Rick Warren Believes Church 'Most Powerful Weapon' to Fight AIDS

Megachurch pastor Rick Warren said Sunday that in the fight against AIDS the "single fastest way to mobilize at the grassroots level around the world" is through local churches.

In an opinionpiece for CNN Sunday, Warren outlined reasons why he believed the church to be the "world's most powerful weapon against AIDS."

First, he pointed out that the church has the largest distribution network on the planet.

"There are more churches in the world than all the Wal-Marts, McDonald's and Starbucks combined. The church was global 200 years before anyone else thought of globalization. We could take you to thousands of villages around the world where the only institution to speak of is a church," said Warren.

Secondly, Warren wrote that the growth rate of the church is faster than the HIV/AIDS infection rate. The church gains 35,000 converts daily in China alone while there are 7,000 new people infected with HIV/AIDS every day.

Thirdly, "these church members have a non-profit motivation to serve," added Warren. "We are commanded by Jesus Christ to 'love your neighbor as yourself.'"

The famous evangelical pastor said his Southern California megachurch, Saddleback Church, has already sent 14,869 of its members to 195 nations in the world to test a Christ-centered humanitarian program called the P.E.A.C.E. Plan.

The acronym for the plan is based on the five actions Jesus modeled: Promote reconciliation; Equip servant leaders; Assist the poor; Care for the sick; and Educate the next generation.

Warren has said in previous remarks that his ultimate goal is to mobilize 1 billion Christians worldwide to participate in the P.E.A.C.E. initiative.

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