Melbourne and Geelong Anglicans donate $6500 to survivors of South Sudan village attack

Churchgoers respond to Bishop Huggins' appeal for the home community of Fr Daniel Gai of Holy Apostles, Sunshine

Bishop Daniel Deng Abot Riak visits the remains of Duk Payuel village in South Sudan after the attack. He described what had occurred as "dastardly".

By Mark Brolly

January 16 2018 

Anglicans in Melbourne and Geelong have sent $6500 to Bishop Daniel Deng Abot Riak of the South Sudan Diocese of Duk in the aftermath of last November’s attack on Duk Payuel village – the home of Fr Daniel Gai of Holy Apostles, Sunshine.

Bishop Philip Huggins made the announcement on 10 January in his Oodthenong Newsletter, writing that contributing parishes included Sunshine, Gisborne, Geelong (Christ Church and St Paul’s), Melton and Altona/Laverton, although other parish and individual donors had not been identified.

Melbourne-based relief and development agency Anglican Overseas Aid assisted with the transfer of the money.

On 1 December, Bishop Huggins wrote in his newsletter that every child in the village had been killed or abducted, presumably into slavery.

“This is another tragedy of violence and human trafficking,” he wrote.

Bishop Huggins asked parishes to have a Retiring Collection at Sunday services on 3 December to benefit the Duk Payuel community.

On 1 December, Bishop Deng had announced an emergency humanitarian appeal after the village was attacked at 5.30am on 28 November by armed youths from Murle of Boma State, leading to the death and abduction of scores of civilians, including children, women and the elderly.

About 2000 people were displaced and a quarter of the population were left without shelter.

“This dastardly massacre… has led to the death of 45 people, 19 people wounded and 56 children abducted and burning down of more than 500 houses in Duk Payuel County; and the death of additional 3 people and 3 people wounded in Duk Panyang County respectively,” Bishop Deng wrote. “It is clear that the people in Duk in general have suffered from decades of conflict, children and women continue to be abducted by Murle. Such (acts) of violations and traumatic consequences have been largely left unaddressed and unrepaired.

“As Diocesan Bishop of Duk whose congregation is being annihilated, I appeal to the world to stand in solidarity with the people of Duk and ask the Anglican Church worldwide to keep the people of Duk in their thoughts and prayers.”