Thirty communicators from Council for World Mission (CWM) member churches in Africa, East Asia, Europe, the Pacific, and South Asia have released a statement “Together in Life-flourishing Communication,” on 20 January after completing a workshop reflecting on the CWM Assembly theme “Rise to Life: Together in Transformation.” The CWM Assembly will be held in Durban, South Africa, from 12-19 June 2024.
The statement summarizes the current communications context as it relates to the assembly theme, offers an overview of the theological foundation of communications, acknowledges some concerns and challenges, and concludes with a call to action.
“A world facing conflict, climate change, and increasing social and economic inequalities, as well as uneven access to digital technologies, calls us to rise together to foster communication that is both life-affirming and transformative,” the statement reads. “Implementing new and traditional communication, CWM communicators are honing their messages and telling the stories that illustrate the assembly theme in everyday life amid the many spaces in which we live and move.”
The statement notes that fair and balanced communication for all requires accessible and affordable technologies and the skills to use them. “It also demands gender justice, digital justice, and a diversity of voices – especially those from the margins of society,” reads the statement. “A holistic, inclusive approach to communication is needed—one that advocates fullness of life, dignity, and respect for all.”
The statement expresses concern that people are increasingly vulnerable to the manipulative effects of fake news and disinformation.
“Communication is a basic human right that should not be bought and sold or used to mislead and coerce,” reads the statement. “We respectfully submit this call to action with the hope that CWM will contextualize and implement these recommendations locally, regionally, and globally,” concludes the statement.
Download Statement: Communications Statement 2024