United Press International (11.25.11) - Tuesday, December
At least six people in Britain have died after an evangelical
church told them they were cured of HIV and no longer needed
medication, Sky News recently reported. The London-based
Synagogue Church of All Nations holds a monthly prayer meeting
in which people from across Europe seek religious healing from
illnesses, the news agency reported.
"We have many people that contract HIV. All are healed," said
Pastor Rachel Holmes. After a healing ritual, pastors
allegedly tell supplicants that they are healed by God, no
longer require medication, and can start a family. To date, at
least six people told to stop taking HIV medication have died.
"It is foolish advice and it is tragic advice because the
consequences of this kind of advice can only be that people
pass on HIV and can only be seriously bad for the individual
concerned, including death," said former Health Secretary Lord
The church claims that those people who were not healed did
not fully accept that God would heal them; however, "only God
can determine this," it says.
"Our advice is clear, that faith and prayer are not a
substitute for any form of treatment, especially for HIV
treatment," the Department of Health said.