Health and Healing

The WCC’s health and healing programme facilitates networking and dialogue to promote health and healing for all people, to meet continuing and new health challenges worldwide.

The WCC’s Health and Healing programme facilitates networking and dialogue to promote health and healing for all people, and it leads implementation of the WCC’s ecumenical global 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, a reason why 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 WCC’s networking and advocacy support the global health agenda, which  has changed greatly over the years. In addition to the Sustainable Development Goal 3 on good health and well-being, health is inherent in each of the 17 goals. 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 lifestyle 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 in global health, and consolidate all efforts towards health and healing for all.

More back issues of the Contact magazine are available here.

    Health-Promoting Churches Volume II:

    A handbook to accompany churches in establishing and running sustainable health promotion ministries

    Based on the premise that the local congregation is the primary agent for healing, and each individual member has a unique gift to contribute to this healing ministry, this book provides guidelines, resources and tools to equip and support local Christian congregations in starting a sustainable health ministry.

    It provides a theological and public health basis of the Health Promoting Churches (HPC) model and a guide on organizing the HPC programme sustainably.

    Voices of Lament, Hope, and Courage

    A Week of Prayer in the Time of the COVID-19 Pandemic

    To commemorate a year since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the spread of COVID-19 a pandemic, the World Council of Churches provides this resource for a week of prayer.
    This book was designed as a resource for use in prayer groups, congregational services, personal prayer, and in the pastoral accompaniment of those directly affected in different ways by the pandemic. The prayers, messages, reflections, statistics and WCC resources have roots in faith challenged by mourning, fear and uncertainty in different contexts worldwide. 

    Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy

    Promoting HIV competence among churches and theological institutions, addressing the root causes of the pandemic.

    Contact special series

    Contact magazine special series, 2018

    Health-Promoting Churches: Reflections on Health and Healing for Churches on Commemorative World Health Days

    This booklet includes 15 reflections on international commemorative health days from Dr Mwai Makoka WCC Programme Executive for Health and Healing, who emphasises that he is not a theologian, but “ a lay Christian who is a medical professional and keen to promote health and healing from a Christian perspective.

    Faith on the Fast Track HIV Campaign

    Aimed to accelerate and intensify actions by faith communities for a world without new HIV infections; zero stigma and discrimination; zero AIDS-related deaths; and where the human rights and dignity of all are upheld.

    Africa Christian Health Associations Platform

    Dr Mwai Makoka, Programme Executive
    Health and Healing Programme
    phone: +41 71 691 62 54