In March, when Pope Benedict XVI, on a flight to Cameroon, declared that the use of condoms is not the answer to the AIDS epidemic in Africa—that, on the contrary, it “increases the problem”—I thought immediately of Francis Ntowe. I met Ntowe years ago when he came to the U.S. from Cameroon. He became an elder in the Presbyterian Church.
During a weeklong visit to Africa in March, Pope Benedict XVI told journalists accompanying him on the papal plane to Cameroon that making condoms widely available “increased the problem” of AIDS. The remark, similar to the Vatican’s longstanding emphasis on sexual abstinence, revived controversy over how best to stem the global AIDS epidemic that has devastated sub-Saharan Africa.
The supervisor of New York congregations for the United Church of Christ has been nominated to become the denomination’s next general minister and president. Geoffrey Black is expected to be presented to the UCC General Synod this summer as successor to John H. Thomas, who has served since 1999 and is not eligible for reelection.
Bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America have joined African religious leaders in publicly undergoing testing to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS and to end a legacy of church stigma and silence on the subject. “We in the U.S.
The American Jewish population is 20 percent higher than previously reported, according to a new study released by the Brandeis University Steinhardt Social Research Institute. The institute estimated that there are 6 million to 6.4 million Jews living in the United States, along with another million people with Jewish ancestry.
The choice between preventing AIDS by teaching abstinence or by distributing condoms is a false choice, Democratic senator Barack Obama of Illinois said to a mostly evangelical conference held at the southern California megachurch founded by pastor-author Rick Warren.
Ten years ago, the World Council of Churches said the AIDS pandemic “exposes the complicity and complacency of churches, challenging them to be better involved, more active, and more faithful.” As World AIDS Day arrived December 1, religious leaders were cautiously optimistic that the moral and political will to fight the pandemic is finally being mobilized.
More than 300 religious leaders have signed up to form a new network of Muslim and Christian groups from 20 Arab countries, responding as a “united force” to the mounting prevalence of HIV/AIDS in their region.
The First Network of Arab Religious Leaders Responding to AIDS was launched in Cairo on November 9 under the acronym CHAHAMA.