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The Sudan Peace Act & Black Catholics for Life

  (Thursday  November 7, 2002, NYC)




 The National Black Catholic Apostolate for Life announces to the community, that on Monday, October 21, 2002, President George W. Bush signed into law the recently passed Sudan Peace Act.  The Act includes a formal finding of genocide against the Government of Sudan and requires an investigation of war crimes.  The new law also condemns slavery, aerial bombings of civilian targets, manipulation of food aid, and other human rights abuse and tactics of the Government of Sudan.  It condemns human rights violations on all side in the conflict in Sudan.  The Sudan Peace Act also authorizes $300 million over the next three years to provide increased assistance to the areas of Sudan that are not controlled by the Government of Sudan to support the rebuilding of civil society.


“As Black Catholics for Life we are deeply grateful to God and St. Josephine Bakhita of Sudan, that the prayers and witness of so many of our people played a part in bringing about this tremendous breakthrough in the U.S. policy on Sudan,” stated Franciscan Father Jim Goode, president of the National Black Catholic Apostolate for Life, which includes all the national Black Catholic organizations in the United States.


“Experience shows that a just and lasting peace is not ensured by written documents but rather depends on the participation of all the citizens working to build and maintain such peace” (Sudanese Bishops, August 31, 2002).


The National Black Catholic Apostolate for Life is calling on all Black Catholics to stand in solidarity with our sisters and brother in Sudan.  To maintain an unwavering vigilance as we hold up the dignity of all human life in Sudan and throughout the world.  Pray without ceasing as we struggle for a just peace and religious freedom for all in Sudan.


The U.S. Catholic Bishop- Social Development and World Peace suggest that we:

  1. Write to President Bush and express strong support for the Danforth mission – in particular, that it create and implement a structure for monitoring the ceasefire, and that it carry out a thorough investigation into the practice of slavery and how to eliminate it.
  2. Write to Mr. Andrew Natsios, Executive Director of USAID, and call for increased funding for civil institutions in southern Sudan.
  3. Unite in prayer with the Church and the peoples of Sudan; support the work of Catholic Relief Services in areas of humanitarian relief and peace building, urge members of Congress to support the work of Migration and Refugee Services and its programs that resettle Sudanese in the United States.


For more information please contact the National Black Catholic Apostolate for Life,