After years of ignoring or downplaying the effect of AIDS in Africa, missionary organizations and churches are joining forces in the prevention and treatment of the fast-spreading disease.
Charisma News Service, (June 27) reports that those attending the United Nations General Assembly’s special session on AIDS in New York in June found many representatives from worldwide Christian organizations and churches at the summit. Realizing that “It’s not just a disease of homosexuals,” said Jalipa, who works with World Vision in Nairobi, Kenya.
Across Africa, more than 8,000 daily die of AIDS. “It’s a disease that affects everybody — children, men and women . . . The church has the basic mandate to spread the word and the social responsibility to be compassionate.”
A special session gathered together different denominations and faith-based groups working on the issue. “It looks to me that AIDS is drawing the church — from the radical left to the conservatives — together because we have a common enemy. It’s a very positive movement,” Jalipa said. Although more than half of 1,500 multidenominational churches that partner with World Vision in Africa are “preaching AIDS from the pulpit,” Jalipa said some congregations are still judgmental and resistant to the crisis.
“A majority has really opened their eyes, arms and funding to AIDS,” he concludes.