. Bismark Monday, Bishop of Mundri. Bishops Loyo and Monday withdrew from the race and backed Bishop Yel, but Bishop Badi Arama received the majority, defeating Bishop Yel 80 to 79, sources at the meeting tell Anglican Ink.

In a statement to the media released after the election, Bishop Badi Arama said the unification of the church in the midst of a devastated political environment will be one of his top priorities. The Anglican and Catholic Churches in Sudan are one of the few national organizations that have bridged South Sudan’s troublesome tribal divide and the church has traditional played a role as one of the leading voices in civil society.

“As I come, my vision is that Christians in South Sudan should see themselves as brothers and sisters,” Bishop Badi Arama said, adding: “I want to thank my father the outgoing archbishop for all his dedicated service to the Episcopal Church of Sudan to the level where we are today.”

Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul, who shepherded the church through its travails during the independence struggle and the ensuing civil war offered his congratulations, noting “very soon the dean of the provinces is going to send out the time and when is the enthronement is going to be done here in Juba.

Joining the 65 South Sudanese bishops for their retreat on 17-18 January 2018 before the election was the Primate of the Anglican Church in North America, the Most Rev. Foley Beach. The Archbishop of Canterbury’s assistant for global affairs, the Rt Rev Anthony Poggo, former bishop of Kajo-Keji in South Sudan, and Dr. Josiah Idowu-Fearon, the General Secretary of the Anglican Consultative Council were also present.

The Diocese of Maridi in Western Equatoria, which lies west of the capital Juba and borders the Congo, shares a companion relationship with the Diocese of Albany (New York) and Down & Dromore (Northern Ireland).

The date of Bishop Badi Arama’s translation to Juba and installation as Archbishop and Primate have yet to be announced.