The Place of the Church in Dialogue, Reconciliation and Unity is Paramount
The Association of Evangelicals in Africa (AEA) Governing Council representing approximately 40 National Evangelical Fellowships included delegates from over 26 countries in Africa and beyond met in Karen, Nairobi,Kenya from 28-30 November 2017. The theme was captured by the call for the Church to play its divine role, as the place of the African Church in Dialogue, Reconciliation and Unity in the 21st century is Paramount.
This is motivated by God’s call to His people in II Chronicles 7:14 which says, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (NIV).
Without a doubt, this has been a period of political upheaval in Africa and as the evangelical church and its leaders, we at AEA have been profoundly affected by the events on our continent. We have deep concerns about the African countries that continue to experience instability or conflict like South Sudan, Central African Republic, Mali, and the DRC and the implications of the divisive Kenyan elections, and the emergence of a new leadership in Zimbabwe. We are well aware that the current challenges across the continent including natural disasters, slavery, disunity, the marginalisation of peoples, ethnicities and sections of the national societies are not unique to any African Country. We therefore, call upon the African Union to fully pursue AGENDA 2063 in ensuring a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development.
With the general crisis of governance around Africa, we call upon the Church in Africa to be united as it seeks to engage the political leadership.As Christians, we are indeed called upon to bear witness to our faith in Christ and of the authority of the word of God and therefore we must condemn any action that would breed conflict and lawlessness. We have to move from rhetoric to action, from triviality to providing solutions that would forge nationhood. As the church in Africa we need to address modern slave trade among other pressing injustices.
Gods’ responsibility to heal Africa is founded on our responsibility as his people, to demonstrate humility, dedication to his word and modelling God’s righteousness in all spheres of life.
In reflecting upon these and other challenges,the Governing Council of the AEA resolved the following,that;
- As Evangelicals, we purpose to look at our own ecclesiastical structures and systems that can ensure sustainability for the Church that Africa needs to produce the Africa that God wants. From these structures we can have moral integrity to engage the political and other societal problems. Governance is about people and how to move with them, empower them, and maximize their resources.
- Kenya is at the centre of this continent. It is not a coincidence that the Headquarters of the Association of Evangelical in Africa is in Nairobi. This is a key office for the Evangelical Church in Africa. Africans have heavily invested in AEA’s new Africa Evangelical Centre on Valley Road, Nairobi, which exists to serve the entire evangelical Church in Africa. The Support of the African church will be important in ensuring that this building is completed and completed for the transformation of Africa. The church throughout Africa needs to be involved in the emerging contextual issues at local and regional level and be vehicles of mediation in the significant differences which often divide us.
- The evangelical community in Africa acknowledges that the President of Kenya has been sworn into office and prays and urges meaningful engagement and reconciliation with opposition parties to heal the division. In Zimbabwe, the new leadership promises great hope for the nation. We will work with the Evangelical Fellowship in Zimbabwe to ensure that the new President moves towards a Government of National unity that would work for the people of Zimbabwe.
We call upon the Africa Union (AU) to partner with and engage the religious community to provide interventions and use the social and moral capital that is present within the evangelical church, which represents 180 million evangelical Christians in Africa. The African church has established reliable and strong structures that are positioned to provide solutions to deal with the challenges that Africa faces. AEA provides a unique platform to be a blessing to all through the message and distinctiveness of the gospel.
WE URGE CHRISTIANS IN AFRICA TO WORK IN WAYS THAT ENHANCE UNITY, PEACE AND RECONCILIATION IN THEIR COMMUNITIES AND NATIONS.
WE WISH YOU ALL A MERRY CHRISTMAS.
MAY GOD BLESS AEA, MAY GOD BLESS KENYA, MAY GOD BLESS AFRICA.