International Symposium 2014
'Christians Responses to Health and Healing'
50 years ago DIFAEM organized a conference ("Tübingen I") that had a great impact both on the theological understanding and the practice of Christian health services. The conference document "The Healing Church", highlighted the pivotal role of the Church in the area of health and healing and was the starting point of ecumenical discussions on health, healing and wholeness.
In June 2014, experts from Africa, Europe, Asia and the USA came together in Tübingen to look again at the meaning and added value of Christian health services. We are grateful that more than 60 participants brought their rich experiences from their country and area of ministry to this year's symposium "Christians Responses to Health and Healing". Excellent contributions and rich discussions gave us new insights into the healing ministry today and provided new perspectives on the present and future practice of Christian Health Services. Primary Health Care, the fight against HIV and AIDS, Millennium Development Goals, mobilization of global resources for health, challenges such as climate change, demographic transitions, poverty and injustice are some of the old and new issues we are dealing with today. Our values and basis are still the same: A biblical concept of health and healing.
We would like to thank all those who worked tirelessly to make this symposium possible, the programme committee and all those in the organization of the event, our speakers at the conference and contributors to the policy paper. And we are grateful to Bread for the World and the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Württemberg for their support of this Symposium.
Results of the Symposium
Declaration to health and healing
During the symposium the participants discussed a paper on the foundation and present and future practice of Christian health services. As a result of the discussions they came up with a declaration. The declaration summarizes the foundation of Christian health services and the Christian commitment to implement the healing ministry. It calls on churches, governments and development organizations to take up their responsibility to create a world in which all have access to health care, especially those who are poor and marginalized.