January 22, 2010
Church urged to include human rights training in theology studies
Participants who attended advocacy training on civic education, democracy and human rights have urged the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) to include human rights as part of theology training for its pastors and evangelists.
They said church leaders are held in high esteem by the members of the community as they are considered role models and mentors; therefore, it was high time they were trained on human rights, social, political and economic issues.
ELCT had organized three seminars between July and September last year for its 20 dioceses for the church with 4.6 million members scattered through out the country. The ELCT is the second largest church in Tanzania after the Roman Catholic.
Those who attended the workshops included pastors, evangelists and coordinators of women, youth and Christian education teachers.
The seminars were organized by the ELCT Advocacy Desk as part of Training of Trainers (TOT) workshops focusing on the forthcoming general election scheduled to be held towards the end of this year.
Topics studied at the workshops included policy analysis, good governance, general and local elections, anti-corruption, interpretation of the constitution, human rights and democracy.
Participants shared experiences, challenges and came up with own action plans on how to go about disseminating civic education, as well as build awareness on democracy and human rights in the communities they serve or live.
The acting head of Advocacy Desk, Mr. Mallumbo William Mallumbo, said recently that "education is identified as a tool for beating every odd standing against democracy and human rights in the church and in the society at large."
He said with education and awareness-raising, the church leaders, will stand and perform to the best expected results since they are accepted and respected by the community.
"The paradigm shift to bring expected quality result should start from the church leaders then the entire community will change and prosper," said Mallumbo who is also the ELCT Deputy Secretary General for Planning and Development.
On the other hand some of the pastors doubted if those in senior managerial position would agree to implement civic education, democracy and human rights in their work places. However, the facilitators of the workshops assured the participants that the TOT were taking place with blessings from those in senior positions including bishops.
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