World AIDS Day

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For Immediate Release
December 1, 2005

Top representatives of the World Evangelical Alliance urged its member
churches to more aggressively engage the battle against HIV/AIDS and called on
governments, businesses, and civil societies to recognize the key role of
churches in fighting the global pandemic, during an International Council
meeting in Bad Blankenburg, Germany on World Aids Day.

"On this day we are acknowledging that this pandemic is having a growing and
significant impact on each of our regions," Geoff Tunnicliffe, International
Director of the WEA, said Thursday. "We believe the local church should be
seen as a strategic alliance to curbing and reversing this growing trend, so
we are asking churches to fully engage, embrace, and respond compassionately
to those living with and affected by HIV/AIDS."

International Council members took particular note of the need for the global
Christian society to intervene in Sub-Saharan Africa.

"More than 26 of the 40 million who are living with HIV/AIDS are from Sub-
Saharan Africa," explained Ndaba Mazabane, the chairman of the International
Council, from South Africa. "The statistics are clear that the African
church, in partnership with the global Christian community, must stand
together and increase its engagement with those who are infected and affected
by the scourge of the pandemic."

Mazabane also extended his challenge to civil society and to governments.

"There must be a multi-sectoral approach," said Mazabane. "This pandemic is
so large that the government, business, civil society and church must
collaborate at all levels if victory is to be achieved."

"On the ground, thousands of Evangelical churches across Africa are engaged in
providing for people living with HIV/AIDS and educating those who are most at
risk," Mazabane added. "We are caring for the afflicted and for the 14
million that have been orphaned in Africa by the virus."

Pauline Chang, Press Secretary
E-mail: [email protected]
Direct Line: +[1] 202.223.7556

Sylvia Soon, Communications Director
E-mail: [email protected]
Direct Line: +[1] 604.838.3922

WEA Administrative Office:
MIP Box 3740 Markham, Ontario L3R 5J1 Canada
Telephone: +[1] 905.752.2164
Toll-free North America: 1.866.823.3073
Fax: +[1] 905.479.4742
Website: www.worldevangelicalalliance.com