Uganda-CAN Calls for Weekend of Prayer and Action for Northern Uganda
The Uganda Conflict Action Network (Uganda-CAN) has called upon religious leaders and communities across the United States to make children in northern Uganda a priority.
[ClickPress, Wed Aug 31 2005] WASHINGTON – The Uganda Conflict Action Network (Uganda-CAN) has called upon religious leaders and communities across the United States to make children in northern Uganda a priority. Uganda-CAN has formally announced a weekend of prayer and action for peace in northern Uganda, to be held September 23-25. Uganda-CAN is asking religious communities to speak out, pray and mobilize to support the children of northern Uganda that have been targets of the war for nearly two decades.
“Together we are raising a chorus of voices to demand attention to this forgotten war,” said Caitlin Rackish, Uganda-CAN religious outreach coordinator. “We are asking faith leaders across the U.S. and the world to break the silence, speaking and praying in solidarity for peace with our brothers and sisters in northern Uganda.”
Over the last two decades, more than 30,000 children have been abducted as a result of this war, forced into soldiering and sexual slavery. Many of the girls who are abducted become pregnant and must care for their children while fighting a war they did not choose. Up to 50,000 more children are forced to walk miles nightly into towns to sleep unprotected on streets, so as to avoid being kidnapped.
In this campaign, Uganda-CAN is asking religious leaders to speak to their communities about the plight of children, while leading prayer and action towards a more peaceful future that affirms the dignity and life of those in northern Uganda. Through phone calls, letters and demonstrations, Uganda-CAN will work to demand that policymakers prioritize these children.
“For too long, the children of northern Uganda have been forgotten and neglected by the world,” said Peter Quaranto, director of Uganda-CAN. “By our silence, we are accepting the loss of a whole generation of kids.”
Beyond mobilizing their communities, Uganda-CAN, a transcontinental advocacy network, is asking religious leaders to sign a declaration condemning the war. The declaration reads, “We refuse to be silent any longer in the face of this gross assault on the integrity of God’s creation. In solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Uganda, we call for a more peaceful future that affirms the dignity and life of all. We condemn the use of child soldiers and call for a swift resolution of the conflict.
Michael Poffenberger, advocacy director of Uganda-CAN said, “Religious communities have the power to be prophetic voices for the poor and marginalized. On September 23-25, we are asking religious communities to raise their prophetic voices to declare that we are our brother’s keeper in Uganda and shall speak out until the violence of war and hunger fall silent in northern Uganda.”
Learn more about Uganda-CAN at www.UgandaCAN.org