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Faith Untapped - Anglican Health Network

Faith Untapped - Anglican Health Network

ForewordBy Lord Carey of

ForewordBy Lord Carey of CliftonTearfund Vice President & former Archbishop of CanterburyWhen I see the devastation that HIV and AIDS are wreaking across Africa, Ican understand why people talk of losing hope. My wife and I have seenevidence of this terrible scourge in South Africa, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda andelsewhere. Families, communities, whole nations are in the grip of anappalling pandemic which is gnawing away at the very fabric of society.But there is hope, even in remote communities decimated by disease andlargely overlooked by the rest of humanity. I have seen it first-hand. And muchof this hope lies in the hands of African churches which, for years, have beenon the front line of care for millions of people living with HIV and AIDS. Forthese people of faith, hope is not abstract: it’s something practical andpowerful. It is seen when someone holds a child’s hand as his mother slowlyslips away; and it is seen when a church leader risks his reputation by havingan HIV test and sets the example for others to do the same.The churches and their vast networks of volunteers are one of the few groupswhich are wrestling with the pandemic at close quarters every single day. Andyet they receive little recognition and scant funding from outside sources; insome cases churches’ capacity is being stretched to breaking point.And yet churches are also part of the problem. Many people of faith need tothink long and hard about the part they have played in feeding the stigma anddiscrimination surrounding HIV and AIDS. Churches represent vast untappedpotential to change behaviour and attitudes. If we put our own house in orderand if we are properly resourced and trained, churches and other faith groupscould become one of single most effective strategies for tackling thepandemic.We are at a critical juncture: we have international targets for halting therelentless march of HIV and AIDS, and a consensus among donors andgovernments that this is a real possibility. The funding and political will arefalling into place. The challenge now is to ensure that international actiontranslates into results in the worst-hit areas – and in this, I believe, churcheshave a crucial role to play.Lord Carey of Clifton1

ContentsPageExecutive summary 3Recommendations 6Section 1: the HIV and AIDS crisis 7Section 2: the untold story of the churches 11Section 3: case studies of the church in action 18Section 4: why funding is missing its target 21Section 5: why donors ignore churches 25Section 6: churches’ untapped potential 27Section 7: challenges for churches 31Postscript 342

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