The Archbishop of Canterbury has expressed his “sorrow” as violence and sectarian conflict continues to take lives in South Sudan.
Archbishop Justin is currently on a historic three-day Pilgrimage for Peace to South Sudan with Pope Francis and the Moderator of the Church of Scotland.
Just days before the church leaders’ trip started, 27 people were killed in a raid in Kajo-Kiji.
Preaching at All Saints Anglican Cathedral in Juba on Saturday, Most Rev Justin Welby urged those who have committed “secret crimes and evil deeds” to ask for God’s mercy transformation.
He also prayed they would know the “infinite love of Christ”.
He said: “Whoever you are here, whatever you have done in your life, if there are secret crimes and evil deeds that nobody else knows, God knows your heart. And He kneels before you. God in Jesus kneels before you, and he says: ‘Will you let me wash you?’ When he washes us we are changed.”
“My heart breaks, I can hardly speak, with sorrow for South Sudan. I beg that at every level, from the President to the smallest child, that people find the mercy of God and are transformed, and that there is peace and good government. That no one steals money. That no one kills their neighbour for cattle.”
Pope Francis and the head of the Church of Scotland also held services elsewhere.
On Saturday afternoon the Archbishop, the Pope and the Scottish Moderator will meet with people displaced by conflict in South Sudan before addressing a joint open-air Prayer Vigil for Peace at John Garang Mausoleum in Juba.
The joint pilgrimage by leaders of Roman Catholic, Anglican and Reformed traditions is the first visit of its kind in history.