Chaplaincy: Critical and changing roles in COVID-19

Note: A conference report from this event is now available here.

Hosted by the World Health Organization in collaboration with Religions for Peace and the EPI-WIN Faith Communities of Practice this global conference looks at ‘Strengthening national responses to health emergencies: WHO, Religious Leaders, Faith-based Organizations, Faith Communities and National Governments’.

Throughout history religious leaders, faith-based organizations, and faith communities at all levels, have played a key role in health emergency preparedness and response, and in many places, in ongoing health service delivery.

The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the important role faith partners, as trusted community leaders, play in mobilizing community led action to protect, care for and advocate for marginalized or vulnerable people; sharing critical, accurate and tailored health information; and providing spiritual care, guidance, and support during times of crisis and uncertainty.

Together WHO and faith partners work with and in support of national governments to achieve joint health goals, mitigate the negative effects of health emergencies and ultimately help to bring them to an end.

This conference delves into good practice examples, which cover diverse themes, regions, and faiths, and represent a valuable resource for the current and future health emergencies.

The sessions of the conference will feature innovative responses in the areas of (i) Spiritual care during times of crisis, (ii) Country collaboration between WHO, faith partners and national governments, (iii) Trust and health histories, and (iv) Communication and advocacy for vaccine equity, access, and uptake.

The session was on Chaplaincy: Critical and changing roles in COVID-19, featuring:

  • Rehanah Sadiq, Muslim Chaplain, Women’s Hospital Birmingham UK National Health Service, UK
  • Wendy Cadge, Barbara Mandel Professor of Humanistic Social Sciences and Professor of Sociology, Brandeis University, USA
  • Austyn Snowden, Professor in Mental Health, Edinburgh Napier University, UK; Lead Researcher ERICH, Belgium
  • Father John Mosoti, Camillian Chaplain, Servants of the Sick, Kenya
  • Fabian Winiger, Postdoc and Project Lead at the Professorship for Spiritual Care, Zurich University, Switzerland