When many different types of secular
and faith actors work closely together, there is a risk of
misunderstandings. It is imperative that the collaborating partners are able to
understand each other. It helps when FBOs are able to speak faith language as well as human rights language, particularly because they are often intermediaries between faith actors and secular actors. This is not to speak with two tongues, but to take seriously that FBOs are working with representatives of faith communities, while at the same time working in the midst of our social-political realities, and also relating to secular bodies and concepts.
For organisations like the World Council of Churches and ACT Alliance, it is important to keep faith language and rights language together. Reshaping norms and values about gender, or strengthening resilience through psychosocial support, for example, not only happen through the work of development agencies, but also at another level, through the language of faith, (e.g. via sermons, theological education, etc.). Often local faith actors lack the ability for this bilingualism and are thus not taken into consideration by secular organisations even though they might be an ideal partner.