|All Africa Conference of Churches: Covenant documents on HIV/AIDS
December 2, 2006
[CAPA - Africa]
All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC)
The Covenant documents on HIV/AIDS
The Lord God is the creator of heaven and the earth; the creator of all life forms in the earth community. He created all life and everything good. In this HIV/AIDS era, he sees the misery of his people, who are infected by this disease; He has heard their cry on the account of this epidemic. He knows their sufferings and he has come down to deliver them from HIV/AIDS. So he calls to send us to the infected and affected, to bring his people, his creation, out of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Now therefore this Assembly recognize Godís call to us and hence makes this covenant with God today:
Covenant 1: Life and HIV/AIDS Prevention
We shall remember, proclaim and act on the fact that, the Lord our God created all people and all life very good (Gen. 1-2).
We shall therefore, seriously and effectively undertake HIV/AIDS prevention for all people- Christians and non- Christians, married and single, young and old, women and men, poor and rich, black, white, yellow, all people everywhere-, for this disease destroys life and its goodness, thus violating Godís creation and will.
Covenant 2: Love and HIV/AIDS Care
We shall remember, proclaim and act on the fact that love is from God and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Those who say, ĎI love Godí, and hate their sisters and brothers are liars, for unless you love your sisters and brothers whom you see, you cannot love God whom you have never seen (1John4:7-21). We shall therefore, do all that is necessary and within our power to encourage both men and women to love, care, support and heal all those who are infected and affected by HIV/AIDS in our communities, countries and continent.
Covenant 3: Treatment and HIV/AIDS Drugs
We shall remember, proclaim and act on the fact that the earth and everything in it belongs to the Lord and that He has given it over to all human beings for custodianship (Psa. 24:1 & Gen.1:29). We shall therefore, openly and persistently undertake prophetic and advocacy role for all the infected who are denied access to affordable HIV/AIDS drugs until anti-retroviral are available to all who need them.
Covenant 4: Compassion, HIV/AIDS Stigma & Discrimination
We shall remember, proclaim and act on the fact that the Lord our God, is a compassionate God, who calls upon us to be compassionate, to suffer with those who suffer, to enter their places and their hearts of pain and to seek lasting change of their suffering (Luke 6:36; Matt.25:31-46). We shall therefore, have zero tolerance for HIV/AIDS stigma and discrimination and do all that is necessary to eliminate the isolation, rejection, fear and oppression of the infected and affected in our communities. We shall declare HIV/AIDS stigma and discrimination an unacceptable sin before God and all believers and all communities.
Covenant 5: Poverty and HIV/AIDS
We shall remember, proclaim and act on the fact that the Lord our God, who created all resources of the earth, blessed both women and men and gave them the resources of the earth for their sustenance (Gen.1:28-29). We shall therefore, work to empower all the poor and denounce all the cultural, national and international structures, law and policies that have condemned billions to poverty, thus denying them their God given rights and, in the HIV/AIDS era, exposing them to infection and denying them quality care and treatment.
Covenant 6: Gender Inequalities and HIV/AIDS
We shall remember, proclaim and act on the fact that the Lord our God, created humankind in his image. In his image, he created them male and female, he blessed them both and gave both of them leadership and resources in the earth; he made them one in Christ (Gen 1:27-29; Gal 3:28-29). We shall therefore, denounce gender inequalities that leads boys and men to risky behavior, domination and violence; that deny girls and women leadership, decision making powers and property ownership thus exposing them to violence, witchcraft accusation, widow dispossession, survival sex- fueling HIV/AIDS infection and lack of quality care and treatment.
Covenant 7: Children and HIV/AIDS
We shall remember, proclaim and act on the fact that the Lord our God welcomes children. He has given his kingdom to them and he is the father of all orphans (Mark 9:33-37; 10:13-16; Psa 68:5 & Psa 146:9).we shall therefore, work to empower and protect all children and denounce all the national and international structures, cultures, policies, laws and practices that expose children to sexual abuse and exploration, HIV/AIDS stigma and discrimination, dispossession and poverty thus exposing them to HIV/AIDS infection and lack of quality care.
Covenant 8: Church, PLWAs and HIV/AIDS
We shall remember, proclaim and act on the fact that we are one body of Christ and if one member suffers, we all suffer together with it; that the Lord our God identifies with the suffering and marginalized and heals the sick (1 Cor 14:26; Matt 25:31-46). We shall therefore, become a community of compassion and healing, a safe place for all PLWAs to live openly and productively with their status.
Covenant 9: Human Sexuality and HIV/AIDS
We shall remember, proclaim and act on the fact that the Lord our God. Created human sexuality and created it good (Gen 2:18-25). We shall therefore, test for infection, denounce sexual violence, abstain before marriage, be faithful in marriage and practice protected sex to avoid HIV/AIDS infection and plunder on life, for all life is sacred to and prevention should be seriously pursued to protect life.
Covenant 10: Justice and HIV/AIDS
We shall remember. Proclaim and act on the fact that the Lord our God, sees, hears, knows the suffering of the people and comes down to liberate them (Ex 3:1-12í Luke 4: 16-22). We shall therefore, declare the jubilee and we shall proclaim liberty throughout the land and to all its inhabitants (Lev 25:10), for unless and until justice is served to all people in the world, until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream, HIV/AIDS cannot be uprooted.
Adopted at the AACC 8th General Assembly , Yaounde, Cameroon, 22- 27 November, 2003.