Malawian girl tells World Council of Churches: ‘Aids not a punishment from GOD’

A 19-year old youth representative at the World Council of Churches Shyreen Mvula has advised the church to look at HIV and AIDS as simply another disease and not a punishment from God.

Mvula said this Wednesday when addressing over 3,000 delegates of the World Council of Churches 10th Assembly in Busan, South Korea.

She was speaking during a plenary session on justice in the world.

“I would like to request church leaders to look at HIV and AIDS as not a punishment from God. It should be seen as a disease. So let us join hands in fighting the disease,” said Mvula.

Shyreen Mvula speaking at World Council of Churches 10th Assembly at Busan, Republic of Korea

She further requested the Church to provide sex education and address young people’s questions about sex.

“We want sex education first to be done in the churches because often it is done in the hospitals’” adding “we want counseling to be done in the churches not only in the hospitals so that we can be counselled spiritually. We want healing ministries through our churches.”

There was growing attention as she gathered her breath when the moderator Rev. Dr Angelique Walker-Smith felt moved by her speech.

“As young people, we have many questions. I wonder if I may get married and have children. So it is important that sexual reproductive health be discussed in the churches because some of the questions can be answered by our church leaders,” she said

In a world where AIDS infections are high, she expressed wish to marry at a proper time and be able to have children who are HIV negative.

Delegates gave her a standing ovation.

She was the only young person given the platform to address the church leaders during the plenary which highlighted global economic injustice, human rights, ecology and threats of HIV and AIDS.

Board Chairperson for Malawi Council of Churches (also General Secretary for Blantyre Synod of the CCAP) Rev Alex Maulana said Mvula made Malawi proud at the assembly in highlighting the key issues affecting the church.

He said the WCC 10th Assembly’s theme of God of Life, lead us to justice and peace” has done well to include justice in health system on its agenda.

World Council of Churches is the biggest global decision making body of Christians committed to unity. The two-week Assembly which takes place after every 7 or 8 years ends this Friday.

Shyreen Mvula of Malawi in a panel discussing HIV/Aids at World Council of Churches 10th Assembly at Busan, Republic of Korea
World Council of Churches meeting

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