Magazine article Anglican Journal

Conference Urges Religious Leaders to Step Up War on AIDS

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Conference Urges Religious Leaders to Step Up War on AIDS

Article excerpt

ECUMENICAL NEWS INTERNATIONAL

Colombo

An international interfaith conference on HW/AIDS has called on religious leaders to use their places of worship, and educational and health facilities to help in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

"We acknowledge that we have not done enough in this area, and have at times contributed to their (those living with HIV/AIDS) sense of exclusion and stigmatization," participants said in a statement at the recent International Interfaith Conference in Colombo.

More than 200 Buddhist, Christian, Hindu and Muslim delegates from across Asia attended the conferenae, whose theme was, "Response of Faith Communities to HIV and AIDS--Have We Kept the Promise?"

The event was jointly organized by the Asian Interfaith Network on AIDS, the Christian Conference of Asia, and the Geneva-based Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance, which is linked to the World Council of Churches (WCC).

The interfaith gathering declared that the Asian Interfaith Network on AIDS, along with HIV/AIDS groups in faith communities, would develop "tools to train the leadership." The organizers explained this would enable faith organizations to "be effective public voices for raising awareness and reducing the stigma and discrimination so often associated with HIV and AIDS. …

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