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SACC Sets National Day of Prayer for Peaceful 2024 Elections in South Africa

Published March 11, 2024
2 months ago

The South African Council of Churches (SACC), a unifying body of various Christian denominations, has announced a National Day of Prayer on May 5th in anticipation of the approaching general elections scheduled for May 29th, 2024. The SACC's decision, taken at its national executive committee's (NEC) inaugural quarterly meeting, is a response to intensifying political landscapes and the critical condition of national unity in the country.

The SACC is calling on the nation to unite in fervent prayer on this day, with the intention of fostering an atmosphere of serenity and ethical conduct throughout the election period. This move comes as a proactive measure against what is projected to be one of South Africa's most competitive elections to date, an event catalyzed by an increasing number of political parties, the involvement of independent candidates, and the looming prospect of no single party achieving a governing majority.

In a statement, the Archbishop Thabo Makgoba expanded on the motivations behind the council's resolution, highlighting the rising levels of concern and the prevalence of a general air of unease enveloping the nation. His words echo the foresight and responsibility the SACC feels towards guiding the nation towards a peaceful election, devoid of the intimidation and violence that has marred previous political contests.

The Archbishop’s call reaches further than just ensuring an orderly election day; it is a far-reaching appeal for societal transformation, aligning with the mission of the Church to reconcile society through divine teachings. By engaging in communal prayer, the SACC aspires to instill a sense of resilience against the cynicism that could otherwise seed discord and escalate into unrest.

Moreover, the SACC reiterated its commitment to advocating peace on a global scale. Significantly, this includes ongoing efforts to mediate peaceful resolutions and illuminate injustices in the persisting Israel-Palestine conflict. By drawing parallels to their experience of apartheid, the SACC affirms its dedication to the eradication of any form of discrimination whether based on race or religion, advocating for justice and equality within the Holy Land as it does within its own borders.

The SACC's action is a vital symbol of unity and a reflection of the Church's integral role in fostering an environment conducive to peace and democratic processes. Invitations extended to all South Africans to partake in the National Day of Prayer mark an inclusive approach to addressing the anxious anticipations surrounding the 2024 election, and this event may prove essential in navigating the country through a new chapter in its democracy with hope and harmony at the helm.

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