The Zambian government is opposing preachers in the country who are telling their flock to stop their HIV-AIDS treatments. Many important church organizations have also joined in this condemnation.They are making a plea to the people to continue their treatments… and pray if they also want.
The Zambian government and main church organizations are trying to put a stop to preachers who are luring their parishioners into stopping their HIV-AIDS treatments in favor of “faith healings”.
The political and spiritual leaders have condemned these clergymen, claiming they are endangering the lives of many people who are HIV positive.
Some of the authorities who have come forward criticizing these preachers are Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) secretary-general Cleopas Lungu, Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya and Bible Gospel Church in Africa (BIGOCA) Overseer Bishop Peter Ndlovu, among otheres.
They are trying to send the message out that it is OK to pray, and at the same time people can still take their Anti-Retro-Viral drugs (ARVs).
“Anti-Retro-Viral drugs (ARVs) prolong life and clerics who are encouraging people living with HIV or AIDS to stop treatment are endangering lives,” Dr Chilufya said to the press, adding that he is on the other hand encouraging these same preachers and pastors to do quite the contrary: convince people of the importance of continuing their HIV-AIDS treatments, for their own well-being and that of the ones around them. “We must use the platform [that of the preachers] to reach out to everybody that ARVs are the hope of today and children who are positive must take ARVs,” he emphasized.
There are currently 1.2 million people in Zambia with HIV, of which 850,000 take ARVs.