The World Council of Churches will host an online prayer service on World AIDS Day, observed this year on 1 December. The Prayer Service is available for download and reading during the livestreaming.
The livestreamed service will compliment other materials, including a podcast, that reflect on the theme “Global Solidarity, Shared Responsibility.”
Prayers and reflections will centre on how people, especially women and girls, and vulnerable communities, continue to experience injustices because of the HIV pandemic or COVID-19 pandemic. Those gathered will ponder, from a spiritual perceptive, the question: How can we, as followers of Jesus, take specific steps to overcome these challenges?
The service will also remember the more than 30 million people who have died from AIDS from the beginning of the HIV pandemic, and the nearly 40 million people who are currently living with HIV. Though remarkable progress that has been made over the last decades, 13 million children, young people, women and men, who urgently need life-saving medications, are yet to access care and treatment.
Prayers will be lifted up for faith communities at the forefront of mobilising, caring, educating, learning, and living with people who have HIV. The prayer is also an opportunity to reaffirm the commitment of the people of faith to strengthen global solidarity, and shared responsibility to overcome AIDS.
Prayers and liturgy developed by the World Council of Churches are available for World Council of Churches member churches and friends for use in their own contexts.
Join the online prayer service on World AIDS Day, 1 December: 4.30 PM Central European Time (link to live stream)
Convert the time zone to your location here: https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html
World Council of Churches and those with HIV
Churches are influential institutions because they are deeply rooted in communities around the world. They can be a force for transformation – bringing healing, hope and accompaniment to all people affected by HIV.
The World Council of Churches Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy (WCC-EHAIA) promotes HIV competence among churches and works with theological institutions to integrate and mainstream HIV into theological curricula as well as to address the root causes of the pandemic.
The programme intentionally involves people living with HIV, people with disabilities, adolescents, youth, women, men, grandparents, sex workers, injecting drug users, prisoners, migrants, sexual minorities and other marginalized groups and ensures that church leaders and theologians engage all those who are usually excluded.
Launched in 2002 as the Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiative in Africa, in response to a call from Christians and churches in Africa to the ecumenical fellowship to journey with them in overcoming the HIV pandemic, the programme has demonstrated the efficacy of linking grassroots, national and regional actors with international decision- and policy-makers.
At the WCC 10th Assembly, the programme was given the mandate to expand beyond Africa and become active in Jamaica, the Philippines and Ukraine, countries where churches have requested that the WCC share its African experiences and expertise.