The African Methodist Episcopal Church recognizes HIV/AIDS to be a health crisis of pandemic proportions. It is a threat to the social, economic and political fabric of our constituents, their extended families and to communities and venues where the AME Church has presence. We are calling on legislative bodies, public and private healthcare providers, and AME Church members to aggressively respond to the urgency of the clear and present danger this malady represents. Indeed, this malady pierces the comfort zones and security of all. No longer is it tenable that ecclesiastical silence and theological indifference can suffice as a politically correct or socially acceptable response. This scourge of our time must be dealt with cogently, compassionately and completely within a holistic framework that does not condemn nor cast judgment upon a victim. Our response must inspire hope, faith and love. The church must be on the frontline of battle in providing appropriate leadership in response to a crisis that is especially dominating African and African American Communities and decimating families worldwide.
Since 1985, the AME Church has actively been involved in the fight against the spread of AIDS. Between 1985 and 1992, eleven Centers began operating in Florida. Since 1988, Centers have been operating in Southern Africa. The African Methodist Episcopal Church, beginning with the Free African Society in 1787, has been in the vanguard against the enemies of the health, liberation, education and well being of people in communities where there is an AMEC presence around the world. With these Centers, the church continues to provide financial and moral support as tangible responses to the AIDS crisis.
The Council of Bishops
African Methodist Episcopal Church
June 24, 2002