In a radical shift from the position held by many churches, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe has decided that it is more helpful to accept that congregants engage in se_xual intercourse rather than to pretend that they do not. The Lutheran Church says that only by doing so, will the church be able to fight against HIV and AIDS.
The church’s health services coordinator Philip Ndlovu told B-Metro,
People were dying every day, including members of our church, because of the HIV and Aids pandemic so as a church we decided to take a different approach on how we tackle the subject of se_x within our own congregations.
Our church members listen to the preachings of no se_x before marriage but do they really practise that? Do they really abstain? We decided it was time to stop burying our heads in the sand and accept the reality that our congregants will engage in se_x, married or not, thus it’s better to start teaching them the importance of safer se_x if they are already se_xually active…and we could not continue to ignore that HIV and Aids is a reality.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe runs five mission hospitals; Manama in Gwanda, Masase, Mnene and Musume all in Mberengwa as well as Burure in Gokwe.
However, traditionalists and critics are against the new stance arguing that it gives youths the licence to indulge in se_xual relations before marriage.