“Holy Water vs ARVs” – A dialogue with Religious Leaders and the CRL Commission
In response to numerous complaints received by the CRL Commission, the Men’s Sector of the SANAC Civil Society Forum (CSF) convened a dialogue with religious leaders on Wednesday, 24 January at Ekurhuleni Civic Centre in Germiston.
Substituting ARV treatment with holy water and other faith-based commodities that are not scientifically proven to be effective pose a challenge to the country’s efforts in ending AIDS. It is on this premise that the SANAC CSF Men’s Sector felt it necessary to convene the dialogue.
The resolutions of the inaugural dialogue were as follows:
- Establishment of a religious forum to facilitate governance and accountability
- Accelerate information dissemination about the relationship between spirituality and science
- The people gathered here should be ambassadors of the outcomes of this dialogue into their communities and continue the conversation
- People should be prayed for but other ailments require medical intervention. This must be understood and adhered to.
- Pastors who are here; the conversation begins with them when they return to their churches
- We should at least start telling people to take their medication with the ‘holy water’
- SANARELA should capacitate religious leaders
- Improve SANAC visibility in churches so that people are aware of the right interventions against HIV
- Accelerate information dissemination about HIV
- Avoid excluding children on the basis of age
- Pastors should stop spreading divisive messages.
- SANAC Religious sector to consolidate religious plans
- Religious sector must work in a complementary way with the medical sector (not against each other)