The pope was visiting South Sudan with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Church of Scotland Moderator Iain Greenshields – an unprecedented joint “pilgrimage of peace”.
The three men led about 50,000 people in an open-air ecumenical prayer vigil at dusk at a mausoleum for South Sudan’s liberation hero John Garang, who died in a helicopter crash in 2005 before the country gained independence.
South Sudan broke away from Sudan in 2011 but plunged into civil war in 2013 with ethnic groups turning on each other. Despite a 2018 peace deal between the two main antagonists, bouts of inter-ethnic fighting have continued to kill and displace large numbers of civilians.
At a meeting in the capital Juba earlier, the Christian leaders listened to testimonies from displaced children including Johnson Juma Alex, 14, who has been living in a camp since 2014 after fleeing his hometown because of fighting.
“Life in the camp is not good because the area…