AFRICA/SOUTH AFRICA - "Our nation is in a state of serious crisis", say the leaders of Christian Churches in South Africa
Johannesburg (Agenzia Fides) - "Our nation is in a state of crisis, a crisis of dignity and discipline, a crisis of education and crisis in our communities. Together, the Christian communities can help turn this situation around and help to restore the dignity of all the people we serve", said the 16 major Christian Church Leaders of South Africa (including the Catholic) in a statement sent to Fides at the end of their annual meeting in Gauteng.
"The health and education sectors are in shambles. South Africa ranks 49 out of 53 countries in educational standards and 138 out of 139 countries in dealing AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria", denounce the 30 southafrican Christian leaders. The religious representatives also expressed their concern at the lack of discipline in schools, "teachers loyalty seems to fall more with their trade unions than the children they teach". Church Leaders asked that church communities, organizations, buildings and other structures be used to complement existing schooling to alleviate this crisis.
"The involvement of faith communities in public health issues is not an option", said the Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, who was elected President of the "National Church Leaders' Consultation" for the next three years. He called on all Churches and NGOs working in the education and health sectors to co-operate and coordinate work towards a holistic solution to these issues that threaten the dignity of every person in South Africa
"The State and the Church are both complicit in failing society and history will judge us harshly", said the Bishop Lunga Ka Siboto of the Ethiopian Episcopal Church, who added: "We can no longer sweep these issues under the carpet nor ignore their severity". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 19/10/2011)
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