The first African clergy to publicly reveal that he is HIV-positive was awarded the 2009 Niwano Peace Prize, which is comparable to the Nobel Peace Prize for the religious community, the award committee announced Friday.
Ugandan Anglican priest the Rev. Canon Gideon Byamugisha was named this year’s Niwano Peace Prize winner because of his efforts to break down the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS and his advocacy for religious people to become more involved in the AIDS fight.
“Canon Gideon has turned personal suffering into a religious message of hope and courage and has matched it with constructive action that has provided inspiration and help to so many who have fallen victim to the HIV/AIDS pandemic,” said one member of the prize committee, according to Ecumenical News International. more >>
WASHINGTON – President Bush was the center of attention and outpouring of accolades Monday as Dr. Rick Warren awarded him the first “International Medal of PEACE” on the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day for his unprecedented contribution to the fight against the deadly disease.
“No man in history, no world leader, has ever done more for global health than President George W. Bush,” declared Warren at the Saddleback Church Civil Forum on Global Health, held at the Newseum in the nation’s capital.
The award is given on behalf of the Global Peace Coalition - a network of churches, businesses and individuals working together to solve humanitarian issues - to individuals that exemplify outstanding contribution towards alleviating the five global giants recognized by the Coalition: pandemic diseases, extreme poverty, illiteracy, self-centered leadership and spiritual emptiness. more >>
Bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America recently agreed to all be tested for HIV/AIDS at their upcoming Conference of Bishops in a denominational effort to raise awareness about the pandemic.
The 65 synod bishops, presiding bishop and secretary that make up the advisory board of ELCA’s Conference of Bishops will be tested for the virus during their March 2009 meeting in Itasca, Ill.
ELCA’s Ministry Among People in Poverty (MAPP) Committee had first introduced the idea at the October 2008 Conference meeting. The Conference of Bishops meet twice a year. more >>
Christian leaders, who are now more engaged in the HIV/AIDS battle than ever, are calling for solidarity in the fight against the global pandemic on the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day.
AIDS is “manageable and treatable although not curable,” stated former leader of South Africa’s Anglican church Archbishop Njongo Ndungane to the Amsterdam- and Cape Town-based World AIDS Campaign, founded by UNAIDS.
Ndungane urged faith leaders to help remove the stigma that AIDS is a punishment from God and teach that it is a preventable medical condition. more >>
Dr. Rick Warren of the Global PEACE Coalition will honor President George W. Bush for his unprecedented level of contribution to the fight against HIV/AIDS as U.S. president during the Saddleback Civil Forum on Global Health Summit on Monday, World AIDS Day.
“No U.S. president or political leader has done more for global health than this Administration, which has raised the bar on America’s role and responsibility for providing critical humanitarian assistance around the world,” said Warren, founding pastor of Saddleback Church in southern California.
“Over the past eight years, the President and Mrs. Bush have traveled the globe as they and their staffs have worked tirelessly to bring awareness and solutions to pandemics such as HIV/AIDS, and we are privileged to honor their efforts on World AIDS Day,” he said. more >>
If churches are to play an effective role in the fight against HIV and AIDS, they need to first tackle their own taboos, says Christian HIV and AIDS charity ACET.
Speaking ahead of World AIDS Day on December 1, ACET Chief Executive Peter Fabian challenged churches to confront their own inhibitions surrounding the pandemic.
“In many countries church members are the leading activists in the care of those infected by HIV and the education and training programs essential to prevent the further spread of the disease,” he said. more >>