Plight of AIDS children fails to stir US Evangelicals
Two years after U2's Bono challenged American Christians to become engaged in the AIDS pandemic, a new survey has revealed only a small number of US evangelicals would be willing to donate money to help and support children orphaned by AIDS.
The news comes after Evangelicals were mobilised to come out in large numbers to vote in the US presidential election, motivated by other "moral issues" such as homosexuality.
But the new poll found that only 14 percent of American evangelicals definitely would be willing to donate funds to AIDS education and prevention in sub-Saharan Africa and other regions devastated by the disease. It also indicated only 17 percent would help children orphaned by AIDS.
The figures are however significantly higher than in 2002 when the same poll found 5 percent and 3 percent, respectively.
The new survey revealed that 12 percent of Americans in general were willing to donate money to help prevent AIDS, and 13 percent were interested in supporting children orphaned by AIDS.
"The needle is moving in the right direction, but we - Americans overall and Christians - still have a long way to go," said Richard Stearns, president of World Vision, which commissioned the survey.
The survey of 1,009 people was conducted by the Barna Research Group, Ltd. over two weeks in late October and early November. The margin of error is 3 percent.
President George W. Bush promised billion over five years to fight the epidemic. While the action is welcome, much more will be needed, said Stearns.
"This crisis is too big for the U.S. Government alone. It requires action from all sides -- businesses, individuals and people of faith," he said.