Churches Urged to Address African Issues

THE General Secretary of the Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN), Maria Kapere, says African churches have waited too long to address issues such as poverty on the African continent.

Speaking to Nampa after a media briefing held in the capital on Monday, Kapere said African churches should have started addressing problems faced by Africans long ago, and should also have engaged governments in such matters.

She said it is a church responsibility to mobilise people on the ground in the fight against problems such as poverty.

“African churches need to find their identity within the environment in which they operate, because now most of them have come to rely on donor funding instead of cooperating with governments,” she said.

Kapere noted that the upcoming symposium by her organisation will seek to address some of the contemporary issues faced by the church and society, such as poverty, access to land, gender-based violence (GBV), democracy, reconciliation, peace and justice.

The symposium will be held in the capital from 18 to 19 June 2015.

The CCN General Secretary said the objectives of the symposium are to restore the trust and dignity of individuals, families, and cultural and ethnic groups.

Kapere said the Council of Churches plans to implement a number of strategies and actions after the symposium, such as establishing social development or community desks in member churches.

The council would also like to establish forums for the youth, men and women to discuss how they can be actors in the implementation of peace, justice and reconciliation throughout Namibia.

She said their efforts to train pastors and youth groups started some years back, but some churches, however, do not have structures to implement some of the projects they discuss.

The council and its members have, for instance, already started setting up a poverty eradication project that they will hand over to the Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare.

Kapere said an amount of N$200 000 has been injected into the hosting of the symposium, with the assistance of the Helsinki Deaconess Institute.

More than 200 participants are expected to attend the symposium.

Key stakeholders include CCN member churches and all Christian churches in Namibia all faith-based organisations government ministries and agencies the Office of the Prime Minister, and Ministry of Information and Communication Technology.

Kapere, however, stated that churches that wish to attend the symposium and are not CCN members, can also attend if there is enough space. – Nampa

Source : The Namibian