several people infected with AIDS have died because they stopped taking their AIDS medication, under the advice of pastors who assured them that prayer would heal them.
“Praying it away” isn’t a new concept. It’s a global practices and reaches far outside of London. Faithful believers have long put their trust in God, believing that there is where they would find their cure. Churches have been promising to pray away everything from illnesses, addictions, financial problems, and even homosexuality for centuries. And there are plenty of off-shoot religions that reject invasive medical treatments, even as a lifesaving effort.
I don’t discount those who put their lives in God’s hands. I believe in the power of prayer. I really believe in the power of prayer along with medical treatment. And I think any doctor worth the paper his or her degree is printed on, understands that conventional medicine plays a part in the treating people but is most effective when combined with spiritual and mental support. And pray provides that. And while, I may not fully understand those who reject medical treatment and resign to die under “God’s will”, I have to respect them.
But that is not what is going on at the churches mentioned, is not a group of people holding firm to their faith. Not at all. These churches are preying on sick, desperate people with claims of being able to cure AIDS, using tactics similar to snake oil salesman from the 19th century.
They preach the power of prayer and believing in God as long as you’re putting your faith in God at their church and ultimately their collection plate. It’s not about prophets, it’s about profits. T.B Joshua, one of the richest clergyman in Nigeria, makes claims that he can heal AIDS victims through the power of prayer. If only he would use some of those richest to really cure people of Aids.