The All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) represented by Rev. Charles Berahino, AACC Executive Secretary for Peace & Diakonia, participated at the ‘Standing together in a world divided’ consultation developed jointly by Presbyterian World Mission and the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy (ACSWP) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), (PCUSA) in Bangkok, Thailand from 1st to 6th November.
In his presentation, he spoke on the role of the Church and other religious institutions in the transformation of Africa. Although religion is flourishing in Africa, many sub-Saharan African countries are amongst the world's poorest nations. The enormity of corruption in African society in the midst of intense religiosity inevitably raises serious questions about the kind of Christian, Islamic and traditional religious morality that exists in this predominantly religious continent. What are the fruits of this religiosity?
Despite the erosion of many religiously informed traditional practices by the forces of modernity and globalization, religion, still has a vital contribution to make to the progress of African societies.
Religious values have informed local and international law; such values are greatly cherished and have been of immense benefit in the conceptualization and development of democratization. These values include the sanctity of human life, human equality and human dignity. Within the Christian understanding, this is the prophetic function of religion. Religious communities and practitioners should build on the privileged place that they occupy over and above other institutions, and respond more effectively to the moral, sociopolitical, economic and technological challenges of Africa.
Participants of the consultation agreed to; strengthen capacity of local pastors/churches to engage on peacebuilding, economic justice and governance, initiate a mapping of what other organizations are already doing in reference to the issues addressed and collect information as a resource for further work amongst other action points.
The All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) continues to mobilize to faithfully live the message of God’s love while interpreting and responding to challenges to human dignity.