Engaging Faith Leaders
The role of faith in FP is critical in achieving successful outcomes related to maternal and child health. Faith communities, organizations, and leaders can be important facilitators to educate communities, create demand for FP services, act as agents of change, and create synergies with organizations and institutions that provide the elements needed to carry out robust programs.
Religious leaders are often important gatekeepers in disseminating reproductive health messages and influencing positive behavior change within communities. Research has shown that not only is FP accepted by many religious leaders and faith communities around the world, they are already engaged in FP activities within their communities. Religious leaders have the potential to actively influence shifts in gender norms and attitudes about FP and optimal child-spacing. An important entry-point into these discussions can be HTSP and fertility awareness-based FP methods because they are directly linked to fertility concepts, which are strong cultural forces in many societies.
FP Resources on Engaging Faith Leaders:
- Working with Faith Based Organizations on Family Planning and Reproductive Health (CCIH). The Christian Connections for International Health website has a list of resources.
- Advancing Reproductive Health and Family Planning through Religious Leaders and Faith-Based Organizations (Pathfinder, 2006).
- Project Best Practices: Mobilizing Religious Leaders (ESD)
 Huber D., Yang E., Brown J., and Brown R. 2009. International Family Planning: Christian Actions and Attitudes. Christian Connections for International Health.
Faith-Based Organizations as Partners in Family Planning: Working Together to Improve Family Well-being. Institute for Reproductive Health, Georgetown University. 2011.