The weblog of Darren Friesen

Monday, December 06, 2004

Why don't more evangelicals care about AIDS crisis?

This documents one of the reasons I am sometimes embarrassed by the words "evangelical" and christian" as used on this continent. A few excerpts:

The survey, conducted by the Barna Research Group for World Vision, a nondenominational Christian relief organization that does heroic work in Africa and elsewhere in the developing world, revealed that since November 2002, the percentage of American evangelicals who said they would be willing to make a donation to help alleviate the AIDS emergency has risen from 5 percent to 14 percent.

The survey of 1,004 adults also found that 17 percent of evangelicals (a group Barna researchers define with a complicated set of nine questions about doctrine, belief and practice) now say they would help children orphaned by AIDS, a figure that is up from a shocking 3 percent two years ago.

Hey, church, what's it gonna take?

Does Jesus himself have to make a special guest appearance, point at Africa and shout, "Yo, a little help over here?!" before you realize it's unquestionably your responsibility to do something significant to stem the tide of the AIDS pandemic there?

Yes, it's up to all of us as human beings, regardless of our religious persuasion or lack thereof, to care for those most in need.

But the church should know better. After all, you've had missionaries on the ground in Africa for decades.

Here's an idea: Instead of giving that weekly tithe to the local church to build a new fellowship hall, how about sending it to Africa to buy anti-retroviral drugs that will keep somebody's parents alive or send an orphan to school.

Some harsh words, but she's right. We just don't get it. We call from the rooftops "WWJD?", but we don't step back for a minute and think about what he did when he was around. IT'S TIME, PEOPLE!!


Blogger Jordon said...

I think there is another side of the story to be told. Even Bono has admitted that the church has woken up to the crisis in Aids in Africa. There are several joint projects being undertaken in Africa that are more about speed and ministry then control over turf and terrain. Anglo Mining has partnered with many evangelical traditions to provide medication for the families of thier miners (Anglo provides for the miners who have AIDS). It's a big crisis but many, many Christians have taken the call very seriously and the impact has been felt. At the same time, you are right in that there is much, much more that can be done. Let's just not ignore the miracles that are in process that are ignored.

9:38 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

True. I find there are so many things to spend time and money on it is easy to spread myself too thin. So, what are you doing about it, Darren? It's just I cruise through a lot of blogs, many writing about Africa and its problems and possible solutions, but not doing anything else.

-Clinton (

5:58 PM


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