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NATIONAL HIV/AIDS RESEARCH AND BEST PRACTICES CONFERENCE - page 41 / 103

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A.30.Integrating HIV/AID in our sermon delivery

Background: It was noted with concern that most clergy in our society talk about HIV/AIDS and Sexuality issues in the context of sin, especially during funerals.  These are people who have significant authority and influence particulary at any community level.  The HIV/AIDS issue is not presented in their sermon during their services let alone the first week of December.

Methodology: The Clergy from various churches were brought together for an open forum.  They were given topics to write sermons, in relation to HIV/AIDS.  The topics were:  Compassion, Love, Humility and Judgement.  In their outline they were also asked to justify and apply the scriptures accordingly.

Results: The clergy from the mainline churches showed a better understanding and knowledge of HIV/AIDS  as opposed to the Charismatic and Pentecostal clergy.  The Pentecostal and Charismatic leaders have greater influence than the mainline churches yet their knowledge on HIV/AIDS is below par.  There was no justification from scriptures that HIV/AIDS is a punishment from God but rather it is consequence of wrong doing to lesser degree accidental.  There was evidence of lack of application and no wonder AIDS  facts are distorted and manipulated.

Conclusion: There is need t empower pentecostal and Charismatic leaders wiht thorough basic information on HIV/AIDS, especially in rural areas and Theological Schools.  Their influence must not be under estimated.

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