Faith healing not enought to fight HIV/AIDS archbishop warns: The Church of England Newspaper, November 4, 2012 p 6. November 7, 2012Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Kenya, Church of England Newspaper, Health/HIV-AIDS.
Tags: Benjamin Nzimbi, Gideon Byamugisha
The former Archbishop of Kenya has urged church leaders not to scorn anti-retroviral medications and rely upon prayer alone to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi, a spokesman for the Kenya Network Religious Living with or Personally Affected by HIV, told a Nairobi news conference last week that Christians need to seek medical treatment in addition to relying upon prayer.
“We want religious leaders not to mislead their congregation, but instead preach to them the right information about the scourge. We must fight it to the end through proper information. Miracles alone cannot reduce their viral load, but proper ARV use will lengthen their lives,” the archbishop said..
Members of the ecumenical HIV/AIDS ministry also criticized societal attitudes that stigmatized those with the disease, as well as unscrupulous healers who prayed on the credulity of believers by claims of faith healings or through herbal medicines.
Canon Gideon Byamugisha a Ugandan Anglican priest, who in 2002 became the first religious leader in Africa to publicly declare his HIV status, said the government health campaign should target those already infected to avoid new infections. “If those already with HIV/Aids are targeted by providing them with needed treatment, care and nutrition and encouraging them to lead safer lifestyles where they don’t infect others then this war against this scourge will be won,” he said.
First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.