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Leaders of the Christian Churches Sign Declaration on Social Partnership against HIV/AIDS

28 November 2007 - The Declaration on Social Partnership of the Christian churches against HIV/AIDS drafted under the joint UNDP/UNAIDS project was officially signed yesterday in the conference hall of the Academy of Sciences of Belarus.

The preamble of the Declaration reads, “HIV spread in Belarus has necessitated developing cooperation and social partnership among religious organizations to counteract this threat. We attest that the churches and religious organizations together with the whole civil society are called upon and must make their own contribution to the national programmes for counteracting the epidemic.”

The Declaration initiates the work of the churches for the years to come. The interchurch cooperation will be carried out in accordance with the Strategy of Christian Churches Response to HIV/AIDS in Belarus elaborated under the project “Consolidating Efforts of Christian Churches in Response to the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Belarus”, which was supported by UNDP and UNAIDS in Belarus.

As the Metropolitan of Minsk and Slutsk, the Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus, Philaret stressed at the opening ceremony, “we are appealing not just to one religion, but to the religious consciousness itself. We must not follow the path of self-destruction”. His Eminence Philaret pointed out the importance of chastity of personality, the value of family, traditional moral foundations of the society, and common resolution to protect them.

The necessity of spiritual unity and partnership was also mentioned by the Archbishop, the Metropolitan of Minsk and Mogilev, Tadeush Kandrusevich, Secretary-General of the Religious Union of Full-Gospel Christians, Victor Krutko, representative of the Republican religious association Union of Evangelical-Lutheran Communities in the Republic of Belarus, Pastor Nikolai Badrusev, UNDP Programme Manager, Valiantsina Stalyho.

As Mikhail Rimzha, Deputy Minister of Health stressed in his statement, taking care of health of healthy people was among the priority tasks of the state and the civil society.

Protecting the health of the younger generation, HIV prevention, overcoming social alienation of HIV-infected people, development of a comprehensive (spiritual and medical) system of assistance to HIV-positive in the regions – all for helping the state and the civil society to reduce the HIV spread – is the main idea of the social unification of the Churches. 

For additional information please refer to Anastasiya Kryvitskaya, manager of the project “Consolidating Efforts of Christian Churches in Response to the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Belarus”, at 251-22-65.

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