World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

You are here: Home / Resources / Documents / WCC programmes / Public witness: addressing power, affirming peace / Human rights / Declaration of Commitment to human rights

Declaration of Commitment to human rights

17 April 2010

We, the heads of the churches of Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo listed below, took part in the workshop on human rights at the Bishop Shaumba Centre in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, organized from 13-17 April 2010 by the World Council of Churches (WCC), Bread for the World (BFW) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), thanks to the financial support of the European Union (EU),

  • Believe that human beings are created in the image of God;
  • Recognizing the prophetic and messianic mission of the church;
  • Mindful of the extremely important and dangerous nature of the work of human rights NGOs;
  • In the firm belief that human rights are prerogatives without which human dignity is merely an empty wish;
  • Aware that ignorance of human rights violations is a primary reason for the conflicts which have devastated the world and the sub-region of the Great-Lakes in particular;
  • Given the worrying paradox of the rich natural resources of the DRC and the desperate poverty of its population;
  • Mindful of the church’s role to both be alert and to be an advocate;
  • Given the many challenges such as HIV/AIDS, climate change, massive violations of human rights …
  • Given the importance of the interaction between the churches and human rights NGOs;
  • And mindful of God’s word which says “Righteousness exalts a nation” (Proverbs 14:34).

Following our exchange and consultation we make the following statement of commitment:

1.    We make the firm commitment to work together for the promotion of human dignity and fundamental human rights;

2.    We have decided to accompany our respective states in the struggle against corruption, impunity and poverty;

3.    We reiterate our commitment to support the legitimate struggle of our countries against climate change;

4.    We call on our populations to change the way they think and their harmful behaviour towards the ecosystem;

5.    We wish to express our thanks to the WCC, BFW, the LWF and the EU for their initiative and their material, moral, financial and spiritual support of this workshop.

6.    Request that the WCC, BFW, LWF and the EU continue to support us to build the capacity of our human rights leaders and of the education of our populations in the areas of human rights, environmental protection, HIV/AIDS prevention, advocacy and lobbying;

7.    Commit ourselves to work together with human rights NGOs so that the contents of this statement are not just empty words.

8.    Ask for the creation of a framework for consultation and for action supported by the WCC, Bread for the World, the LWF and the EU, that this be put in place and work effectively. 

1. Mgr. MARINI BODHO, National President, Church of Christ in Congo (CCCo);

2. Mgr. YEMBA KEKUMBA, Bishop of the United Methodist Church, DRC, and President of the coordination committee of the DRC member churches of the World Council of Churches/All Africa Conference of Churches (WCC/AACC);

3. Mgr. MBAYA TSHIAKANY, Regional President, CCCo, Kasai-Oriental Province;

4. Bishop KABAMBA MUKALA, President, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Congo (ELCCo);

5. Mgr. MOLANGA BOTOLA, Auxiliary Bishop, Anglican Church in Congo;

6. Bishop BWAMANGELA KAMILI, ELCCo, Kivu;

7. Bishop MWAMBA SUMAILI, ELCCo, Kalemie;

8. Rev. TSHIMUNGU MAYELA, Legal Representative, Presbyterian Community of Kinshasa;

9. M. MUHIYA SANGWA, CEJ/National Episcopal Conference (Catholic Church), Kinshasa;

10. Rev. NYAKUFA BAGOTA, CCCo/JPSC, Ituri Province;

11. Rev. LILENGE NKALANGA, CCCo/JPSC, Equator Province;

12. Rev. KINYAMBA LUNGE, Focal Point, Ecumenical Forum AACC/Kinshasa;

13. Rev. BOYANGA MASIKOTE, CCCo/JPSL, Oriental Province;

14. Rev. MUANDA MIKIAMA, CCCo/JPSC, Kongo Central;

15. Rev. MBUMBA KILOMBO, ELCCo, Boma;

16. Rev. CLEMENT NINZIZA, Anglican Church in Burundi;

17. Rev. TITE NINGEJEJE, Free Methodist Church in Burundi.

Kinshasa, 17.04.2010

This is a translation of the original declaration in French.