Project Documents

Date of Award

2010

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Skip Bell

Second Advisor

Joel Musvosvi

Third Advisor

Trevor O'Reggio

Abstract

Problem

While Zambia is rated the 7th country worst affected by HIV/AIDS worldwide, the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church, an Faith Based Organization (FBO) well respected nationwide for its concern about people’s physical health because of its hospitals and clinics around the nation, is seemingly standing by doing close to nothing. What could be the problem?

Method

To uncover the possible causes of Adventists’ perceived noncommittal stance on the AIDS issue, a survey designed around a descriptive and exploratory social research model utilizing quantitative research techniques for data collection and analysis was conducted. The survey was conducted in 2 of the most prominent SDA churches in Lusaka, Zambia, using self-structured questionnaires and the data analyzed using descriptive graphic techniques.

Results

The survey not only confirmed the perception that the SDA Church is un involved in the fight against AIDS, but also the existence of deep seated stigma against HIV and people living with AIDS (PLWA) in the church. More significantly, the study associated the prevailing stigma to Adventism’s strict view of obedience, which, ironically, has the tendency to depreciate those deemed to have failed to obey. This attitude, the result of deeply held stigma, unfortunately, is what curtails compassion, leading to reluctance to help those who are suffering.

Conclusions

It is rather ironic that the SDA Church’s commendable high regard for obedience would work against it. However, giving SDAs an understanding of compassion as exemplified in Jesus’ life and ministry would not only help curb the problem of stigma but also motivate and empower them to be actively engaged in the fight against the AIDS epidemic on a voluntary basis. Doing this would not only help scale up the fight against HIV/AIDS, but also enhance the Church’s mission.

Subject Area

AIDS (Disease)--Zambia; Seventh-day Adventists--Zambia

DOI

https://dx.doi.org/10.32597/dmin/475

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