Regional Ecumenical Forum (REF) strategises on issues affecting the region 2023 - FELLOWSHIP OF CHRISTIAN COUNCILS AND CHURCHES IN THE GREAT LAKES AND HORN OF AFRICA (FECCLAHA)

Regional Ecumenical Forum (REF) strategises on issues affecting the region 2023


Father James Oyet Latansio, the FECCLAHA Chairperson, giving the official opening remarks during the 2023 Regional Ecumenical Forum (REF)

The representatives of National Councils of Churches and Churches in the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa under the auspices of the Fellowship of Christian Councils and Churches in the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa (FECCLAHA) gathered in the Regional Ecumenical Forum (REF) held at La Palisse Hotel, in Nyamata, Rwanda on 25-26 October 2023.

The Regional Ecumenical Forum (REF) is a key platform that draws participation from all FECCLAHA members, ecumenical partners, collaborating partners, and other stakeholders.

The aim of REF is to serve as a safe space and a strategic opportunity for the participants to share ideas and lessons, discuss challenges, re-strategize and renew their commitment and passion for their mission focusing on issues affecting the region.

Since 2011, the Regional Ecumenical Forum (REF) has been held every two years and every Regional Ecumenical Forum (REF) is guided by a theme. The 2023 Regional Ecumenical Forum (REF) was organized under the theme “Towards Peace and Security: Strengthening the role of the faith community in promoting electoral justice in the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa”.

It was expected that representatives of councils of churches and churches would get together to reflect on their role and interrogate strategies taken by faith actors and other stakeholders in promoting electoral justice in the region.

”This Forum is an opportune moment to share ideas, learn lessons, discuss challenges and then strategize on how peace and justice can be achieved more particularly during electoral processes.” said Fr. James Oyet, Chairman, FECCLAHA.

Indeed, electoral violence in Africa has largely been driven by the limited political will to implement reforms democratic principles and practices including manipulation of voters and failure to manage electoral processes in general. Yet, the faith community in Africa, possess aspects that make them strategic and critical players towards electoral justice. It is with this background that the 2023 Regional Ecumenical Forum was organized.

From the discussions, the participants noted that Africa has often experienced conflicts and violence following elections. The participants agreed that these election – related conflicts are often a result of bad leadership. They noted that with no peace, people cannot achieve development. The participants, therefore, came to the conclusion that the Church is God’s instrument called to promote electoral justice through their priestly role of earnestly praying; providing mentorship to politicians; providing civic and voter education to the citizenry; advocating for the preservation of peace before, during, and after elections; and telling truth to power.

Participants pose for a photo during the Regional Ecumenical Forum (REF) meeting held at La Palisse Hotel, in Nyamata, Rwanda on 25-26 October 2023.

In this regard, the church leaders agreed that they had such a demanding task to closely work with and support political leaders to achieve electoral justice. While church leaders are invited to support the political leaders as long as they are constitutionally elected, they were encouraged to support the leaders by being exemplary in their leadership too. They stressed that this can only be achieved if they avoid the curse of ethnicity which we find more in church than in secular settings. Corruption and succession battles were also raised as serious problems that church leaders need to fight before they can also influence and advise politicians how to achieve justice.
”Avoid corruption – our own leadership should also be credible first.” said Rev. Dr. Fidon Mwombeki, General Secretary of All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC).

The event is finished.


Oct 25 - 27 2023


8:00 am - 6:00 pm