The World Council of Churches (WCC) has urged faith leaders in Malawi to assume a leading role in the promotion of health awareness in their respective churches as one of creating a healthier lifestyle amongst young people.
WCC has made the call during the training workshop on health promoting in churches, which was organized in conjunction with the Green Anglican Malawi – an arm of the Anglican Church in Malawi.
WCC Provisional Environmental Coordinator for the Anglican Provinces for Central Africa, Charles Bakolo, said the church has the mandate to advocate for some health issues so that the congregants should have health life and secure environment.
Bakolo, who is also WCC ambassador, said they have noted that most churches are not actively encouraging their faithful to promote a healthy generation as well as taking part in environmental conversation issues.
“We expect that after the training workshop we will be able to see churches in Malawi promoting health issues and have structures within the church. The generation we have currently as a nation is not promising as most of them have been entangled in devilish behaviors such as smoking, bear drinking and indulging in sexual activities which can easily ruin their lives,” he said.
One of the participants, Reverend Father Daniel Chunga, of the Diocese of Lake Malawi, conceded that church leaders have only concentrated on preaching the word of God, leaving out other important elements that complement Christian life.
Chunga, who is currently ministering Kasangazi Parish in Mponela, said the workshop was therefore an eye opener to them, as they will be able to disseminate information to their congregants on good health as well as how to take care of the environment.
“Currently, the world at large has been hit by global warming which has affected our rainfall pattern, all this is due to failure to protect the environment, as such we as faith leaders need to take a leading role in informing our followers on their role on conserving the environment,” he said.
Facilitator of the workshop and student at College of Medicine Cecilia Kanthiti appealed to all churches in the country to tackle misleading theologies in Africa regarding health issues, saying there is need to sensitize the people to have knowledge on several causes of diseases and their risks as well as how they can prevent them.
Kanthiti said the role of the church is to protect their congregants by creating church health committees, which can help the congregants to live healthy lives.
“There is a big relationship between church and health sector whereby churches are constructing mission hospitals to help their Christians and also donating medical equipment to their Christians in order to have health life, hence they also need to extend the same when they are on the pulpit,” she said.