South Sudanese Bishop Paride Taban, a PAX partner, will receive the Freedom of Worship Award, one of the Roosevelt Four Freedoms Awards, on Wednesday 16 May.
The award recognizes Bishop Taban´s extraordinary efforts toward bringing peace to war-torn South Sudan. The Roosevelt Four Freedoms Award is one of the most prestigious awards for work defending fundamental human rights. Earlier recipients include Nelson Mandela, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Malala Yousafzai and Angela Merkel.
Bishop Taban is an important beacon of hope to millions of people in South Sudan and beyond. He is a rare figure in a fractured country, someone who has excellent contact with leaders on all sides and is not afraid to call them to account. Bishop Taban has been actively involved in peace work for more than 60 years.
Kuron Peace Village
When Bishop Taban retired from his official role in the church in 2005, he founded Kuron Peace Village. Here, far from the unrest, people from various ethnic groups live and work together and study at the Peace Academy. They bring these skills with them when they return to their communities.
PAX helped establish the Kuron peace village and remains active in an advisory role with the peace work in the village and in supporting local peace committees. (Read more about PAX’s work in South Sudan.)
The Four Freedoms Awards
The Four Freedoms Awards are presented each year to men and women whose achievements have demonstrated a commitment to US President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.
The other 2018 Four Freedom Awards laureates are environmental activist Christiana Figueres Olsen from Costa Rica (International Award), Turkish journalist Erol Önderoglu (Freedom of Expression), Belgian activist Emmanuel de Merode (Freedom from Want) for his work in Congo, and the Nepalese Urmila Chaudhary (Freedom from Fear) for her work against child slavery.
You can read the bishop's personal speech here.
See also the Four Freedoms nomination biography of Bishop TabanAfrica, The Netherlands