Material zum Thema COVID-19

Material des ÖRK zum Thema Coronavirus

Gebete im Angesicht der Coronavirus-Pandemie

In dieser Zeit, in der wir uns voneinander fernhalten müssen, ist es so wichtig wie nie, dass wir die spirituelle Nähe suchen und gemeinsam beten.

Komponieren Sie Kirchenlieder oder verfassen Sie gerne Gebetstexte?  Erfahren Sie, wie auch Sie sich hier einbringen können!

Eine Gebetsordnung für jeden Tag

Solange im Ökumenischen Zentrum in Genf mit den Büros des ÖRK Gebete nicht in gewohnter Weise abgehalten werden können, veröffentlicht das ÖRK-Spiritualitätsteam jeden Tag ein kurzes Gebet auf der englischen Version dieser Seite.

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Rev. Dr Nyambura Njoroge, COVID-19 Support team

Pastorin Dr. Nyambura J. Njoroge

Gesundheitsbewusste Glaubensgemeinschaften, Erfahrung mit der HIV- und AIDS-Epidemie

Pastorin Dr. Nyambura Njoroge verfügt über Erkenntnisse und Erfahrungen aufgrund ihrer Arbeit  im Problemfeld HIV und AIDS und kann in beratender Funkton einen wichtigen Beitrag zu glaubensgestützten Initiativen zur Bekämpfung des Coronavirus leisten.

Zwar unterscheidet sich die HIV- und AIDS-Epidemie in vielfacher Hinsicht von der COVID-19-Pandemie, aber es gibt wichtige Erkenntnisse und Erfahrungen, die wir Glaubensgemeinschaften und betroffenen Familien aus dem Afrika südlicher der Sahara vermitteln können. Wir setzten uns ein für unerschütterliche Führungskraft, seelsorgerische Begleitung und Solidarität und vermitteln dies mit unseren hoffnungsvollen, lebensbejahenden und lebensspendenden Botschaften und Aktionen inmitten knapper Ressourcen, Verzweiflung, Traumata, Stigmatisierung, Diskriminierung, Fehlinformationen, Unsicherheit und Vertreibung.

Pastorin Dr. Njoroge ist seit 2007 Programmreferentin der Ökumenischen HIV- und AIDS-Initiativen und Advocacy des Ökumenischen Rates der Kirchen. Davor wart sie für die Koordinierung der ökumenischen theologischen Ausbildung beim Ökumenischen Rat der Kirchen zuständig. Nyambura ist ordinierte Pastorin der Presbyterianischen Kirche von Ostafrika in Kenia. Ihre Pastorinnenausbildung und ihre theologische Ausbildung erhielt sie an der St. Paul‘s Universität in Kenia, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminar, Ky, in den USA. Ihr Promotionsstudium in Afrikanisch-Christlicher Theologie und Ethik absolvierte sie am Princeton Theological Seminar, NJ, USA. Zurzeit ist sie Mitglied des wissenschaftlichen Beirats (SAB) des US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR, eine Initiative  zur  Behandlung  und  Prävention von HIV/AIDS). Sie ist ebenfalls Mitherausgeberin von Treatment Adherence and Faith Healing in the Context of HIV and AIDS in Africa (Therapietreue und Gesundbeten im Kontext von HIV und AIDS in Afrika), WCC Publications 2019.

Pastorin Dr. Njoroge kann per E-Mail nn@wcc-coe.org oder Skype (ID nn@wcc-coe.org) erreicht werden.

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Dr Manoj Kurian

Dr. Manoj Kurian

ÖRK-Referent für medizinische Themen und Fragen der öffentlichen Gesundheit sowie für Gesundheit und Heilung im Glaubenskontext

Dr. Manoj Kurian ist in beratender Funktion für die Themen Medizin und Public Health zuständig und ordnet Interpretations- und Anschauungsfragen im Zusammenhang mit Gesundheit und Heilung in einen Kontext des Glaubens, der Religion und der spirituellen Praxis ein.

Dr. Kurian ist stammt aus Malaysia, ist Arzt und beim ÖRK für die Koordinierung des Ökumenisches Aktionsbündnis des ÖRK (WCC-EAA) zuständig. Nach seiner Postgraduierten-Ausbildung im Bereich Community Health in Indien arbeitete er sieben Jahre in kirchennahen Institutionen in unterschiedlichen Regionen Indiens. Ab 1999 leitete er das „Health and Healing“-Programm beim Ökumenischen Rat der Kirchen in Genf. Im Anschluss daran übernahm er die Verantwortung für die Policy and Advocacy-Arbeit der International AIDS Society. Ab 2015 koordinierte er neben dem WCC-EAA ebenfalls die ÖRK-Sektion ‚Wirtschaftliche und ökologische Gerechtigkeit‘ und ist dort die als Ansprechperson zuständig für die Region Asien. Es ist ebenfalls Lehrbeauftragter am College of Public Health, Kent State University.

Dr. Kurian ist erreichbar per Mail unter mku@wcc-coe.org oder per Mobiltelefon unter +41 793782690 (ebenfalls WhatsApp oder WeChat unter derselben Nummer). Skype- manojkurian.

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Rev. Nicole Ashwood

Pastorin Nicole Ashwood

Sexualisierte und geschlechtsspezifische Gewalt, Frauennetzwerke

Pastorin Nicole Ashwood hat Erfahrung als Beraterin in Fällen sexualisierter und geschlechtsspezifischer Gewalt, stellt Kontakte zwischen Frauen- und Männernetzwerken her und berichtet über aktuelle Entwicklungen bei UN Frauen.

Als junge Erwachsene hat Pastorin Ashwood in einer inoffiziellen Funkton mit Opfern und Tätern gearbeitet; diese Erfahrungen haben später ihre Tätigkeit beim Caribbean and North America Council for Mission (CANACOM) beeinflusst. Sie ist ordinierte Pastorin der United Church in Jamaica und den Cayman-Inseln, Mitglied von Caribbean Women Theologians for Transformation und ehemaliges Mitglied des Projekts ‚Movers for Gender Justice‘ des ÖRK. Pastorin Ashwood hat Beiträge zur liturgischen und theoretischen Zusammenarbeit mit dem ÖRK, CWM und WGRK zum Thema transformative Männlichkeit und Weiblichkeit geleistet.  Zurzeit arbeitet sie als Programmreferentin zum Thema ‚Gerechte Gemeinschaft von Männern und Frauen‘ und ist co-regionale Kontaktperson für die Region Karibik.

Pastorin Ashwood ist erreichbar per E-Mail unter Nicole.Ashwood@wcc-coe.org oder über  WhatsApp unter +41764491732

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Dr Mwai Makoka - COVID 19 Support team

Dr Mwai Makoka

Medizinischen Themen und Fragen der öffentlichen Gesundheit, christliche Gesundheitsnetzwerke, Kontakte zur WHO

Dr. Mwai Makoka ist in beratender Funktion für medizinische Fragen und Public Health sowie für christliche Gesundheitsnetzwerke und Kontakte zur Weltgesundheitsorganisation zuständig.

Dr. Makoka ist Programmreferent für Gesundheit und Heilung beim Ökumenischen Rat der Kirchen. Seine medizinische Ausbildung erhielt er an der University of Malawi, die postdoktorale Ausbildung in medizinischer und Public Health Mikrobiologie schloss er an der University of North Carolina an der Chapel Hill School of Medicine, USA, ab.  Neben der klinischen Arbeit war er an akademischen Programmen und Gesundheitsprogrammen im öffentlichen Sektor beteiligt, davor leitete er die Christian Health Association Malawis. Zurzeit sitzt er in verschiedenen Leitungsgremien ökumenischer Gesundheitsorganisationen und ist Mitglied einer Reihe technischer Arbeitsgruppen der Weltgesundheitsorganisation. Als Autor zeichnet er verantwortlich für die Publikation Health-Promoting Churches: reflections for churches on commemorative health days, WCC Publications 2020.

Dr. Makoka ist per E-Mail zu erreichen unter mma@wcc-coe.org oder über Skype: mwaimh

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Rev. Dr Benjamin Simon - COVID 19 Support team

Pastor Dr. Benjamin Simon

Kirchen und COVID-19, Seelsorge

Pastor Dr. Benjamin Simon ist der Ansprechpartner für alle Fragen darüber, wie die einzelnen Kirchen mit der COVID-19-Pandemie umgehen und wie Kirchen untereinander Kontakt  aufnehmen. Er steht für allgemeinen Rat und seelsorgerische Betreuung zur Verfügung.

Pastor Dr. Simon ist Programmreferent für kirchliche und ökumenische Beziehungen beim Ökumenischen Rat der Kirchen. Davor war er Fakultätsmitglied des Ökumenischen Instituts Bossey mit den Fächern Missiologie und interkulturelle Theologie. Er ist Chefredakteur der International Review of Mission und Kontaktperson beim Ökumenischen Rat der Kirchen für den Deutschen Evangelischen Kirchentag. Simon ist ordinierter Pastor der Evangelischen Kirche von Baden (Mitglied der Evangelischen Kirche in Deutschland, EKD), wo er als Gemeindepastor und Ökumenebeauftragter in der Zentrale in Karlsruhe gearbeitet hat. Während seiner Kindheit, seines Theologiestudiums und später als Lehrbeauftragter am Makumira University College/TZ hat er acht Jahre seines Lebens in verschiedenen afrikanischen Ländern verbracht (RSA, DRK, Tansania).

Pastor Dr. Simon kann per E-Mail unter benjamin.simon@wcc-coe.org oder per Skype: benjamin.simon_10 erreicht werden.

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Joy Eva Bohol - COVID 19 Support team

Joy Eva Bohol

Wegbegleitung junger Erwachsener, Selbstfürsorge und Safe Space-Gespräche

Joy Eva Bohol can advise on accompaniment of young people in times of the COVID-19 pandemic, on self-care and mental health in dealing with isolation, especially for young people living alone, and facilitate safe space conversations among young people to address issues of isolation, anxiety for the future, or being away from family.

Bohol is program executive for youth engagement at the World Council of Churches, where she serves through her capacity as missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church. Her primary role is to ensure youth active involvement and participation all throughout the World Council of Churches’ work. She has served as a missionary for eight years, during which she has been placed in Colombia, USA, South Korea, and now in Switzerland.

One of her major roles was accompaniment to young adult missionaries across Asia and Latin America, supporting them in their adjustments to a new culture, living alone and far from home, spiritual practices, and struggles they encounter as young missionaries. She is also trained in facilitating safe space conversations among young people in addressing pressing issues. She also facilitates difficult conversations and dialogues.

A young person herself, Bohol is originally from the Philippines.

She can be contacted via e-mail at Joy_Eva.Bohol@wcc-coe.org or Facebook: Joy Eva Bohol

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Rev. Dr Mikie Roberts - COVID 19 Support team

Pastor Dr. Mikie Roberts

Ökumenische Gebete und Spiritualität

Pastor Dr. Mikie Roberts vermittelt Einsichten in ökumenische Gebete und Spiritualität, und sucht und teilt Lieder und Gebete, die uns etwas über die spirituellen Ausdrucksformen mitteilen, wie wir sie in den Kirchen überall auf der Welt finden.

Pastor Dr. Roberts ist Programmreferent für Glauben und Kirchenverfassung beim Ökumenischen Rat der Kirchen. Er ist ordinierter Pastor der Herrnhuter Kirche der Brüder-Unität Provinz Westindien Ost , wo er zuletzt als Musikdirektor tätig war. Bevor er im Februar 2019 seine Arbeit beim Ökumenischen Rat der Kirchen begann, diente er Herrnhuter Gemeinden in Trinidad, Barbados und St. Thomas (US Virgin Islands). Als Programmreferent für spirituelles Leben koordiniert er die täglichen Gebete in der Kapelle des Ökumenischen Zentrums und leitet ebenfalls die musikalischen und spirituellen Initiativen für den Ökumenischen Rat der Kirchen.

Pastor Dr. Roberts kann per E-Mail unter mike.roberts@wcc-coe.org oder per Skype: mikieroberts erreicht werden.

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Frederique Seidel - COVID 19 Support team

Frederique Seidel

Erausforderungen für Kinder, junge Erwachsene, Erziehende und Lehrkräfte

Frederique Seidel berät über die  Ressourcen und die Erfahrungen, auf die wir angesichts der besonderen Probleme bauen können, die Kinder, junge Menschen, Erziehende und Lehrkräfte angesichts der COVID-19-Pandemie erleben.

Seidel ist Sonderberaterin des Ökumenischen Rates der Kirchen für Kinderrechte und leitet die globale ÖRK-UNICEF-Partnerschaft mit dem Schwerpunkt auf einer Friedensarbeit, die auf die Durchsetzung von Kinderrechten aufbaut. Seidel ist französisch-deutscher Abstammung und hat einen Master in Soziologie und Erziehungswissenschaft der Sorbonne und des Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris und der Freien Universität Berlin.

Frau Seidel koordiniert die Initiative „Engagement der Kirchen für Kinder“ und vertritt den ÖRK in verschiedenen Foren der Globalen Partnerschaft zur Beendigung der Gewalt gegen Kinder und im INSPIRE-Beratungsteam.

Bevor Frederique Seidel zum ÖRK kam, arbeitete sie 13 Jahre als Leiterin des UNICEF-Unterbüros im Kosovo, als Kommunikationsbeauftragte, Leiterin des Child Rights Education Programms und stellvertretende UNICEF-Vertreterin in Algerien. Sie arbeitete ebenfalls als Sprecherin für die UN und die OSZE in der Zeit nach den Kriegen auf dem Balkan (1996-2001) sowie als Journalistin für die Deutsche Welle und für Kinder- und Jugend-TV-Programme in Berlin, Deutschland. Zu ihren wissenschaftlichen Arbeiten gehören Studien über Strategien zur Förderung der Resilienz von Kindern und über Maßnahmen der Kirchen für den Kapazitätsaufbau junger Change Agents.

Seidel ist zu erreichen über E-Mail unter fse@wcc-coe.org oder Skype: Frederike.Seidel

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Rev. Matthew Ross - COVID 19 Support team

Pastor Matthew Ross

Diakonie und kirchliche Sozialdienste

Pastor Matthew Ross kann in Bezug auf Material, Netzwerke und Ansprechpartner im Bereich Diakonie (kirchliche Sozialdienste/Sozialfürsorge) wie zum Beispiel dem ACT-Bündnis und dem Netzwerk kirchlicher Entwicklungshilfe- und Katastrophenhilfeorganisationen beraten.

Die primäre und unmittelbare Antwort auf COVID-19 muss eine medizinische sein, aber langfristig wird auch diakonische Fürsorge und Unterstützung vonnöten sein. In vielen Ländern sind die Kapazitäten für Gesundheits- und Sozialfürsorge sehr begrenzt und die Arbeit und Unterstützung der Kirchen und kirchlichen Organisationen wird für die Versorgung und Unterstützung der Menschen in den kommenden Jahren daher von zentraler Bedeutung sein. Der ÖRK kann diese Arbeit durch Netzwerkarbeit, den Aufbau von Kapazitäten und die Förderung einer Auseinandersetzung mit bewährten Praktiken unterstützen – und ist sich dabei aber bewusst, dass die finanziellen und materiellen Ressourcen möglicherweise sehr begrenzt sind. Eine im Glauben verwurzelte Antwort auf eine Krise muss aber zuverlässige und korrekte Informationen und professionelle Unterstützung für Kirchen und diakonische Einrichtungen umfassen.

Pastor Ross ist Programmreferent für Diakonie und Kapazitätsaufbau beim Ökumenischen Rat der Kirchen (ÖRK). Er hat einen Universitätsabschluss sowohl in Rechtswissenschaften als auch in Theologie. Er ist Pastor der Kirche von Schottland (eine presbyterianische/reformierte Kirche). Er hat in Afrika und Asien bereits verschiedenste Schulungen und Weiterbildungen zu Planung, Management und Entwicklung im Bereich Diakonie organisiert. Bevor er 2018 zum ÖRK kam, war er Gemeindepfarrer einer Gemeinde in Schottland, Generalsekretär von „Action of Churches Together in Scotland“ und sechs Jahre lang für die Konferenz Europäischer Kirchen in Brüssel, Belgien, tätig.

Sie können Pastor Ross über E-Mail an Matthew.Ross (at) wcc-coe.org oder per Telefon unter der Nummer +41 22 791 63 22 erreichen.

1. Unsere Gemeinde muss zahlreiche unerwartete Ausgaben bewältigen, um COVID-19-Opfer zu unterstützen. Was können wir unternehmen, um zusätzliche Einnahmen zu bekommen?

Zahlreiche Gemeinden weltweit stehen aufgrund der COVID-19-Pandemie vor ganz neuen finanziellen Herausforderungen. Da die Gläubigen zu Hause bleiben müssen, verlieren viele ihr Einkommen, können ihre Felder nicht mehr bestellen und haben oftmals nicht einmal Anspruch auf staatliche Hilfen. Die Menschen in zahlreichen Gemeinden bitten um eine kleine finanzielle Unterstützung oder materielle Hilfen, und auch Suppenküchen werden öfter angefragt. Überall auf der Welt haben Kirchen kreative Fundraising-Lösungen gefunden, um diese unvorhergesehen Ausgaben finanzieren zu können.

Die Nordöstliche Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche in Südafrika hat einen Solidarity Solitary Church Run organisiert, mit dem man seinen Pastor unterstützen kann.

In Gujarat/Indien verteilen junge Frauen Lebensmittel an Tagelöhnerfamilien.

Antwort von Pastor Dr. Benjamin Simon, Programmreferent für kirchliche und ökumenische Beziehungen im COVID-19-Support Team des ÖRK

Können Sie uns mehr bewährte Praktiken mitteilen?Bitte schreiben Sie uns unter covid19support@wcc-coe.org

 

2. Wie leistet eine Kirche während des Lockdowns die praktische Unterstützung ihrer Mitglieder und der Gemeinschaft insgesamt?

In der Bibel gibt es zahlreiche Beispiele, wie Gott die Menschen auffordert, Krisen mit den Werkzeugen zu überwinden, die uns zur Verfügung stehen. Wir sollten diesem Beispiel folgen.

Nutzen Sie die verfügbaren Werkzeuge und Ressourcen wie Online-Gottesdienste, -Predigten und -Bibelstudien, und lassen Sie die Menschen wissen, dass Sie bereit sind zu helfen. Verweisen Sie auf Hotlines und SMS-Helplines. Richten Sie Räume für Online- und Text-Konversationen zur Unterstützung des Familienlebens während COVID-19 ein. Nutzen Sie diese Räume, um sich einen Überblick über die Situation(en) in Ihrem Kontext zu schaffen, und richten Sie gegebenenfalls SOS-Codes ein. In der Praxis kann man darüber nachdenken, ob man kirchliche Räume nicht (sofern dies möglich erscheint) zu sicheren Räumen für Personen umwidmet, die einen Fluchtpunkt brauchen.

Unterstützen Sie die ÖRK-Kampagne #ThursdaysinBlack für eine Welt ohne Vergewaltigung und Gewalt.

Wie Kirche sein, wenn die Kirche ihr Haus verlassen hat?

Verwenden Sie die vom ÖRK veröffentlichten spirituellen Ressourcen

Antwort von Pastorin Nicole Ashwood, ÖRK-Referentin für das Programm Gerechte Gemeinschaft von Frauen und Männern im COVID-19-Support Team

Können Sie uns mehr bewährte Praktiken mitteilen? Bitte schreiben Sie uns unter covid19support@wcc-coe.org

 

3. Es gibt so viele Informationen über COVID-19 aus unterschiedlichen Quellen und von unterschiedlichen Menschen. Wie kann ich entscheiden, was wir glauben und was wir besser nicht glauben?

Da wir heute Informationen mit Leichtigkeit generieren und in die Welt setzen können, können wir auch wichtige Gesundheitsinformationen für alle zugänglich ins Netz stellen. Leider werden genau diese Möglichkeiten auch genutzt, um irreführende Informationen zu verbreiten.

Sie sollten sich, wenn es um die Fakten über COVID-19 geht, auf die Mainstream-Medien verlassen, da diese ihre Informationen vor der Veröffentlichung verifizieren. Die WHO und andere regionale Organisationen sind ebenfalls zuverlässige Quellen für medizinische Daten. Behauptungen, man habe eine wirksame Arznei oder Behandlungsmöglichkeit gefunden, müssen anhand von klinischen Standardverfahren geprüft werden. Bis dahin handelt es sich um vorschnelle Aussagen, die man am besten ignoriert.

Wir sollten uns nicht zum Teil dieses Problems machen. Seien Sie vorsichtig und leiten Sie Informationen nur dann weiter, wenn Sie sie überprüft und als richtig und nützlich eingestuft haben.

Besuchen Sie die WHO-Website und lesen Sie dort die aktuellen Informationen über COVID.

Weitere Ratschläge gegen Fake News

BBC News bietet einen „Reality Check” zur Aufdeckung von Mythen an:

Antwort von Pastor Dr. Mwai Makoka, ÖRK-Programmreferent für Gesundheit und Heilung im COVID-19-Support Team des ÖRK

Können Sie uns mehr bewährte Praktiken mitteilen? Bitte schreiben Sie uns unter covid19support@wcc-coe.org

 

 

4. Wie können die Kirchen einen Beitrag zum Schutz gefährdeter Personen vor Missbrauch und Gewalt in Zeiten von Ausgangsbeschränkungen leisten?

Zu Hause eingesperrt und von anderen Mitgliedern der Gemeinschaft, der Schule, des Arbeitsplatzes und der Nachbarn und Nachbarinnen isoliert zu sein, erhöht die Gefahr gewalttätiger Übergriffe, denen viele Kinder und Erwachsene ohnehin ausgesetzt sind. Die hilfreiche Rolle und die Einflussmöglichkeiten von Kirchenleitenden sind umfassend anerkannt und gut dokumentiert.

Schließen Sie sich der globalen Kampagne „Faith in Action for Children” an, mit der Initiativen unterstützt werden, Kinder während und nach der COVID-19-Pandemie zu schützen.

Schauen Sie sich angesichts des gestiegenen Risikos eines sexuellen Missbrauchs von Kindern während der COVID-19-Pandemie das vom ÖRK für die Kirchen entwickelte Toolkit Out of the Shadows an.

Lehrkräfte in Sonntagsschulen sind darüber zu informieren, welche gebührenfreien landesweiten Helpline-Nummern es für ihre Gruppenmitglieder gibt, und über Tipps und Ressourcen aufzuklären.

Wenn es in Ihrem Heimatland noch keine Hilfsangebote gibt, fordern Sie Ihre Regierungen und Kommunalverwaltungen auf, solche Angebote dringend einzurichten. Wenn sich hier jedoch nichts tut, können Sie in Erwägung ziehen, die Dringlichkeitsmechanismen der Vereinten Nationen zur Durchsetzung der Menschenrechte in Anspruch zu nehmen, oder prüfen Sie, welche Sonderverfahren im Zusammenhang mit COVID-19 vom Hohen Kommissar der Vereinten Nationen für Menschenrechte zur Verfügung stehen.

Antwort von Frederique Seidel, Sonderberaterin des Ökumenischen Rates der Kirchen für Kinderrechte im
WCC COVID-19 Support Team

Können Sie uns mehr über bewährte Praktiken mitteilen? Bitte schreiben Sie uns unter covid19support@wcc-coe.org

5. Wie können wir während der Pandemie für Handhygiene sorgen, wenn die Hälfte der Weltbevölkerung nicht einmal über grundlegende Möglichkeiten verfügt, sich die Hände zu waschen?

Eine sichere und zuverlässig verfügbare Wasserversorgung, Hygiene- und Reinigungsprodukte und Verfahren der Abfallentsorgung sind eine wichtige Voraussetzung, um die Übertragung des Coronavirus von Mensch zu Mensch zu verhindern. Diese Pandemie findet jedoch im Kontext einer globalen Wasserkrise statt!

Rund 2,2 Milliarden Menschen auf der Welt haben keinen Zugang zu sauberem Trinkwasser, und 4,2 Milliarden Menschen verfügen nicht über sichere Sanitäreinrichtungen. 3 Milliarden Menschen können sich die Hände nicht richtig waschen.

Dieses Jahr ist es zehn Jahre her, dass die Vereinten Nationen das Recht auf Trinkwasser und eine angemessene sanitäre Grundversorgung für alle als ein Menschenrecht anerkannt haben. Diese Pandemie zeigt wieder einmal die derzeitigen Ungerechtigkeiten und Ungleichheiten, die wir überwinden müssen. Kirchen und ihre Werke arbeiten gemeinsam mit den Gemeinschaften daran, das Problem der Trinkwasserversorgung zu lösen, und setzen sich für eine sichere, bezahlbare und ausreichende Wasserversorgung für alle Menschen ein.

Der ÖRK und das ACT-Bündnis leisten Advocacy-Arbeit für Wassergerechtigkeit auf globaler Ebene:

Erklärung von ÖRK und ACT Alliance zum Weltwassertag 2020 inmitten der COVID-19-Pandemie

Wasser, sanitäre Grundversorgung und welche positiven Veränderungen die Kirchen bewirken können (ÖRK-Pressemitteilung vom 30. April 2020) (auf EN)

Mit ihren WASH-Programmen (Trinkwasser, Sanitärversorgung und Hygiene) arbeitet die Norwegische Kirchenhilfe mit lokalen Gemeinschaften an der Verbesserung der Situation.

Aufzeichnung eines Webinars mit dem Titel „Where Faith Speaks: WASH in Religious Institutions”

Antwort von Dr. Manoj Kurian, Koordinator des Ökumenisches Aktionsbündnis des ÖRK im COVID-19-Support Team des ÖRK

Können Sie uns mehr bewährte Praktiken mitteilen? Bitte schreiben Sie uns unter covid19support@wcc-coe.org

 

6. Wie können die Kirchen den Menschen und ihren Familien Raum für ein heilendes Gespräch geben, wie können sie den Menschen bei psychischen Erkrankungen beistehen?

COVID-19 hat zu einem dramatischen Anstieg des Problems psychischer Erkrankungen geführt. Die Antwort unserer Kirchen sollte sich nicht nur auf das spirituelle Wohlergehen eines Menschen beschränken, sondern auf sein ganzheitliches Wohlbefinden, dazu zählt auch die geistige Gesundheit. Wenden Sie sich an zugelassene Psychotherapeuten bzw.  Therapeutinnen in Ihrer Kirche, die sichere Räume für Gespräche betreuen und die Menschen in Fragen der geistigen Gesundheit beraten können. Professionelle Hilfe kann man auch finden, indem man partnerschaftlich mit gemeinnützigen Organisationen zusammenarbeitet. Unterstützung zur Bereitstellung eines Raums für ein Seminar oder einen Workshop zum Thema Ersthilfe bei psychischen Problemen finden Sie unter Mental Health First Response (MHFR).

Informationen über das stille Stigma psychischer Erkrankungen in der Kirche.

Ebenfalls zu empfehlen: Anmerkungen von Prof. Dr. Isabel Apawo Phiri, stellvertretende ÖRK-Generalsekretärin, auf einer Veranstaltung anlässlich des Welttages der geistigen Gesundheit 2016.

Antwort von Joy Eva Bohol, ÖRK-Programmreferentin für das Jugendprogramm im COVID-19-Support Team des ÖRK

Können Sie uns mehr bewährte Praktiken mitteilen? Bitte schreiben Sie uns unter covid19support@wcc-coe.org

7. Da immer mehr Kirchen virtuelle Gottesdienste veranstalten – was können wir unternehmen, damit der Auftrag der christlichen Erziehung unserer Kinder und jungen Erwachsenen nicht vernachlässigt wird?

Da die Kirchen inzwischen die Möglichkeit von Livestreaming-Veranstaltungen nutzen, hat sich daraus ein Muster sonntäglicher Online-Morgenandachten entwickelt. Das ist auch zu begrüßen. Wir sollten allerdings die jungen Menschen in unseren Gemeinden nicht vergessen. Es ist wichtig, dass sie untereinander in Kontakt bleiben, und auch der beständige Austausch mit der Glaubensgemeinschaft insgesamt ist wichtig. Wie ist das zu erreichen?

Man könnte zum Beispiel ein Zoom-Meeting mit jungen Menschen veranstalten und zu diesem Zweck als eine Möglichkeit von vielen das Alpha Jugend-Modell benutzen.

Eine weitere Möglichkeit sind TikTok-Videos und die TikTok-Plattform, um junge Menschen zu erreichen. Für den Muttertag hat eine Gemeinde WhatsApp-Videobotschaften erstellt, in denen der Pastor Handpuppen benutzt, um die Kinder und jungen Erwachsenen in der Gemeinde anzusprechen.

Ein Beispiel für ein mögliches Format einer Sommer-Bibelschule für Kinder während des Lockdowns finden Sie unter CSI All Souls’ Coimbatore.

Antwort von Pastor Dr. Mikie Roberts, Programmreferent für Glauben und Kirchenverfassung beim Ökumenischen Rat der Kirchen im COVID-19-Support Team

Können Sie uns mehr bewährte Praktiken mitteilen? Bitte schreiben Sie uns unter covid19support@wcc-coe.org

 

8. Wie können Kirchen und diakonische Werke auf die speziellen Bedürfnisse kleiner Inselgemeinschaften eingehen?

Kleine Inselgemeinschaften verfügen oft über gute soziale Netzwerke und einen ausgeprägten Gemeinschaftssinn, aber wenn eine anspruchsvolle Behandlung in einem Krankenhaus ansteht, muss oft ein Transport per Schiff oder Flugzeug zum nächsten Krankenhaus auf dem Festland erfolgen. Das kann während einer Krise, wie wir sie jetzt mit COVID-19 erleben, schwierig bis unmöglich sein. Die Kirchen haben eine wichtige Aufgabe zu erfüllen, wenn es um die Aufrechterhaltung der Kommunikation, die Weitergabe genauer Informationen, die Hebung der Moral und die Bewahrung der geistigen Gesundheit geht.

Auf der Isle of Man (sie ist autonomer Kronbesitz, jedoch nicht Teil des Vereinigten Königreichs) gilt zurzeit ein striktes Einreiseverbot. Örtliche Kirchen entwickeln Online-Ressourcen (einschließlich Gottesdienste), die genau auf die lokalen Verhältnisse abgestimmt sind, zum Beispiel das “Sthie”-Projekt („shthie“ bedeutet auf Manx-Gälisch „zu Hause“).

Viele der zu den Entwicklungsländern zählenden kleinen Inselstaaten verfügen nur über unzureichende medizinische Einrichtungen und Ressourcen, um COVID-19 zu bekämpfen. Viele Menschen mit Vorerkrankungen sind deshalb einem hohen Risiko ausgesetzt.

Die Kirchen auf den Pazifikinseln haben unter Leitung der Pazifischen Konferenz der Kirchen Maßnahmen wie Online-Gottesdienste und Haus- und Familiengottesdienste eingerichtet und diese genutzt, um über Präventionsmaßnahmen aufzuklären.  Zurzeit legen die Kirchen Obst- und Gemüsegärten an, deren Ernten kostenlos an Familien mit niedrigem Einkommen oder in Notlagen verteilt wird.

Antwort von Pastor Matthew Ross, ÖRK-Programmreferent für Diakonie und Kapazitätsaufbau im ÖRK-COVID-19-Support Team

Können Sie uns mehr über bewährte Praktiken mitteilen? Bitte schreiben Sie uns unter covid19support@wcc-coe.org

 

9. How can we stay connected with our ecumenical partners?

The COVID-19 pandemic requires all of us to stay physically distanced. We have to reorganise our daily lives and also our spiritual lives. This is very intensive and time consuming. But, it is not about being socially distanced – it is rather very important that we remain socially connected in one way or the other. This is also the case with our spirituality and church life. Ecumenical relations are also important in view of learning from each other and improving our own situation as well as working on the unity Christ motivated us to pursue.

The WCC has collected a database of materials from its worldwide fellowship and partners where good practices are collected (https://oikoumene.photoshelter.com/galleries/C00007cp7smNqBk0/Corona-FellowshipContent). The WCC has recently opened this database to all.

Some ecumenical initiatives try to bring together partners from all over the world. Check out the Global Ecumenical Hangout

Some ecumenical gatherings are inviting people to share prayers or common songs. The Christian Conference of Asia, for example.

Response by Rev. Dr Benjamin Simon, WCC programme executive for Church Relations WCC COVID-19 Support Team

Do you know about more good practices to share? Please feel free to let us know at covid19support@wcc-coe.org

 

10. How can churches support children during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Churches play an important role in supporting children whose challenges are exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis.

Sunday school facilitators and teachers of church-run schools are well placed to keep in contact with the children in their communities, provide spiritual support, share educational, protective and entertaining resources adapted to confinement, and let them know where to find help if they are at risk.

Check out the UNCEF COVID-19 information centre

Some churches were able to develop child-focused COVID-19 resources, such as the puppet web series for the youngest ones, developed by the Anglican church in Canada.

Churches can access and share support materials through the Faith for Positive Change for Children initiative, for which WCC is an Advisory Group member.

You can also help children see the opportunity for lasting systems changes in the COVID-19 crisis, and encourage them to participate in building back better.

Response by Frederique Seidel, WCC senior advisor on child rights  WCC COVID-19 Support Team

Do you know about more good practices to share? Please feel free to let us know at covid19support@wcc-coe.org

11. Are displaced people and refugees more vulnerable to COVID-19?

Worldwide, 71 million people are refugees or are displaced within countries. Living in cramped circumstances, with limited access to resources, hygiene and health facilities, they are particularly at risk during this pandemic. Over 80 percent of the world's refugees are hosted in low- and middle-income countries, many of whom are facing multiple challenges of their own. In these difficult times, there are instances where refugees and migrant populations are blamed by host communities for bringing the pandemic, precipitating further stigma and persecution.

The pandemic is leading to a severe economic downturn, making the mobilisation of resources for the welfare of displaced people and refugees more difficult.

This is the time when churches and faith communities are to be in solidarity with the most vulnerable communities today.

In the middle east, the council of churches is supporting displaced families with personal protection equipment and support for their livelihood.

In Europe, the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe is actively advocating at the political level for the rights of migrants, refugees and displaced people to ensure their right to protection, just treatment and human dignity.

Response by Dr Manoj Kurian, coordinator of the WCC-Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance WCC COVID-19 Support Team

Do you know about more good practices to share? Please feel free to let us know at covid19support@wcc-coe.org

 

12. Is hunger on the increase due to the COVID 19 pandemic?

The number of people facing acute food insecurity is expected to rise to 265 million in 2020, from 135 million in 2019, as a result of the impact of COVID-19.

More than 60% of the world's workforce, accounting for 2 billion workers, are in informal employment. Most of them do not have access to the social safety-net, adding to their vulnerability in accessing food. The long lines of people waiting for food assistance has become a familiar sight even in the wealthiest nations of the world. A day without work often translates to a day without food.

Churches all over the world are at the forefront of responding and accompanying those who are in need, serving and witnessing the Lord by their actions.

The Anglican Communion of Churches

The National Council of Churches in India

The Presbyterian Church in the USA

Response by Dr Manoj Kurian, coordinator of the WCC-Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance WCC COVID-19 Support Team

Do you know about more good practices to share? Please feel free to let us know at covid19support@wcc-coe.org

13. What can we learn from the margins about resistance and resilience in the midst of a crisis?

Now is the opportune time for us to learn from those in the margins. The stories of resilience and solidarity around the world expose, more than ever, the disparities of our society. People are now re-awakened and are more eager to address climate justice, gender justice, and economic justice, among other issues.

There are young people from different countries, who continue to #protestfromhome to demand accountability of governments to put human rights at the center of the COVID-19 response.

A group of young people in the Philippines raised funds to provide protective personal equipment for healthcare frontline workers in six district hospitals.

A regional youth organization in Europe calls their members to volunteer to run errands and buy essential items for people in the high-risk and vulnerable category.

Young women ambassadors of Thursdays in Black campaign continue to raise awareness and demand for change towards a world without sexual and gender-based violence.

A youth group in India distributes food and hygiene kits

#ProtestFromHome: Why Christian youth go on ‘digital protest’ amid lockdown

Response by Joy Eva Bohol, WCC programme executive for youth engagement WCC COVID-19 Support Team

Do you know about more good practices to share? Please feel free to let us know at covid19support@wcc-coe.org

 

14. How are we creating temporary space like “home” to those on the frontline, who were evicted from their apartments/houses/dorms due to their high exposure to COVID-19?

Now that attending church in-person at the sanctuary is limited, the church should take this as an opportunity to reemphasize our service with our neighbours. In many cases around the world, healthcare workers and other essential workers in the frontline are discriminated due to their direct exposure to the people infected with coronavirus. Many of them were kicked out of their apartments. The church can offer our places of worship to these frontline workers as temporary refuge.

Philippine church leaders say churches can serve as field hospitals

Religious groups, churches offer temporary shelter for COVID-19 frontliners

Response by Joy Eva Bohol, WCC programme executive for youth engagement WCC COVID-19 Support Team

Do you know about more good practices to share? Please feel free to let us know at covid19support@wcc-coe.org

 

 

15. How can the church advance a disability inclusive response to COVID-19?

COVID-19 continues to challenge society, with the hardest hit being the vulnerable members. Governments, experts and religious leaders have put in place emergency measures as well as social and economic safety nets as a response to the pandemic. The church, which has a unique role of offering societal support, comfort and guidance has also set up response measures to complement efforts of other actors.

Emerging evidence shows that persons with disabilities—among other vulnerable persons—are being disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Persons with disabilities are at the risk of greater socio-economic impact due to attitudinal, environmental and institutional barriers that are reproduced in the COVID-19 response.

In most societies, the church is perceived as a source of credible information and can influence the actions of other actors in the society. The church can use this position to influence a disability inclusive response to COVID-19 through:

Provision of accessible information.

Accessibility of health services and medical equipment.

Inclusion of persons with disabilities in the emergency response initiatives.

Assurance that worship, pastoral and other forms of spiritual support take into the account the unique needs of different types of disabilities.

Links for more information:

Advancing a disability-inclusive response to COVID-19

UNSDG - Policy Brief: A Disability-Inclusive Response to COVID-19

Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network (EDAN)

Response by Anjeline Okola, programme coordinator,  WCC Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network

WCC COVID-19 Support Team

Do you know about more good practices to share? Please feel free to let us know at covid19support@wcc-coe.org

16. What can we do when people are not used to keeping physical distance?

In many cultures worldwide, people are used to living very close to each other by keeping a strong sense of social and physical connectedness and conviviality—especially in times of sorrow and grief. This is something genuinely human and important for the well-being of a human being. In these times of COVID-19, we are asked exactly the contrary – keep distanced! Stay physically distanced. This is not to be misunderstood as staying socially distanced. It is not needed to stay socially distanced in this pandemic. Many ways are given to stay socially connected while keeping a physical distance, even in societies and cultures where this is lived out intensively.  It is important that we accept that a change in our behaviour is essential.

Close ties challenge rural Africa

Behavioural changes difficult
Some guidance amidst COVID19

Door to Door

People drew closer to WCC fellowship

Response by Benjamin Simon, WCC programme executive for Church Relations
WCC COVID-19 Support Team

Do you know about more good practices to share? Please feel free to let us know at covid19support@wcc-coe.org

17. What can we do in the hurricane season in light of the COVID-19 pandemic?

The first of June through 30 November is designated as hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin.  Emergency managers have begun preparation for this above-average 2020 hurricane season by amending all predesigned hurricane response and recovery plans to include new guidance to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

As it relates to physical distancing, personal protective equipment, and external support, some key areas of concern were raised:

Maintaining newly adopted telecommunication platforms for emergency operation and recovery centers.

Identifying, staffing and equipping additional emergency, long-term and medical sheltering.

Arranging transportation and alternate mainland medical facilities for patient evacuation.

Managing resource staging and distribution to minimize personal contact.

Obtaining direct federal aide and mission assignments with mainland states.

As the number of positive affected individuals increases, it is evident that normal measures for disaster response and recovery will not be enough to safeguard all those engaged in the relief efforts.  Early Identification of available resources and entering pre-position contracts, memorandums of agreement and pre-scripted mission assignments must be accomplished to reduce the territory’s shortfalls.

Preparing for Hurricanes During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Pastoral letter from the general secretary of the Pacific Conference of Churches

A new vulnerability

Response by Rev. Debra Henneman-Smith, an acolyte of the Memorial Moravian Church in St Thomas, US Virgin Islands

Do you know about more good practices to share? Please feel free to let us know at covid19support@wcc-coe.org

18. What is the relationship between forests, people and COVID-19?

Deforestation and forest degradation continue to take place at an alarming rate, contributing significantly to the ongoing loss of biodiversity and increasing human vulnerability to emerging pandemics. Over the last 30 years, approximately 60-70 percent of new diseases that emerged in humans had an animal origin. Three to four new infectious diseases emerge each year, most of which originate from wildlife.

As the COVID-19 virus spreads around the world, deforestation is also rising at an alarming rate. Indigenous people are being killed, exploited and expelled from their lands. The welfare of the indigenous people who constitute 5 percent of the world’s population is critically linked to the very survival of humanity.

By respecting and conserving forests, we protect both the diversity of creation, and indigenous people, who are guardians of creation. We also protect ourselves from deadly new diseases.

WCC is part of the global faith-based movement, the Interfaith Rainforest Initiative, to inspire people, appeal to their core values, and make an ethical case for urgent and concerted action to protect rainforests.

WCC - part of the global faith-based movement, the Interfaith Rainforest Initiative

Learn more about the Interfaith Rainforest Initiative

The Resource Guide on Rainforest Protection for Religious Communities

FORESTS AND PANDEMICS: An issue primer for religious leaders and faith communities

WCC- Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples

Response by Dr Manoj Kurian, coordinator of the WCC-Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance
WCC COVID-19 Support Team

Do you know about more good practices to share? Please feel free to let us know at covid19support@wcc-coe.org

19. Now that we are returning to physically gathering together again for worship, what should we pay attention to?

After months of lockdown and engaging in virtual worship, congregations throughout the world are preparing to gather again in their sanctuaries. In keeping with the guidelines that many countries made, churches and other places of worship were all impacted.

Now as these restrictions are eased, congregations are once again seeking to navigate the return of worship in their church buildings. In this process, they are once again being guided by protocols that have been established by governmental health agencies. These protocols cannot be ignored, for that would mean risking the health and wellbeing of members within the same congregations and the wider community.

In returning to physically gathering for worship, congregations have also had to discern how best to follow these protocols while ensuring that the core elements of their liturgical practices are not cast aside. Some ecumenical guidelines have been created which provide some insightful ways that congregations can navigate the delight and challenge that comes with returning to the familiar space of their sanctuaries.

Singing, a source of healing and hope

Singing in midst of several global “pandemics” including Racism

Pandemic challenges music ministers

Response by Rev. Dr Mikie Roberts, WCC programme executive for Spiritual Life and Faith and Order

WCC COVID-19 Support Team

Do you know about more good practices to share? Please feel free to let us know at covid19support@wcc-coe.org

20. Domestic violence has increased in times of the pandemic. How is this related to patriarchy?

COVID-19 resulted in an unprecedented surge in domestic violence. Many postulate that this results from the mental health implications of being under lockdown and the uncertainty that accompanies the economic fallout; and this is correct. However, it is important to note that COVID-19 has only served to exacerbate the underlying problem of patriarchy (the abuse and misuse of power dynamics especially between men and women). The refusal of some governments to institute programmes for the protection of women and girls from sexual and gender-based violence, the lack of access for young mothers to post-pregnancy education, the increased cases of infection risk, unemployment (especially in the informal sectors) and economic support point to patriarchy’s influence on the domestic violence and gender inequalities. One may presume, in the absence of empirical data, that patriarchy, mental health challenges and opportunity have jointly influenced the surge in violence during the pandemic.

Resources which point to patriarchy as a pre-existing condition for violence during COVID-19:

Policy Brief: The Impact of COVID-19 on Women

The Diplomat: How COVID-19 Worsens Gender Inequality in Nepal

The Shadow Pandemic- GUIU’s Response to Gender-Based Violence During COVID-19

World Bank: Gender Dimensions of the COVID 19 Pandemic

Reflections on sexual and gender based violence from the WCC for resources on addressing sexual and gender-based violence during the pandemic

Response by Rev. Nicole Ashwood, WCC programme executive for Just Community of Women and Men
WCC COVID-19 Support Team

Do you know about more good practices to share? Please feel free to let us know at covid19support@wcc-coe.org

21. How can Christians discern the voice of God, amidst many voices claiming to be God’s voice? How does one know what to believe or not? What to pray for and against?

God speaks to God’s people through many mediums. Some of the ways through which Christians can hear the voice God are by observing nature, reading God’s word or reflecting on personal experiences through the spirit of God.

Reflecting on Jeremiah 29:1-13 provides some insights that may help Christians as they struggle to discern the voice of God amidst the many voices claiming to be God’s voice. 
It is important to use reason in listening to God because God is not irrational. In times of crisis like the current pandemic, our responses can alleviate or aggravate suffering. Working to understand the virus, how it is transmitted, how it can be prevented and how it affects human bodies would be helpful in mitigating the suffering.  It is important therefore to hear the voice of God in those lines in which life will be affirmed and suffering will be alleviated.

Realistic Hope, Not False Hope: Prophecy and COVID-19

Bible studies of WCC

Prayer

Response by Rev. Pauline W. Njiru, WCC Ecumenical HIV & AIDS Initiatives & Advocacy Eastern Africa regional coordinator

Do you know about more good practices to share? Please feel free to let us know at covid19support@wcc-coe.org

22. How have indigenous communities been affected by COVID-19?

The pandemic has heightened existing inequalities and vulnerabilities, further exacerbating current inadequacies within systems and infrastructures. Indigenous communities lack adequate access to healthcare systems, financial and social services. The pandemic has made access to these services even more difficult. Language and communication are an additional barrier in a time of critical need as information about the pandemic or access to services is not usually translated into indigenous languages.  For many indigenous communities, COVID-19 not only poses a continuing health threat but also more critically threatens their very survival and existence. The pandemic affects the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions. The loss of the elderly or indigenous elders inevitably means a loss of culture. The lockdown has meant a loss of income and livelihood. In some countries, unfortunately, governments are taking advantage of the pandemic to further exploit and oppress indigenous communities.

As difficult and as challenging the pandemic has been for indigenous communities, they continue to rise in hope and resilience, offering encouragement, wisdom and a vision of world where all can continue to live sustainably, equitably, and justly.

Indigenous Elders write to the church on COVID-19

Impact of COVID-19 on Indigenous communities across the globe

UN - COVID-19 and Indigenous peoples

Protect the people of the Amazon during COVID-19, urge Norwegian church leaders

Responses by Rev. Dr Seforosa Carroll, WCC programme executive, Mission from the Margins/Indigenous Peoples

Do you know about more good practices to share? Please feel free to let us know at covid19support@wcc-coe.org

23. How do we accompany persons with disabilities in COVID-19?

Among the people most affected by the isolation imposed because of the coronavirus are persons with disabilities and it’s therefore important that in the midst of it all, we need to be cognisant of the rights of persons with disabilities in relation to the COVID-19 response and accompany them during this period. One of the key ways in which we can accompany persons with disabilities is to ensure that all preparedness and response plans are inclusive of and accessible to all persons with disabilities, including women and girls with disabilities, and that they receive information about infection mitigating tips, public restriction plans, and the services offered in a diversity of accessible formats, including: easy-read format; high contrast print and, where possible, braille; and use of available technologies such as subtitles in verbal messaging.

Second, in the event of a quarantine, support services as well as physical and communication accessibility must be ensured. Personal assistants and interpreters should be, when possible, proactively tested for COVID-19 to minimize the risk of spreading the virus to persons with disabilities. If a person with disabilities ends up being infected with the virus, this could lead to increased barriers in seeking and receiving healthcare and it is therefore important to ensure that they do not experience discrimination and negligence by healthcare personnel.

Finally, we need to have understanding and show love for one another.

ACT Alliance-Briefing paper

Lutheran Disabilities Services

Coronavirus Resources for Churches

Response by Anjeline Okola, programme coordinator,  WCC Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network

WCC COVID-19 Support Team

Do you know about more good practices to share? Please feel free to let us know at covid19support@wcc-coe.org

24. How is power manifest in the COVID-19 pandemic?

Power can be defined as the ability or capacity to direct or influence the behaviour of others or the course of events. In the context of the COVID-19, there are key three facets of power that influence the trajectory of the pandemic: The power that comes through the authority to govern; the power that comes from wealth and the access to resources; and the power that comes from being able to influence the thinking and actions of people—such as religious and spiritual leaders wield.

It is the way power is exercised that determines a good or bad outcome.

In exercising power positively, authorities adhere to scientific evidence, looking beyond consolidating political control and by being accountable to all sections of their population.

Wealthy nations, representing only 13 percent of the world's population, have exercised their economic power by reserving 51 percent of the promised doses of leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates. As the scramble for vaccines intensifies, two-thirds of the world's population may not have a vaccine until 2022. Nevertheless, there are positive signs: 30 countries and many international partners have committed to support the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool, an initiative aimed at making vaccines, tests, treatments and other health technologies to fight COVID-19 accessible to all.

It is also clear that faith communities are protected from the pandemic when religious and spiritual leaders and institutions exercise their power and influence over people by pointing to trustworthy and scientific information and combatting false information, ignorance and fear.

Only the power of love and mutual accountability will overcome SARS-CoV-2.

Recommendations for religious leaders and faith-based communities in the context of COVID-19

'The Covid-19 Global Response Index'

Half the future supply of leading COVID-19 vaccine contenders bought up by a few wealthy nations

COVID-19 Technology Access Pool to ensure the latest and best science to benefit all of humanity

Response by Dr Manoj Kurian, coordinator of the WCC-Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance
WCC COVID-19 Support Team

Do you know about more good practices to share? Please feel free to let us know at covid19support@wcc-coe.org

25. How can we deal with death and dying during the pandemic?

Worldwide, as of 26 September 2020, almost one million people have died from COVID-19.  Every death is a human tragedy, resulting in grief, bereavement and – in some cases – loss of family income. The mental health implications for those who have lost a loved one cannot be underestimated; pastoral care and diaconal support may be necessary for many years. Adequate resourcing of diaconal services will be crucial to meet needs.

Hospitals will often need to restrict access to COVID-19 patients. This has led to many deaths alone, where a family has been unable to say goodbye. There may be restrictions on funerals, such as numbers of mourners who may attend. Such issues can compound grief. In such cases, as well as grief, death can also be accompanied by feelings of guilt amongst survivors. Questions, such as whether more could have been done to prevent the death, are commonplace. In all cases, stigmatisation of victims of COVID-19 is wrong and misguided. Bereaved relatives thus require particular support and understanding.

Whilst the majority of deaths have been amongst the elderly, younger people (including children) are not immune. Any trivialisation or downplaying of the consequences of COVID-19 is highly irresponsible and can lead to increased infection rates; the church can play a key role in addressing superstitions, rumours and falsehoods.

Death is not the end

Our Hope

How coronavirus has transformed the grieving process

“I buried my cousin live on facebook”

“I believed that I would see her again”

Response by Rev. Matthew Ross, programme executive for Diakonia and Capacity Building
WCC COVID-19 Support Team

Do you know about more good practices to share? Please feel free to let us know at covid19support@wcc-coe.org

26. How can churches address engaging in liturgical rites and practices during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Liturgical practices vary depending on ecclesiastical traditions. However, one common element of living, praying and worshipping is that it is done in community. Christian faith is embodied through presence. When we speak of presence, the discussions tend to emphasize the theological understanding of the spiritual presence of God or the confessional thinking on the presence of Christ in the celebration of sacrament of Holy Communion. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused us to consider just how important our human presence is to each other in our faith community.

But how can our faith communities maintain a connection with these spiritual tributaries during a pandemic—when for the safety of all in the community one’s absence is more encouraged that one’s presence? The receiving of rites and sacraments involve the physical presence and engagement of laity and clergy together in community. Whether we are referring to acts of Christian initiation which welcome one into the Body of Christ (baptism), or those which affirm one’s continued faith growth (confirmation) or at the moment of death (last rites) physical presence is preferred over the virtual.

Church authorities are now seeking to provide ecclesial and pastoral guidelines. The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the value and necessity of these practices to our living and being in faith community.

Church Identity

Guidance for Funeral practices

Communion precautions
Response by Rev. Dr Mikie Roberts, WCC programme executive for Spiritual Life and Faith and Order

WCC COVID-19 Support Team

Do you know about more good practices to share? Please feel free to let us know at covid19support@wcc-coe.org

27. Should elections be held during the pandemic?

In functioning democracies, regular elections are the essential means of ensuring that governments remain accountable and responsive to the people they govern. However, given that they are also very large social events, they obviously entail significantly increased public health risks in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, postponing or cancelling elections during this period also carries serious risks for democratic accountability, with some leaders only too happy for an excuse to extend their power beyond normal constitutional limits.

Authorities who are genuinely seeking to balance these countervailing risks must consider a number of factors on a case-by-case basis, including:

—Constitutional restrictions or flexibilities regarding the scheduling of elections;

—The nature and severity of the pandemic in that particular context;

—Whether alternative means of voting can be made available, especially to people with special vulnerabilities, and

—Whether sufficient resources are available to ensure that voters, officials and staff can be adequately protected from transmission and infection.

But despite the challenges involved in holding elections during the pandemic, the decision to postpone an election should never be taken lightly. An emergency situation such as a pandemic serves as a test of the quality of the social contract between citizens and their government. It is exactly in such a context that democratic accountability becomes even more important.

Council of Europe: guidance and best practice on holding elections during the pandemic

USA CDC: Considerations for Election Polling Locations and Voters

Lessons from elections in Liberia in 2014 during the Ebola crisis

Elections in a pandemic: Lessons from Asia

An election fraud

Response by Peter Prove, director, WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs

Do you know about more good practices to share? Please feel free to let us know at covid19support@wcc-coe.org

28. What are some of the impacts of COVD-19 on the delivery of education to children?

The enforced closing of educational institutions in most countries because of the pandemic has had a ripple effect in most sectors. Subsequently, for many the call for return to the normal ordering of school life is welcome. However, the transition from the brick and mortar classroom to students learning from home has impacted our lives in so many ways. The presence of COVID-19 has undoubtedly brought about many challenges but it has also brought some opportunities for change and growth. Here in the US Virgin Islands, schools were ordered closed in March for three weeks.  But months later, as schools remained closed, fear started to set in as parents and educators became increasingly concerned about: finding childcare, securing their jobs, learning loss, protecting their families from the virus, and the future of the world.  Now, more than ever, it is so important to find silver linings.  Our schools have jumped ahead 50 years with the new technology, educational platforms and trainings that were offered to our teachers and members of the faculty and staff. As people of faith, we affirm that “this too shall pass!”

Belarus Church responds to schools needs

Tragic consequences of school closures in Kenya

Virgin Islands – Guide to Reopen Public Schools

Response by Stefan Jürgen, PhD, superintendent of Schools, St Thomas/St John School District

Do you know about more good practices to share? Please feel free to let us know at covid19support@wcc-coe.org

29. What lessons, insights and wisdom do Indigenous communities teach us about dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic?

Indigenous communities occupy 20-25% of the Earth’s land surface, and 80% of that land mass holds the world’s remaining biodiversity. Indigenous peoples and communities embody the wisdom of many centuries. They have been and still are caretakers of the land and ecosystems, understanding the delicate relational interconnectedness between the Creator, Creation and people. The COVID-19 crisis has revealed what indigenous people have been telling the world for so many centuries. They have forewarned that the failure to protect our ecosystems and nature’s biodiversity will lead to a major crisis. The pandemic is an example of how the excessive and misuse of the earth’s resources affect the well-being and health of all creation, people included. Indigenous communities have a deep affiliation and connection to the earth, understanding the importance of living sustainably with creation and with each other. Indigenous communities have knowledge of traditional healing and medicines to treat sickness and disease, which some communities have been using to treat COVID-19 as many indigenous communities still do not have access to healthcare. Indigenous people give our faith communities the gift and wisdom of their indigenous spiritualities that value the interconnectedness of life between Creator, Creation and interdependent relationships. Indigenous people have a critical role in shaping the way forward toward a hopeful post-COVID, post-growth and post-fossil fuel future. Indigenous voices, perspectives, and wisdom are crucial for influencing change and reimagining a new and sustainable future for the whole of creation.

What indigenous people have been saying thousands years
First Peoples connections too strong to sever

WCC honors worlds indigenous communities

Indigenous peoples voices from the ground at the HLPF2020

Responses by Rev. Dr Seforosa Carroll, WCC programme executive, Mission from the Margins/Indigenous Peoples

Do you know about more good practices to share? Please feel free to let us know at covid19support@wcc-coe.org

30. How are faith communities responding to global manifestations of racism?

Racism has been an ongoing topic and concern in churches and the ecumenical fellowship since the establishment of the WCC in 1948. During the South African struggle, churches addressed the issue of apartheid. Although the churches were divided on the theological nature of apartheid, for the ecumenical movement they took a stand and denounced racism as a sin. As we read the signs of our times, racism and actions to overcoming it in the church and society have come to dominate the news.  Racism and xenophobia are experienced, for example, by Dalits, indigenous people, Blacks and people of African descent all over the world. One of the most recent reactions to the global manifestation of racism is the Black Lives Matters movement. We must be vigilant to the changing faces of racism. Christians and people all over the world are still facing this challenge. And even, if it is not a popular topic, especially if it is amongst our own Christian constituencies, we must deal with it. For the ecumenical movement and all its member churches it should be self-evident that “every form of racism, also in their own life is contrary to the Word and will of God.” (Common Understanding and Vision, (CUV-Document).

Webinar on Racism, Xenophobia and discrimination in the Asian context

Regional webinar – Latin America and Caribbean

Webinar on Racism, Xenophobia and discrimination in the Pacific context

Webinar on Racism, Xenophobia and discrimination in the Middle East

Webinar on Racism, Xenophobia and discrimination in Africa

Grappling with how racism coexists with faith:

Response by Benjamin Simon, WCC programme executive for Church Relations
WCC COVID-19 Support Team

Do you know about more good practices to share? Please feel free to let us know at covid19support@wcc-coe.org

31. Are the measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic contrary to human rights?

Many governments have taken extraordinary measures to control and reduce the pandemic, many of which impinge heavily on people’s daily lives and livelihoods. These restrictions have in some cases provoked strong opposition and complaints about what some see as human rights violations.

Except in the case of certain core – or ‘non-derogable’ – human rights (such as the right to life, the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and the prohibition of slavery – and probably also key subsistence rights inherently related to the non-derogable right to life, such as food, housing, and clean water), international human rights law generally allows for governments to derogate from human rights obligations during public emergencies, so long as the measures taken are necessary, proportionate, for the purpose of promoting the general welfare in a democratic society, time-bound, and applied in a non-discriminatory way.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, such emergency powers must be used for legitimate public health goals, NOT for the purpose of quashing dissent or silencing the work of human rights defenders or journalists.

It is important to note that restrictive public health measures, including quarantines, have increased exposure to gender-based violence, particularly intimate-partner violence and domestic violence. Therefore, support services and safe shelters for victims of gender-based violence need to be maintained in order to mitigate against such consequences.

For more guidance on human rights and the COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19: A Human Rights Checklist, by Human Rights Watch

Protecting Children’s rights
Protection and Promotion of Human Rights in the Philippines

Response by Peter Prove, director, WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs

Do you know about more good practices to share? Please feel free to let us know at covid19support@wcc-coe.org

32. How can the church advocate for climate justice during COVID-19 pandemic period?

It is perceived that more people are now available on their gadgets during the COVID-19 pandemic period than at any other time. In a bid to self-distance, working, studies, shopping and even worship happen online.

If the church needs to be active online, this has been the perfect time. Hence, advocacy on climate justice by the church can reach more people now.

In Kenya, the Green Anglicans Movement has been carrying out campaigns on social media and directly involving congregants through personalized media packs to encourage both young and old to take a stand and take action. Most recent campaigns are “Season of Creation online” challenges and the “I am A Green Anglicans champion” campaign.

We have seen a huge turnout to online events with great feedback from people inquiring of how best to take action and get involved. This has challenged communication's teams to create simple and precise content to pass as much information as possible in the simplest language possible.

As we gradually set into the new normal, we are holding the momentum by urging dioceses and church leadership generally to mobilize congregants to carry out simple exercises to care for creation such as sustainable tree growing and community cleanups among others whilst observing Ministry of Health regulations.

Prophetic voices of young people
Webinar series: Churches on the Road to an economy of life and ecological justice

Biodiversity an urgent existential issue - Churches in Actions

Green Anglicans movement

Response by Irene Sebastian Waweru, volunteer, Green Anglicans Movement Kenya. Do you know about more good practices to share? Please feel free to let us know at covid19support@wcc-coe.org

33. When shall we have a vaccine against COVID-19? Will it be safe? Will it be available to everyone?

The World Health Organization indicates that there are over 200 vaccines in development, some of which are already in advanced stages, with the hope that one or more of them will succeed and receive the approval from medical regulators soon. Once a vaccine is available, they say priority will be given to frontline workers and people at high risk, such as the elderly.

Once a vaccine is available, we can expect some dynamics on the ground. Not everyone who receives a vaccine will develop the immunity, especially those who already have suppressed immune systems. As Christians, we need to continue praying for a speedy discovery of a safe and effective vaccine, and that vaccine availability shall be guided by values of equity and the Sustainable Development Goals ethos of leaving no one behind.

For a biblical reflection on immunisations, see pages 20-23 of Health-Promoting Churches

More information on progress on covid vaccines

When can we expect a vaccine for COVID19? (WHO response)
Response by Dr Mwai Makoka, WCC programme executive for Health and Healing
WCC COVID-19 Support Team

Do you know about more good practices to share? Please feel free to let us know at covid19support@wcc-coe.org