Photo: Albin Hillert/WCC

Photo: Albin Hillert/WCC

The All Africa Conference of Churches joined many across the world in expressing shock and dismay at remarks from two French scientists during a live interview on the French television channel LCI, suggesting that Africa should be the testing ground for treatment for the coronavirus.

“We, the All Africa Conference of Churches, on behalf of many churches in Africa, join many voices which we have heard already, including the WHO to express our dismay and shock on those remarks,” reads a statement from the All Africa Conference of Churches. “The remarks demonstrate the demeaning of African dignity based on the image of Africa as the source and target of all kinds of troubles and problems.”

The statement further affirms and defends African dignity, and strongly upholds the rights and integrity of the African people. "We call on the world to develop a more realistic, positive image of an Africa which we who live here experience every day,” the statement reads.

The statement also emphasizes forgiveness. “We are cognizant of the fact that the two French scientists have recognized their mistake, and have since apologized,” the statement reads. “We are called to accept their apology and forgive them.”

The statement further urges people not to hold a grudge. "We must also as Christians overcome the temptation to hold grudges not only against them, but also against their nations and continents,” reads the statement. “We must not have stereotypical beliefs against them or where they come from, for that would be committing the same sin we are accusing them of committing against us."

World Council of Churches acting general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca affirmed that people and communities around the world have responded to the current coronavirus crisis with extraordinary solidarity and great courage. “But unfortunately, the pandemic has also been the background against which some of the worst human impulses have been thrown into sharp relief - including, sadly, the ugly and persistent sin of racism,” said Sauca. “Against such impulses, the Christian response to the threat of COVID-19 must be one of Christ-like compassion and care for all equally.”

All Africa Conference of Churches

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