Interfaith declaration in support of family health and wellbeing, Sud Kivu

Signature ceremony on family health and wellbeing

Bukavu, DRC, 26 November 2019 (F2A) –  This Thursday, five faith institutions of Sud Kivu have signed a groundbreaking declaration in support of family health and wellbeing.

The declaration states:

“We recall that human dignity is rooted in our sacred texts. We are ‘created in God’s image’, according to the Bible (Genesis 1, 26-27), and “in the best of stature”, according to the Qur’an (Quran 95:4). Realising and protecting human dignity, its fulfilment and wellbeing is at the heart of our missions.

We recognise that health is a blessing from God. We conceive health as holistic, including physical, emotional, spiritual, and social wellbeing. Birth spacing and reproductive health contribute to family health and well-being, and thus protect human dignity. In addition, our faith encourages all people, including adolescents and young people, to acquire knowledge that they need to live a full life (Qur’an, 58:11; Hosea 4:6).”

All holy books clearly support the notion of responsible parenthood and birth spacing (Quran 2: 233; Bible – 1 Timothy 5:8), which can only be achieved if the number of children is correlated with the financial means available.”

Church of Christ in Congo, Islamic Community of Congo, Catholic Archdiocese of Bukavu, Anglican Diocese of Bukavu and the Seventh Day Adventist Church have made seven commitments.

  • to promote birth spacing and reproductive health.
  • to better educate believers and to refuting myths and misconceptions about birth spacing.
  • to provide the correct information in faith managed health centres, hospitals, schools, universities, places of worship, radio networks, and their community networks and faith-based organisations.
  • to provide age-appropriate sexuality education for schoolchildren and students in our schools and universities.
  • to provide services in faith managed health centres and hospitals.
  • to work with other partners and stakeholders to achieve these goals.
  • to implement a weeklong interdenominational awareness raising campaign to launch this statement and relay the messages and deliver family health and wellbeing services in places of worship and other faith platforms.
  • to implement feasible and measurable actions to promote birth spacing and reproductive health in South Kivu.

The interfaith declaration was signed on Thursday, November 28th, after week-long dialogues on family health and wellbeing. The events are organised by Faith to Action Network, in collaboration with International Islamic Center for Population Studies and Research, Al Azhar University and Cordaid, the Catholic Organization for Relief and Development Aid, and all faith organisations in Sud Kivu.

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