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news 2010
RESOLUTIONS OF THE INTERNATIONAL MILITARY CHIEF OF CHAPLAINS CONFERENCE, CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA: 1-6 FEBRUARY 2009

The theme of the Conference was: “The role of the Chaplain in Reconciliation and Healing in Post-Conflict Reconstruction”.

After the lectures by various keynote speakers, small groups were formed and these relevant questions were discussed.

  • Consider the tensions involved in pastoral/prophetic (reconciliation) ministry. Discuss any boundaries that should not be crossed.
  • Is it possible for Chaplains to get involved in prophetic, reconciliatory ministry while being deployed?
  • What are the vehicles/structures by which Chaplains can pursue reconciliatory ministry?
  • Provide examples of significant ministry in post-conflict situations.

After considering the feedback from the four discussion groups on the abovementioned questions, the following principles and resolutions were adopted by the conference.

A. General underlying principles

  • Chaplains must understand their role well.
  • Chaplains must comprehend the expectations of the Force Commander.
  • They must understand and manage the possible conflict between national goals and their (chaplain’s) prophetic role.
  • They must manage all faiths/religions fair-handedly.
  • They must not be used by Commanders to do intelligence gathering whilst networking with religious leaders.
  • Their ministry to own forces should not prevent them from pursuing reconciliation and healing in the local community.

B. Resolutions on Reconciliation and Healing (R&H)

  • A Chaplain is a spiritual leader at all times.
  • A Chaplain first takes care of his own people:
    o Good relationship with commanders
    o Advice on religious issues in deployed countries
    o Prophetic voice iro treatment of people and holy places
    o Training of own Forces to understand their role in R&H 
  • Supporting local clergy
    o Start a ministers’ fraternal
    o Get religious leaders to talk to one another
    o Train religious leaders on R&H processes
    o Create Interfaith opportunities
    o Establish a local/national Council of Churches
  • Supporting the local community
    o Build relationship with Religious Leaders
     choirs to churches,
     rebuilding of Church Buildings
  • •Building trust with the Community
    o Charity projects initiated by soldiers (e.g. Hospital in Burundi)
    o Adopt a child project (schools)
    o Food and clothes projects
    o Sports activities
    o Choir competitions