Posts tagged ‘good news’

Global decline in new HIV cases

From the BBC News website:

“Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are leading a global decline in new HIV infections, the UN has said. UNAids said 22 countries in the world’s worst affected region had seen a drop in new cases of more than 25%. The fall was because of greater awareness and better use of preventative measures, it said.”

Check out the rest of the story here.

I’m glad to hear it because at one point it seemed as if HIV/AIDS was going to wipe out generations of Africans. Many people either denied it existed, or used crude and ineffective methods (such as having a shower after sleeping with an HIV victim) to avoid catching it.

Preventative measures such as using condoms were discouraged by misguided religious leaders. Even the ex-president of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, questioned the link between HIV and AIDS, preferring to link AIDS with poverty instead.

I found an interesting website which talks about the history of HIV/AIDS in Africa. It’s very long, but it explains in great detail how the HIV virus spread throughout Africa. It also talks about the steps that countries are taking to combat the disease. I think this kind of good news is long overdue!


Pastor plans to burn Quran on Sept 11

Terry Jones, the pastor of the Dove World Outreach Church in Gainesville, Florida, is planning to burn¬† copies of the Quran on September 11. He claims he’s doing it to “send a message to radical Islam”. That’s ridiculous! It’s obviously a publicity stunt which is guaranteed to further increase tensions between Christianity and Islam.

I think it’s ironic that the pastor of a church with the words “dove” and “outreach” in its name is planning to do something that could lead to unnecessary violence and possible fatalities. What happened to Jesus’ message of spreading good news around the world?

Mr Jones said his church is praying about the decision, but also said they cannot be held responsible for any violence that might occur because of it. General Petraeus, the commander of the U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan has warned that burning copies of the Quran will endanger the lives of U.S. soldiers in the country. Fortunately, the church members are taking his views very seriously, and may re-consider carrying out their dangerous publicity stunt.

It’s clear that Muslims (along with Mexicans) have joined a long list of convenient scapegoats that are used to explain the ills in American society. The unfortunate list includes Catholic immigrants, Jews, Communists and African-Americans. Right-wing media outlets like Fox News are constantly portraying Islam as a religion of terrorists when it’s clear that only a small number of Muslims are engaged in terrorism.

A recent poll by the Pew Research Center reported that 18% of Americans think that President Obama is a Muslim. It has gone up from 11% in 2009. He is obviously a Christian but I don’t think it should have ever become a major issue. What proof exists that God prefers one religion over another anyway? I hope that Americans use September 11 as a day to bring all faiths together instead of using it as a day to create further tension and distrust.

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