Temple, Church, Mosque and Kovil in Forefront of HIV Awareness

August 12, 2007

Author: Staff Writer

Source: The Sunday Times


The message is to be broadcast from the temples, the churches, the mosques and the kovils.....and the word being spread would be vital for the survival of humankind. These are the plans of a group of religious leaders, who have joined hands to launch a campaign against HIV, not only to strengthen prevention programmes but also to make people aware that those living with HIV should not be shunned or discriminated against but treated with empathy and not sympathy.

With hectic activity underway to organize the International Interfaith Pre-conference on HIV (IIPH) scheduled from August 17-19, as a precursor to the 8th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP), the local interfaith group is of the view that HIV should not be confined to congresses and meetings. That’s the challenge they have taken on.

“We have a duty as religious leaders who are close to the people to make them aware through deshanayas about HIV,” stressed Ven. Nadagamuwe Wijaya Maithri Thera, the Ramanya Nikayas Karaka Sangha Sabika at a recent press conference in Colombo.

We are hoping to give the messages from the temples on our part so that it will reach not only the far corners of the villages but also the towns, he said, adding that the main chapters had all been requested to nominate delegates to the IIPH. “Our messages will target all relevant groups.”