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[AACC] Africa Churches Urged to Make HIV/AIDS Education a
Worldwide Faith News <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Thu, 30 Sep 2004 14:02:01 -0700
IGNORE THE CHURCH TO YOUR DETRIMENT NATIONAL LEADERS CAUTIONED
By Akinyi Ogot
NAIROBI (AACC) September 30 - African leaders have been cautioned against
ignoring messages from church leaders to their own detriment. This was a
message given by the General Secretary of the All Africa Conference of
Churches (AACC) today September 30, 2004 at the Methodist Guest House at a
meeting of African Church Leaders on HIV/AIDS organized by the Presbyterian
Church in the United States of America (PCUSA).
Dr. Dandala speaking at the morning devotion reminded participants of the
message from Mozambican President Dr. Joachim Chissano about the mistakes
they made in not listening to the Churches. He told participants that only
unwise leaders turned deaf ears to the church and their leaders. He said
that when a church leader speaks, he/she speaks on behalf of a large
constituency . The church is known to have a very big constituency.
Dr. Dandala had at an earlier press conference speaking about the issue of
miracle births of Rev. Deya s ministry, talked of the importance of
differentiating between the true and untrue church.
He said HIV/AIDS is a pandemic that has the capacity to clear the continent
. He urged churches to have HIV/AIDS education as a priority. He told
members that during the AACC Heads of Churches Summit whose theme was The
Church is HIV Positive , they had observed that there was no laid down
strategy towards fighting HIV/AIDS. He urged churches with mission
hospitals to pull their energies together in order to strengthen the
Whereas Christian councils are closing Youth Desks or merging the same with
other programmes, there was an urgent need to give priority to issues
affecting the youth who are the immediate hope for an HIV/AIDS free
generation if well mentored , Dr. Dandala further stated.
Dr. Dandala singled out poverty as a contributing factor in the spread of
HIV/AIDS. Speaking on the issue of poverty in Africa, he said the church
has the power of reversing poverty. He urged church leaders to think
seriously about restoring the place of agricultural advisors in their
missions, for the sake of food production as a step towards eradicating
poverty. He said that their message would be a simple one: God wants you
to produce enough food and our duty will be to show you how to do it .
Dr. Dandala, a son of a South African Methodist priest, narrated a story of
a lady many years back who could not pay her tithe because she had not
received money from her husband who was working far away in the mines. The
priest was concerned about her family who may also be starving awaiting
money from the mines. The Church gave her money to enable her do some
farming that would complement what her husband was giving. From the
produce, the lady was able to pay her tithe and feed her family. This, Dr.
Dandala said, is what the church should be doing today.
He was, however, quick to remind participants that part of poverty in
Africa was due to mis-allocation of funds by governments who prefer to buy
weapons while ignoring the needs of the community.
Dr. Dandala talked of the importance in training church leaders to know how
to read budgets that would enable the churches to collectively study
government budgets, make inputs in shaping the same and lobby for inclusion
of poverty eradication programmes. He informed the meeting that the
Millennium Development Goals Plan could provide assistance in this area.
The meeting brought together over 40 Presbyterian Church leaders from over
10 African countries to discuss issues of HIV/AIDS and poverty. The meeting
which started on September 25 ends on October 1, 2004.
For further information, please get in touch with
Akinyi Lucy Ogot
AACC Communications and Advocacy Team
P. O. Box 14205,
Fax (020) 444 32 41
Tel: (020) 444 1483/444 1338/444 1339
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