December 1st, 2011
02:09 PM ET
Editor’s Note: Rev. Stacey Latimer is the founder and CEO of Love Alive International, a faith-based non-profit committed to empowering African-Americans with HIV/AIDS. He is senior pastor of the group’s non-denominational ministry.
By Stacey Latimer, Special to CNN
(CNN) - Marcus was pastor of a Sunday school at a Baptist church in the South. He was born as a same-gender-loving man. As most same-gender-loving people in fundamentalist houses of worship, Marcus lived a double life, or on the “down low,” for he felt it was the only way to continue in ministry and stay connected to the community he loved.
The congregation absolutely loved Marcus’ vocal gift. He could sing them into the presence of the Lord.
When Marcus found out that he was HIV positive, he informed his beloved pastor, who directed him to allow the elders of the church to anoint him with oil and pray for him each Sunday until God healed and delivered him. Following the advice of his spiritual leader, Marcus did this for eight years without any medical care from a health professional.Read the full story here from CNN's In America Blog
November 28th, 2011
10:51 AM ET
By Jacque Wilson, CNN
Dorchester, South Carolina (CNN) - The fan by the window pushed humid air uselessly against the church pews.
Diana Martinez made small talk as Tommy Terry shifted uncomfortably in his seat. The man sitting next to Martinez cracked a joke. Nobody laughed.
A clock on the back wall ticked minutes away in a mocking cliché.Read the full story on the rural South's struggle with HIV/AIDS
February 25th, 2011
10:24 AM ET
HIV is a curse from God. That's what Patricia Sawo used to tell others as a church leader in Kitale, Kenya.
"I thought it was a moral issue and a punishment for the disobedient," Sawo remembers.
Then one morning in 1999, Sawo awoke to find her body covered in shingles, a rash commonly associated with HIV. Scared and upset, she cried in the bathroom for two hours. A test soon confirmed her fears: She was HIV-positive.
"I couldn't believe it," said Sawo, now 45. "It was, 'Oh my God, how could this happen to me?' "Read the full story
About this blog
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.