AIDS AND FAITH-BASED ORGANISATIONS: THE REDEEMED CHRISTIAN CHURCH OF GOD (RCCG) AND HIV/AIDS ADVOCACY IN NIGERIA

Olajide O. AKANJI

Abstract


There have been numerous responses to the AIDS crisis in Nigeria. Government, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and faith-based organisations (FBOs) have responded using a variety of strategies. The effects of the strategies on the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the number of AIDS-related deaths have been documented in the literature. This study, however, interrogates a rare aspect of the HIV/AIDS responses in Nigeria; the effects of AIDS advocacy on faith-based organisations (FBOs) that have actively engaged in the fight against AIDS. Using the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) as a case study, the paper demonstrates how the issue of HIV/AIDS and the church’s AIDS advocacy impacted the church’s religious activities and image, as well as the issues it engendered. The paper concludes that combining faith in spiritual healing with biomedical therapies enhances participation in AIDS advocacy, which is absolutely crucial and important to create awareness, control the spread and mitigate the effects of the disease on congregation members and the larger community, however, it has the tendency to expose FBOs to donor influences and numerous changes and challenges.

Keywords


FBOs, AIDS advocacy, HIV/AIDS, Nigeria

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