Guest / Limited Access /

As the world marks 25 years since HIV and AIDS first appeared, a clash among high-profile evangelical leaders over an international relief foundation threatens to take center stage.

The dispute also lays bare a faultline among American evangelicals, who have been divided over the treatment and prevention of AIDS because of the disease's perceived connections to homosexuality and sexual promiscuity.

The clash, which centers on the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, may have long-term ramifications, both for those suffering with diseases and for the reputation of American evangelicals, activists said.

If the U.S. fails to extend help because of objections from conservative Christians, "we will look on this as a very mistaken time," said Tony Campolo, a prominent sociologist and Christian activist.

Since its founding in 2001, the Swiss-based Global Fund has spent $2 billion on programs that offer medical treatment and education in 130 countries, according to a spokesperson. The U.S. government has provided 30 percent of the public-private foundation's finances through 2005, and appropriated $445 million for 2006.

Some of the programs bankrolled through the Global Fund—such as those that distribute condoms to prostitutes or provide clean needles to drug addicts—have drawn fire from conservative evangelicals. Hardline conservatives favor President Bush's policy of abstinence and emphasis on fidelity in marriage. Others take a more pragmatic approach, and say that exporting Western morality to foreign countries is ineffective at best and calamitous at worst.

After the Senate passed a non-binding budget amendment last March to increase the U.S. contribution to the Global Fund to $866 million in 2007, Dobson ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current Issue
Subscriber Access Only Reply All
Responses to our December issue via letters, tweets, and Facebook posts.
RecommendedAmericans Warm Up to Every Religious Group Except Evangelicals
Americans Warm Up to Every Religious Group Except Evangelicals
Pew finds fewer people personally know an evangelical anymore.
TrendingAll 240 Family Christian Stores Are Closing
All 240 Family Christian Stores Are Closing
More than 3,000 employees in 36 states will be laid off in the liquidation of one of the world’s largest Christian retailers.
Editor's PickA Tale of Two Calvary Chapels: Behind the Movement’s Split
A Tale of Two Calvary Chapels: Behind the Movement’s Split
Chuck Smith’s successor says he is expanding founder’s vision. Other leaders say he’s diluting it.
Christianity Today
Rift Opens Among Evangelicals on AIDS Funding
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

June 2006

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.