Medical staff told the BBC a minority of pastors in England were endangering young church members by putting them under pressure to stop medication.
The Children’s HIV Association surveyed 19 doctors and health professionals working with babies and children in England; its members had reported hearing anecdotal evidence of HIV patients deciding to stop taking their anti-retroviral drugs because their pastors had told them to do so.
Among 10 doctors who said they had encountered the problem in the last five years, 29 of their patients had reported being put under pressure to stop taking medicine and at least 11 had done so.
Dr Steve Welch, who is chairman of the Children’s HIV Association, said it found it difficult to engage with the faith leaders of churches where healing was an integral part of the worship.
This is some serious stuff. It is a minority but a few dozen is still lives at risk. In one case a pastor told a follower to swap his HIV medicine for a plastic bottle containing water that would heal him. These sorts of recommendations have been confirmed by former Pentecostal pastors who say that the emphasis is on trust in God, not medicine. As much as the want belief and their God to be the cause for curing, centuries of human existence has shown that it’s not. If it was, why would we have had to invent science and modern medicine? Because people were dying. Reliance on science and biological understanding is the key to survival. Not the Bible.
Tip: Peter Robinson