HIV and AIDs and its implications for the ministry of healing in some Pentecostal churches in Namibia.
Healing has long been considered part of the Church's pastoral and diaconal calling. For Christians the ministry of healing is grounded in the Word, sacraments and prayer. Based on this understanding some of the Pentecostal churches in Namibia proclaim that HIV and AIDS can be cured through divine healing. It was revealed through interviews with both the practitioners of healing and recipients of healing that the claims of healing HIV and AIDS are not conclusive. It has been established through this study that the implications of a failed healing for the recipients include; lost of faith, hatred towards the practitioners, church, substance abuse and attempts at suicide. A close study of the available literature substantiates the fact that healing of HIV and AIDS in Namibia remains only a claim. The logical conclusion derived was that people confuse healing of HIV and AIDS with spiritual and psychological strength and tranquility that they receive from Pentecostal churches through their healing services. This study recognises the importance of "healing" and "coping" and the need for appropriate theological and psycho-social support for the recipients of divine healing. This study also reveals that HIV and AIDS has forced some Pentecostal churches to revisit their approach of healing. Thus, some of the Pentecostal churches have embarked upon Home Based Care, feeding schemes and material support for PLWHA. The interviews could barely establish a definite case of a successful outcome of healing of someone who was HIV and AIDS positive and was healed through divine intervention. Thus, with the help of interviews, observant participation, and literature review, it was established that the implications for the ministry of healing in some Pentecostal churches in Namibia is real.
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