Justin Badi Arama

The new Archbishop of South Sudan, The Most Rev Justin Badi Arama, formerly Bishop of Maridi 

Archbishop-Elect Justin was ordained in 1995 and served as the manager of the first ECS Maridi Guesthouse. He studied at Mukono in Uganda. Then after ordination, he served as a cathedral dean, an archdeacon and diocesan secretary. He was consecrated as Bishop in 2001 to serve as the second bishop of Maridi. He was enthroned as the Province’s fifth Archbishop and Primate on Sunday 22 April 2018, at the age of 53.  

The election by other bishops of the South Sudan Province took place in Juba. Bishop Anthony Poggo, formerly Bishop of Kajo-Keji Diocese and now working at Lambeth as the Advisor to the Archbishop of Canterbury on Anglican Communion Affairs, came from London to take part. He gave the keynote addresses at the Bishops’ retreat where the election took place. Bishop Anthony’s theme was the leadership skills and qualities of Nehemiah for the walls of Jerusalem to be rebuilt. This encouraged lively discussion, as the electoral college considered their votes for a new Primate.  

The Revd Pauline Walker writes: “The election of Bishop Justin is good news indeed. He became a Christian in one of our youth camps in the ’80s and we’ve had a strong link since then. He is a Baka by tribe and has done much in his Diocese to integrate and keep the peace between the Equatorians and the Dinka IDPs that came during the war. He has worked hard for his Diocese throughout, establishing schools, increasing healthcare including HIV Aids awareness and treatment, starting a Bible college (Chaima Bible College, that now teaches practical subjects as well as the Bible). He is Chairman of the Governors of the Provincial Bishop Gwynne Theological College”.  

The Bible New Testament and Genesis has only recently been translated and printed into his native Baka language by Wycliffe Bible Translators. The first deliveries to his area were in December 2016 by air with Mission Aviation Fellowship. Bishop Justin Badi spoke about his own experience then: ‘When I read the Bible in English the understanding isn’t deep. But if I read it in Baka, I can understand it better, deeper and fully. Having the Bible written in Baka enables me to preach with real understanding of God’s words. Preaching in English, some of the long words cannot be used. Now when I preach, I can preach the whole message in Baka, not just the small words.’