September 2012- Current Religious Situation in South Sudan

New Religion in South Sudan: After independence, South Sudan adopted a constitution that provides freedom of religion, speech and expression. This allows people to choose any religion they think is desirable without any government influence. South Sudan should note the following;

Religious Extremists tirelessly struggle to use any possible way to persuade or convert many people and regions to their religion. It has always been violent many times. In most obvious case, the religion of Islam has been criticized for the manner it persuades believers. Use of force, intimidation and discrimination should not be the best way to enforce God’s religion. People must always think for themselves to develop their own conscience. They will know, from the information available, what is wrong and what is good but they shouldn’t be dictated or instructed to choose a specific path.

The rivalry between Christianity and Islam has created tensions worldwide. Though I will admit the sanctity of Christianity, but not because of my belief in Jesus Christ, Islam though a religion of peace as many acclaim has become too tragic in practice — I don’t know if Quran dictate such interpretations. Most Muslims have developed an anti-Christian sentiment whereby Christians are considered enemies because of their unfaithfulness to Prophet Mohammed. Furthermore, Christian gospels have been banned in Arab world to avoid internal opposition to Islam; most people who ventured to teach people about Christianity are always persecuted thus a reason for few or non-Christian missions in Arab Countries.

Again, most countries dominated by Islam have introduced Islam into their political systems. Sharia Laws have been (are being) instituted across many countries. The involvement of religion into the political organ of states is a clear threat to freedom of religion and expressions. It greatly affects the activities of non-Muslims in the area and that is an open policy to either compel others to believe in Islam or discriminate the minority infidels. This had happened in Sudan and is expected to get worse in the next constitution.

Religious rivalry is becoming a major source of instability in many African nations. A country composed of various religions is vulnerable to inter religious violence. Countries with some proportionate number of Muslims have some threats of instability instigated by religious extremists. For example, Muslims violently tries to impose their religious interpretation (Islamic laws) in the whole country. This has happened in Nigeria, Somalia, Mali and Sudan.

Some nations inhibited by extremists’ have some great potential to divides into two. This was perhaps the major reason behind Sudan’s division. Nigeria, Senegal, Mali, have some groups fighting to divide their nations on religious bases.

In most extreme cases, the solidarity of religious groups endangers world peace and security. Specially, Islam has become a massive weapon exploited by certain groups to accomplish their terrible goals worldwide. Al Shabab and AL Qaeda attract significant sympathy from the Muslim World by creating false impression of anti-Christian Sentiment.

The best way to reduce religious tensions is to separate religion from state affairs. Alternatively, there has to be unlimited freedom of religion, speech and expressions. Ethnicity nowadays doesn’t define the identity of people as one nation with common cultures. Ideologies are always more powerful than the color or the tribe of an individual.

South Sudan are categorically black and ethnically Africans, there are no Arabs or whites within the new nation. Consequently, we should not hold the believe that the absence of Arabs will avoid or reduce religious conflicts. Islam can be hold by the southerners as an Idea, and at anytime possible they will be yearning to enforce Islamic principles. Southern Sudanese must thus be vigilant but not to ignore the dangers of religious conflicts simply because they are homogeneously ethnic Africans.

 

South Sudan are categorically black and ethnically Africans, there are no Arabs or whites within the new nation. Consequently, we should not hold the believe that the absence of Arabs will avoid or reduce religious conflicts. Islam can be hold by the southerners as an Idea, and at anytime possible they will be yearning to enforce Islamic principles. Southern Sudanese must thus be vigilant but not to ignore the dangers of religious conflicts simply because they are homogeneously ethnic Africans.

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