Pentecostal pastors in Africa push prayer, not drugs, for people with HIV

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At prayer healing services in some Pentecostal churches, pastors invite people infected with HIV to come forward for a public healing, after which they burn the person’s anti-retroviral medications and declare the person cured.

The “cure” is not free, and some people say they shell out their life savings to receive a miracle blessing and quit taking the drugs.

“I believe people can be healed of all kinds of sickness, including HIV, through prayers,” said Pastor Joseph Maina of Agmo Prayer Mountain, a Pentecostal church on the outskirts of Nairobi. “We usually guide them. We don’t ask for money, but we ask them to leave some seed money that they please.”

But the controversial ceremonies are raising red flags as believers’ conditions worsen, and a debate has opened over whether science or religion should take the lead in the fight against the AIDS epidemic.

The issue is not new for African societies that have grappled with similar matters, such as whether condoms can prevent transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus, which causes AIDS.

Written By: Fredrick Nzwili
continue to source article at washingtonpost.com

26 COMMENTS

  1. Religion should take the lead on NOTHING. Keep your poisonous memes to yourself. It is not enough that you waste your entire life pursuing a nonentity and it’s approval. But, now you are going to kill others and charge them for their own murder? Wow, there is no god.

    I was at a meeting yesterday and had had enough of a specific policy that has been instated in the school where I work. i stood and threw a tantrum. I ranted, I raved, i pointed, i even quoted Forrest Gump. There is no way that an entity exists that is “good” and “loves” humanity and would remain silent while this atrocity was being committed in their name. ZERO way that it would occur.

    Couple this to the zero evidence accumulated over the entire history of mankind. Bullshit is bullshit is bullshit… and murder is murder is murder… and stupid is as stupid does.

    • In reply to #1 by crookedshoes:

      Religion should take the lead on NOTHING. Keep your poisonous memes to yourself. It is not enough that you waste your entire life pursuing a nonentity and it’s approval. But, now you are going to kill others and charge them for their own murder? Wow, there is no god.

      I was at a meeting yesterda…

      Good for you, crooked. What was the subject and, more importantly, what was the outcome? Do you still have your job?

      • Our grading policy has been “augmented” so that teachers cannot give a child a grade lower than 50%. No mater what they EARN, they get a 50% as the floor. Even if they CHEAT, they get a 50%. Grades lower than 50 are seen as punitive. Now, i get it, if a child bombs a test, they then can have so low of an average that they cannot recover and give up. We offer test corrections. That means that if a student gets a 40 on a test, they can come before or after school and correct their mistakes and get 1/2 credit for their effort (it is a great program — they work and learn and get a higher grade for doing it).

        But, CHEATING needs to be punished! Yes the zero is a PUNITIVE GRADE. THEY CHEATED!!!!! So anyway, i was unable to sit quietly about it and went off. At the end I siad “sorry i had a fight at your black panthers party” in Forrest Gump’s voice. And, yes, i still have a job. My personality allows me to do this every so often, as a matter of fact, people expect it!

        In reply to #5 by justinesaracen:

        In reply to #1 by crookedshoes:

        Religion should take the lead on NOTHING. Keep your poisonous memes to yourself. It is not enough that you waste your entire life pursuing a nonentity and it’s approval. But, now you are going to kill others and charge them for their own murder? Wow, there is no…

        • In reply to #9 by crookedshoes:

          So anyway, i was unable to sit quietly about it and went off. At the end I siad “sorry i had a fight at your black panthers party” in Forrest Gump’s voice.

          Sometimes the opportunity taken is even better than the quote itself.

        • In reply to #9 by crookedshoes:

          Our grading policy has been “augmented” so that teachers cannot give a child a grade lower than 50%. No mater what they EARN, they get a 50% as the floor. Even if they CHEAT, they get a 50%. Grades lower than 50 are seen as punitive. Now, i get it, if a child bombs a test, they then can have so…

          There’s generally an easier level if the current level is too taxing. The 50% merely signifies that they’ve sat in the class! They may well have cheated! I can think of a way of subverting the whole process by taking this policy to its extreme. The whole class could be encouraged to cheat away. To come in with books and notes to help them through the test. Would that alter the school policy, I wonder?

          I’m flabbergasted, anyway.

    • In reply to #2 by Peter Grant:

      I know I shouldn’t say it, but I still feel they should be shot on sight.

      a little harsh but I’ll agree that should one become a victim of a shooting they should be offered the choice of a prayer to stop the bleeding for an appropriate fee

  2. While the west is creeping towards skepticism, religion exploits the developing world, where education is harder to come by and the gullible are more numerous. A strategy as vicious as their fundi god.

  3. The sad reality is these guys are ultimately no different than the con men who sell pep pills as a last best hope to the parents of dying children in the developed world. The only difference is which authority the marks will believe, mystical religious powers vs a fake drug trial.

  4. Whilst in the Army, I did a 3 month tour in Kenya, we were helping the UN in transporting aid for the UNHCR, which mostly consisted of opening roads, but we built a couple of schools too. At one of the aid posts, the food was being handed out by nuns, who were all very friendly and seemed like lovely people, until we saw their method for allocating who got what. They were going down the lines of people and asking them to say the Lord’s Prayer, if they couldn’t they were asked to join another line. This second line wouldn’t be given anything until the first line had been served. So even though it was against our mandate, we quietly coralled the nuns into a building and set about giving the aid to everyone.

    From that experience, this sort of backwards behaviour, doesn’t come as a surprise to me sadly

  5. Oh, Crookedshoes! Please move into 21st century culture.

    When you mark stuff you have to consider that some of your students are disadvantaged by not being very bright. For such students an upward statistical adjustment is appropriate so their mark reaches 60%. Then you must consider that some students are unfairly advantaged by being very knowledgeable. For such students a negative statistical adjustment is appropriate, perhaps reducing their marks to around 60%. For the remainder a mark of 60% would seem appropriate.

    There is no such thing as stupid. Every individual’s opinion is equally valid, which is why so many websites (including this one) encourage people of no intellect whatsoever to input their comments for serious consideration. You have to learn to see the good in everyone and turn a blind eye to the plummet towards lowest common denominators. Got it?

    • I know, I know…. I sadly walk away looking at my shoes….

      In reply to #11 by FrankMill:

      Oh, Crookedshoes! Please move into 21st century culture.

      When you mark stuff you have to consider that some of your students are disadvantaged by not being very bright. For such students an upward statistical adjustment is appropriate so their mark reaches 60%. Then you must consider that some s…

    • In reply to #11 by FrankMill:

      Oh, Crookedshoes! Please move into 21st century culture.

      When you mark stuff you have to consider that some of your students are disadvantaged by not being very bright. For such students an upward statistical adjustment is appropriate so their mark reaches 60%. Then you must consider that some s…

      I trust you’re being sarcastic. :-) Hope I haven’t misjudged your tone.

    • In reply to #11 by FrankMill:

      Oh, Crookedshoes! Please move into 21st century culture.

      When you mark stuff you have to consider that some of your students are disadvantaged by not being very bright. For such students an upward statistical adjustment is appropriate so their mark reaches 60%. Then you must consider that some s…You have to learn to see the good in everyone and turn a blind eye to the plummet towards lowest common denominators. Got it?

      I don’t always agree with CS but on this I am with him absolutely. And NO! I WILL NOT “turn a blind eye to the plummet towards lowest common denominator” I will resist it with my very last breath and ounce of strength.

      I understand certain children need special assistance, perhaps special consideration toward grading, etc. but this insane drive toward homogenizing everyone I am absolutely against. Good people need to be challenged more but not demotivated by bringing their grades down because they are smarter. That’s just insane.

  6. I Maybe dim, but what has grading school kids got to do with bad / nay lethal advice from Christian preachers in Africa ?

    Bloody hell, lives are at risk because some charlatans are advising against modern medicine in Africa, and the discussion turns to how best to grade kids’ progress in school ?

    These poisonous pastors of St Peter really are the enemies of humanity, and they should be recognised as such.

    • In reply to #16 by Mr DArcy:

      I Maybe dim, but what has grading school kids got to do with bad / nay lethal advice from Christian preachers in Africa ?

      Bloody hell, lives are at risk because some charlatans are advising against modern medicine in Africa, and the discussion turns to how best to grade kids’ progress in school ?…

      Sorry.

    • Sorry Mr DArcy, you are correct. I had made a point that was a stretch to begin with and some of the folks here got curious. I did not mean to derail. Back on topic, as i stated earlier, this IMO is murder. If Charles Manson is guilty (and he is) so are these parasites. The twist here is getting the person to pay for their own murder… How sinister!

      In reply to #16 by Mr DArcy:

      I Maybe dim, but what has grading school kids got to do with bad / nay lethal advice from Christian preachers in Africa ?

      Bloody hell, lives are at risk because some charlatans are advising against modern medicine in Africa, and the discussion turns to how best to grade kids’ progress in school ?…

    • In reply to #19 by Peter Grant:

      OK! If we have a trial first, then can we shoot these murdering Pentecostal pastors?

      And we’ll wash the bullets in ‘holey’ water first, so as not to smudge the ‘exit stamp’ they’ve really earned.

      It’s for people like this that I’m for the death penalty, although I’d have them quietly put to sleep by a vet.
      I’m not into revenge or retribution – not possible with dead victims – just efficient removal from the community.

      Those with real faith (eg. pastors) will not object to being put on the up escalator to eternity early, will they?

      I fully understand that most faith-heads aren’t responsible for their beliefs, but those who survive by herding the innocent or gullible, who immorally infect, mentally abuse, physically maim or kill others are still responsible for their actions, and they shouldn’t expect to be allowed to stay on at the party.

      Sorry for the off topic rant, but I do get agitated by what ignorant, god-infested humans still do to each other…. Mac.

      • In reply to #20 by CdnMacAtheist:

        It’s for people like this that I’m for the death penalty, although I’d have them quietly put to sleep by a vet. I’m not into revenge or retribution – not possible with dead victims – just efficient removal from the community.

        My first thought was to imprison them, infect them with HIV and then deny them treatment… All things considered though, execution by firing squad is more humane and less of a burden on the taxpayer.

        • In reply to #21 by Peter Grant:

          My first thought was to imprison them, infect them with HIV and then deny them treatment… All things considered though, execution by firing squad is more humane and less of a burden on the taxpayer.

          Hi Peter.

          I wouldn’t want ways for the lawyers & media to get the public agitated, so an unannounced date with the vet is the quietest method, likely the most cost-effective, and with the least pain involved. It shouldn’t take years & cost millions to off any clearly guilty inhumane criminal…. Mac.

          • In reply to #22 by CdnMacAtheist:

            Sorry, it’s just that stories like this don’t make me feel like being very humane…

  7. This story is a reminder why the RCC insists that the secular west should learn from Africa, namely that the west is becoming immune to its propaganda whilst Africa is blindly lapping it up.

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