Christian play role at International AIDS Conference

By July 16, 2004

Thailand (MNN) — Two year ago in Barcelona faith based organizations were widely ignored at the International AIDS Conference. This year was quite different as more than 100 faith based organizations not only were acknowledged, but significantly contributed to this year’s conference.

World Vision was one such organization. Lynn Arnold is with World Vision. “This time, not only did we have a pre-conference of faith based organizations last week, at this particular conference itself, in the exhibition area, there has been lot of presence from different churches, and we’ve been able to be fully part of the conference.”

Arnold says secular organizations have come a long ways in being acceptant of the work of Christian groups. “They can see the value of a faith based organization when the actually witnessed a World Vision staff being with a person dying of AIDS. They said at that moment it was only an organization like World Vision that could provide the support that a person needed,” he says.

The problem is the International Christian community isn’t doing enough. Arnold points to one church that failed when they a husband and family needed it. “When it became know that a husband had AIDS, the church virtually rejected them.”

Arnold says that can’t happen. He says we need to use the book of James as a guide, to take care of orphans and widows. “If Christians aren’t prepared to be there for them, as orphans in their distress — Or, what are we to do in the case of widows whose husbands have died of AIDS. Are we to shelter behind the judgmental attitude, or are we to follow what we’re called to do?”

If the church fails here, many will die in the sin. Consider getting involved in help the international HIV/AIDS problem. Many victims are looking for spiritual hope in their time of certain mortality.

To help in World Vision’s program, go to their web site

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