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President Klaus Joins Evangelical Effort to Fight HIV/AIDS Crisis

AGTS president, Byron D. Klaus, joined a group of Evangelical church leaders in making a strong statement about the Church's role in fighting the worldwide HIV/AIDS crisis.

On June 11-12, 2003, World Vision, World Relief, MAP International and the National Association of Evangelicals convened to develop an evangelical response to the HIV/AIDS crisis. Dr. Klaus joined Johan Mostert, AGTS visiting professor and prominent speaker at the forum, and John Bongiorno, member of AGTS Board of Directors and head of AG Charities, for this monumental event.

The HIV/AIDS issue is pandemic. According to the Statement of Conscience presented at the conference, eight thousand people die each day from AIDS related illnesses. AIDS is the world's fourth leading cause of death, and the first leading cause of death in Africa. The epidemic is quickly spreading to Asia and Eastern Europe.

President George W. Bush has allocated 15 billion dollars over the next five years for addressing this issue in Africa and the Caribbean. Bush is appealing to Faith Based Organizations and especially Evangelicals, due to their effective track record, for the distribution of these monies. The abstinence message, which the Church supports, is the most effective method of reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS. For example, Uganda’s HIV/AIDS rate fell from 21 percent in the early 1990’s to six percent today due to an emphasis on abstinence.

Dr. Johan Mostert, who described examples of effective HIV/AIDS ministries, reminded the audience, “this is not about $15 billion, but about the Church’s response, with or without this government funding.”

More than 100 of the 240 attendees from across the country signed a Statement of Conscience on the global AIDS crises and answered the call to take action against this deadly disease. The specific calls to action are laid out in The Statement of Conscience of the Evangelical Church concerning the Global HIV/AIDS Crisis, which is available at

Updated: Tuesday, September 23, 2003 2:09 PM

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