World Council of Churches

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

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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 Events

Workshop on mapping Christian health services

Workshop on mapping Christian health services

10 - 11 October 2017 Ecumenical Centre, Geneva

Since its establishment, the World Council of Churches has supported health work of the churches globally, by supporting establishing and strengthening of Christian health associations at national and regional levels, global advocacy, and other initiatives. But there is currently lack of data on the contribution of the Christian family to global health. Through a workshop on 10-11 October 2017, the WCC aims to discuss and develop a framework for mapping such data.

Related News

“Facing the storm of HIV, we can move together, be agents of change”

“Facing the storm of HIV, we can move together, be agents of change”

Taking place on 4-8 September in Kampala, Uganda, a WCC and UNAIDS regional consultation on HIV Treatment Adherence and Faith Healing in Africa has gathered to address issues of “faith-healing only” practices in the context of HIV and AIDS. At the core is the question of how religious leaders can partner with governmental organizations nationally and internationally, as well as with other parts of civil society to develop strategies to advocate for HIV treatment adherence, and to build bridges to those among faith-healing only practitioners who are open to dialogue.

Inaugural health forum draws input from WCC and partners

Inaugural health forum draws input from WCC and partners

At the first-ever World Health Organization Africa Health Forum in Kigali, Rwanda on 27–28 June, the World Council of Churches (WCC) and its partners submitted a message urging the forum not to overlook the vital role of the church in the arena of healthcare in Africa.

“Our calling to health and healing is as strong as ever”

“Our calling to health and healing is as strong as ever”

Convening a range of international representatives and partners in Geneva on 24 May, the WCC reiterated its commitment to the ministry of health and healing for all people, taking new steps towards a new Global Ecumenical Health Strategy.