Postponement of CCA programmes and major events due to COVID-19

Posted on 30 March 2020

In the context of the outbreak of the COVID-19, the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) has decided to postpone a series of scheduled programmes and meetings in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and elsewhere, as well as the CCA’s 15th General Assembly which was scheduled to take place from 3 to 10 September 2020.

Announcing the decision of the postponement of various CCA programmes and the General Assembly, the CCA General Secretary Dr Mathews George Chunakara said, “We have to take certain exceptional measures to safeguard the health and safety of participants who will have to travel from different countries in Asia to attend the CCA’s programmes and meetings in Thailand and elsewhere at this time when the virulent COVID-19 spreads across the world.”

The CCA General Secretary added that since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, he has been in consultation with other CCA Officers and members of the Executive Committee to assess the sweeping spread of the virus and its impact in different countries. The growing impact of the COVID-19, the risk of transmission, and the restrictions imposed on travel and movement of people have been considered before arriving at the decision to postpone a series of programmes and meetings including the annual meeting of the Executive Committee, as well as the 15th General Assembly of the CCA.

With regard to the new dates of the 15th General Assembly, Dr Mathews George Chunakara said that the Executive Committee of the CCA was currently looking into a few possibilities towards the end of 2020; and that it was highly probable that the General Assembly might be held in the first quarter of 2021. However, the final decision will be taken only after assessing the emerging situation.

The CCA General Secretary recognised that the postponement of several planned activities of the CCA will be a disappointment for all those who have registered to attend various programmes, as well as local hosts of these events and CCA staff who have been preparing for various programmes. He affirmed, however, that the health and safety of participants and the wellbeing of all CCA staff and organisers were considered the utmost priority in this kind of an unpredictable and most fierce situation.

Offices in the CCA headquarters in Chiang Mai remain closed and staff members have been encouraged to work from home until 15 April 2020, at which time the situation will be further reviewed.

The CCA General Secretary added that although the offices are closed, staff members are continuing their regular work from home-based offices and they are constantly in touch with member churches and councils and also monitoring the COVID-19 situations.

The programmes and meetings already scheduled as per the following list are postponed to the second half of this year :

  • Consultation on Ecumenical Women’s Action against Violence, Kathmandu, Nepal (15–17 April 2020);
  • Emerging Trends in Religious Freedom and Minorities in Asia, Jakarta, Indonesia (20–23 April 2020);
  • Consultation on Ecumenical Women’s Action against Violence, Dili, East Timor ( 24–26 April 2020);
  • National Consultation on Evangelism and Missional Witness in a Multi-religious context, Yangon, Myanmar (27–29 April 2020);
  • Regional Skill Building Training for HIV Facilitators in Asia, Chiang Mai, Thailand (27 April–1 May 2020);
  • Training on Good Governance for Churches and Related Organisations in Asia, Chiang Mai, Thailand (4–8 May 2020);
  • Young Ambassadors of Peace in Asia (YAPA) training programme, Chiang Mai, Thailand (14–30 May 2020);
  • Consultation on Human Sexuality and Reproductive Health, Chiang Mai, Thailand (25–29 May 2020);
  • Asia Regional Consultation on Artificial Intelligence and Post Humanism: Theological and Ethical Challenges (1–3 June 2020).

The meetings of the CCA Executive Committee and Finance Committee are scheduled to take place in September 2020.

New dates for all other programmes and the 15th General Assembly will be fixed later. An updated programme/event calendar will be posted on the CCA website in due course.

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