Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Former Archbishop of the Sudan dies

From Religious Intelligence-

The former Archbishop of the Sudan, Dr Joseph Marona has died in Khartoum after a long illness on Sept 18. His body will be taken to Juba and laid to rest at the cathedral.

Elected the third Primate of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan and Archbishop of Juba in 1999 during a meeting of the House of Bishops in Limeru, Kenya, Dr Marona’s eight-year tenure as primate saw the end to the 22-year civil war between the Muslim-Arab north and Christian-African south, and the prospects for the first sustained period of peace in South Sudan since the end of Anglo-Egyptian rule in 1956.

The church has also weathered the spectre of tribalism and the schism of the former Bishop of Rumbek, Gabriel Roric Jur, who, after being defrocked as bishop, established the rival Reformed Episcopal Church of the Sudan with the backing of the Islamist government in Khartoum.

Born in 1941 in the Western Equatoria province of Sudan, Dr Marona was educated at the Yei Teachers Training College and taught Arabic in Talia and Lui primary schools from 1962 to 1966. In 1966 he went into exile in Uganda and continued his education at Makere University.

Following the signing of the Addis Abba Peace Agreement he returned to the Sudan and served as a school headmaster in South Sudan from 1975 to 1978 when he entered the Bishop Gwynne College for his theological training. Ordained in 1982, he was appointed head of department of Christian education at Maridi Teachers Training Institute and in 1984 was appointed the first bishop of Maridi. In 1999 he was elected Primate of the Sudan and translated to Juba, but retired due to ill health on Dec 31, 2007.

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