World Council of Churches

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

You are here: Home / What we do / Health and healing

Health and healing

The WCC’s health and healing programme facilitates networking and dialogue to promote health and healing for all people. Throughout 2017 and 2018, the WCC is developing a global ecumenical health strategy to meet continuing and new health challenges worldwide.
Health and healing

Young mother with her new born baby at Karen Baptist Convention's health care centre

The WCC’s health and healing programme facilitates networking and dialogue to promote health and healing for all people. Throughout 2017 and 2018, the WCC is developing a global ecumenical health strategy to meet continuing and new health challenges worldwide.

Health is more than physical and mental well-being, and healing is not primarily medical. Health and healing were a central feature of Jesus’ ministry and of his call to his followers, and the church has been engaged in health services for centuries.

By stimulating dialogue among faith-based networks and within civil society, the WCC contributes to reflection on the theological basis of medical mission as well as to the development of new concepts of Christian health care.

The WCC's relationship with the World Health Organization and other international organizations such as UNICEF and UNAIDS allows it to facilitate networking and advocacy on behalf of church-related health networks.

The global health agenda has changed greatly over the years. In addition to the global Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 on good health and well-being, health is inherent in each of the 17 SDGs. Universal health coverage, with the virtual elimination of HIV, is an urgent global public health agenda. Emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, like Ebola and Dengue, are still a concern. Antimicrobial resistance, neglected tropical diseases and non-communicable diseases, including life-style diseases, have now come to the fore with a growing global impact.

With these continuing and new global challenges, the WCC believes that it is time again for the church to reaffirm the role it has played over the centuries as leader in global health, and consolidate all efforts towards health and healing for all.

WCC Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy

WCC-EAA Live the Promise HIV Campaign

African Christian Health Associations Platform

Back issues of Contact magazine (issues available online: 1983-2016)

Related News

UN discussion focuses on women, HIV and property rights

UN discussion focuses on women, HIV and property rights

“She is HIV positive too. No need to inherit her late husband’s title deed. She will die soon and leave it anyway.” These man’s thoughts during his brother’s funeral were used by Jane Ng’ang’a, national coordinator, International Network of Religious Leaders Living with or Personally Affected by HIV (INERELA+) Kenya Chapter, to push the debate on property and inheritance rights linked to HIV. The discussion was held during the 61st Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), on 16 March, at the headquarters of UNAIDS, in New York.

Partnership and mapping are a priority for WCC health and healing programme executive Mwai Makoka

Partnership and mapping are a priority for WCC health and healing programme executive Mwai Makoka

Working as a medical doctor in his home country Malawi seems to have given Dr Mwai Makoka ideal experience for his task of programme executive for Health and Healing at the WCC. He has experience in medical microbiology, HIV and AIDS, working for both government and church-based institutions after graduating as a doctor in Malawi, a country accustomed to working with church-run hospitals.

“It’s time to be brave, to form diverse partnerships”

“It’s time to be brave, to form diverse partnerships”

“How can we work together, to share what it is in our hands, share the work that is before us? How can we empower one another, capacity-build our religious leaders and mobilize our congregations, to be more proactive in health-promoting issues?”