CCA facilitates revitalisation of Asian Interfaith Network on AIDS

Programme Review and Programme Direction

Two key deliberative sessions during the 15th CCA General Assembly are the Programme Review and Programme Direction sessions.

The Programme Review and Programme Direction sessions will both be conducted in three groups relating to the CCA’s programme areas, namely, (i) General Secretariat (GS), (ii) Mission in Unity and Contextual Theology (MU) and Ecumenical Leadership Formation and Spirituality (EF); and (iii) Building Peace and Moving Beyond Conflicts (BP) and Prophetic Diakonia (PD).

Assembly participants will have the option to join one of three groups for both the Programme Review and Programme Direction sessions. For the sake of coherence, the assigned group will remain the same for both sessions.

General Secretariat

The General Secretariat oversees the coordination of programmatic, administrative, and financial activities of the organization. The GS comprises various departments such as church and ecumenical relations, relations with ecumenical partners, finance, administration, and communications, which provide crucial support and services for the implementation of programs and contribute to the overall functioning of the CCA.

Programmes: Relations with member churches and councils, ecumenical partners; advocacy at the United Nations; ecumenical responses to emerging issues in solidarity; income development and finance; and communications.

Mission in Unity and Contextual Theology (MU) and Ecumenical Leadership Formation and Spirituality (EF)

Under the MU programme area, the CCA accompanies Asian churches to strengthen their mission and witness in multi-religious contexts, revitalise and nurture church unity and the Asian ecumenical movement, and develop contextual theological foundations.

Programmes: Asian Movement for Christian Unity (AMCU); Congress of Asian Theologians (CATS); Asian women doing theology in the context of wider ecumenism; contextualisation of theology in Asia and ecumenical theological education.

The EF programme area focuses on nurturing and developing ecumenical leaders in Asia. The programme aims to enhance spiritual formation and theological understanding, enabling people to actively engage in ecumenical dialogue and collaboration.

Programmes: Ecumenical Enablers’ Training in Asia (EETA); Asian Ecumenical Institute (AEI); Youth and Women Leadership Development; Ecumenical Spirituality and Nurturing of Contextual Liturgical Traditions; Asia Sunday

Building Peace and Moving Beyond Conflicts (BP) and Prophetic Diakonia and Advocacy (PD)

The BP programme area is dedicated to promoting peace, justice, and reconciliation in Asia’s diverse contexts. Through training, advocacy, and dialogue, the programme addresses the root causes of conflicts, empowers communities, and fosters sustainable peacebuilding initiatives.

Programmes: Pastoral Solidarity Visits; Churches in Action for Moving Beyond Conflict and Resolution; Young Ambassadors of Peace in Asia (YAPA); Ecumenical Women’s Action Against Violence (EWAAV); Eco-Justice for Sustainable Peace in the Oikos.

The PD programme area focuses on promoting justice, human rights, and social transformation in Asia. Through advocacy, capacity-building, and raising awareness, the programme addresses systemic injustice, empowers marginalised communities, and advocates for prophetic actions and meaningful change.

Programmes: Human Rights advocacy; Migration, Statelessness, and Trafficking in Persons; Asian Ecumenical Disability Advocacy Network; Asian Advocacy Network on the Dignity and Rights of Children (AANDRoC); Ecumenical Solidarity Accompaniment and Diakonia in Asia (ESADA); Health and Healing; Good Governance; Action Together to Combat HIV and AIDS in Asia (ATCHAA).

No preference updated.

    CCA General Secretary Dr Mathews George Chunakara speaks at the closing session AINA Conference held in Bangkok.
    From left to right new Steering Committee members: Dr Ronld Lalthanmawia, Swami Atmmananda, Sr Mercedes Ruz Placino, Bishop Feliciana P Tenchavez, Frank Sethi, Ven. Lam Ngodup, Dr Citra Fitri Agustina, Aan Sasono Rianto

    Bangkok, Thailand: The Christian Conference of Asia’s (CCA) initiative and facilitation to revive the activities of the Asian Interfaith Network on AIDS (AINA) in more vigorous ways led to the formation of a new steering committee to evolve strategies for wider advocacy measures through faith-based organisations in Asia. 

    The three-day regional conference that concluded on 25 January 2023 appointed new members to the steering committee, consisting of Ven. Lam Ngodup (Buddhist), Bishop Feliciana Tenchavez (Christian), Sr. Mercedes Ruz Placino (Christian/Roman Catholic), Swami Atmananda (Hindu), Dr Citra Fitri (Muslim), Frank Sethi (Sikh), Aan Sasono Rianto (Christian/PLHIV), and Dr Ronald Lalthanmawia (CCA ATCHAA Programme Coordinator). 

    While expressing appreciation and thanks to the Asian religious leaders for their sustained interest and commitment to combating HIV and AIDS in Asia, the CCA General Secretary, Dr Mathews George Chunakara, assured CCA’s support to the new leadership of AINA and reiterated the Asian churches’ commitment to accompany the network in its efforts to fight against HIV and AIDS in the region.

    The CCA General Secretary added that the motivating factor for all religions and faith-based groups in Asia to come together on a common platform such as the AINA was our concern for all of humanity, irrespective of religious or ethnic identities.

    Dr Mathews George Chunakara further recalled the contributions of the outgoing leadership team of the AINA and emphasised the need for revitalising and strengthening the national networks part of the AINA in the coming months.

    A revised Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was adopted at the closing session of the Conference. As per the MoU and the affirmation by the representative group consisting of religious leaders from different Asian countries, CCA was mandated to continue the coordination of the AINA from CCA headquarters in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The Programme Coordinator of the CCA’s HIV and AIDS Programme (ATCHAA) would oversee the coordination of the AINA with the assistance of other CCA staff in the ATCHAA team.

    In a statement, the participants expressed their commitment to understanding and upholding the role of faith- and religion-based organisations in Asia by working with people infected and affected by HIV, as well as advocating, educating, and mediating for HIV prevention, testing, treatment, and care.

    It was also stated that faith leaders and communities should be willing to identify common themes and reinterpret interfaith teachings in new ways that could address challenges related to stigma and discrimination against people infected and affected with HIV.

    Concerning the call to adapt to changing times and to actualise responses to the AIDS pandemic, participants pledged to use their time, talent, technology, and tenacity to collaborate and embrace individual and organisational strengths, as well as to use media resources, including social media networks, for sharing information and for mobilising actions.

    Dr Ronald Lalthanmawia, Coordinator of CCA’s ATCHAA programme, outlined the ATCHAA activities of the CCA and welcomed the involvement and activities of AINA networks at national levels. He urged those in leadership at the national level to engage in advocacy together with CCA member churches and national ecumenical councils.

    The Asian Interfaith Conference on ‘Towards Strengthening Interfaith Action Networks for Combating HIV and AIDS in Asia’, held from 23–25 January 2023 in Bangkok, Thailand, concluded with an interfaith closing prayer service. Sixty participants including faith leaders from major religions, namely, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Sikhism, as well as representatives from UNAIDS and faith-based organisations working in the field of HIV and AIDS from across Asia, attended the Conference. 

    More photos can be found here.