Scots urged to join world church in prayer to end famine

Russell Barr
Dr Russell Barr with pupils at the Mother Esther Girls Boarding School and Rescue Centre at Kejiado, Kenya

Congregations are being encouraged to use a special prayer this Sunday to support people in famine ravaged countries.

The All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) has designated May 21, 2017 as the “Global Day of Prayer to End Famine”.

The prayer has been endorsed by the Right Rev Dr Russell Barr, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, and Rev Dr André Karamaga, General Secretary of the All Africa Conference of Churches, said more people face famine today than at any time in modern history.


A statement released by the two ministers said: “Famine has been declared in South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria and Yemen are on the brink of famine.

“Globally, more than 20 million people are at risk of starvation while millions more suffer from drought and food shortages.

“In this desperate situation children suffer most and become increasingly vulnerable.

“The UN is calling this the largest humanitarian crisis since 1945.

“We believe the churches have a prophetic role in calling to mobilise their members, wider society, governments and making a difference during this unprecedented period of suffering.

“May our prayers invoke the grace of God and mobilise people to bring about peace and an end to hunger and violence.”


Dr Barr was in Kenya in March and visited the offices of the All Africa Conference of Churches where he met Dr Bright Mawudor, the Deputy General Secretary.

“Along with many other churches, I have received a plea from Dr Mawudor, on behalf of the All Africa Conference of Churches and World Council of Churches, calling for a global day of prayer next Sunday, to end famine,” he added.

“This call is in response to the terrible drought and famine being experienced parts of sub Saharan Africa and it is feared as many as 20 million people may be at risk as well as livestock and crops.

“When we travelled from Nairobi to Nakuru in the north of Kenya we were on the edge of the drought area and the problems were clear for all to see.

“Let me commend the AACC’s call to prayer and offer you the following prayer which you might like to use in your Sunday worship services.”

The Church of Scotland has donated £6,000 to help drill a water borehole at the Mother Esther Girls Boarding School and Rescue Centre in Kajiado, Kenya

Jennie Chinembiri, Africa and Caribbean Secretary of the World Mission Council of the Church of Scotland, accompanied Dr Barr to Kenya.

"Famine is devastating,” she said.

“We know this first hand from our partners in South Sudan and Kenya.

“It is important to join together with others from across the world in prayer to ask for God's provision in this situation."

Jennie Chinembiri
Jennie Chinembiri, Rev Charles Maina, leader of the Mother Esther Girls Boarding School and Rescue Centre, and pupils