VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis appealed for humanitarian assistance to South Sudan where famine threatens the lives of millions of people already suffering due to a three-year civil war.

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YAMBIO, South Sudan – The Jubilee Year of Mercy was observed throughout the world but one bishop in South Sudan, suffering from war and famine, said it was especially needed in his country.

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KHARTOUM, Sudan – The bishops of two African nations wracked by years of war and cycles of violence called for forgiveness among the sparring factions so that the countries can move forward for the betterment of their people.

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VATICAN CITY – In a newly independent nation where more than 70 percent of the population is Christian, leaders of the Christian churches are indignant about the violence raging around them.

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CAPE TOWN, South Africa – While most expatriate aid workers left South Sudan after a brutal attack on foreigners in the capital, a group of Catholic missionaries chose to stay.

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ROME – Pope Francis sent a high-ranking cardinal to South Sudan to urge for a peaceful end to the escalating violence in the country.

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NAIROBI, Kenya – The body of Holy Spirit Missionary Sister Veronika Theresia Rackova, 58, director of St. Bakhita Medical Center in Yei, South Sudan, will be interred in Yei, not in Kenya as earlier planned.

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NAIROBI, Kenya – A Slovak nun shot and wounded in Yei, South Sudan, died May 20 at a hospital in Nairobi.

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NAIROBI, Kenya – Jesuit Refugee Service has urged Kenya to reconsider its plans to close camps that host hundreds of thousands of Somali and South Sudanese refugees.

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Churches and mosques have been centres of “searing” human rights abuses in South Sudan, where a civil war has been raging since 2013, according to a United Nations report.

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YAMBIO, South Sudan - An attack on religious sisters at a teacher training college in South Sudan has shaken and saddened the church, a church leader said, while urging people of faith to demand the implementation of the latest peace accord to end the civil war.

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JUBA, South Sudan - Human rights in South Sudan are abused "on the battlefield and in peaceful areas," and much of the country is without effective governance, church leaders said.

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Last year, a death penalty sentence slapped on a Sudanese doctor for refusing to renounce her Christian faith stirred international outrage and heightened calls on the government to increase religious liberty.

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JUBA, South Sudan - Church leaders in South Sudan are trying to breathe new life into their country's stalled peace talks.

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As world attention shifts to the growing influence of Muslim militant groups on the African continent, few have paid any attention to the ongoing bloody conflict in South Sudan.

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