Spiritual healing of HIV gains ground
Sama Petelsie is an evangelist with the Synagogue House of Prayers for All Nations. He says their church hosts healing and deliverance sessions every last Saturday of the month, and each month there is at least one person with HIV seeking God’s help and healing.
"In my church there are many testimonies of HIV positive who are now negative because of God’s healing power,” pastor Sama says.
He adds that their church believes HIV is a spiritual issue, and so must be handled spiritually before one can see physical manifestations.
"Sometimes a few people we pray and counsel with could go for a second HIV test and still return positive. We continue to pray and counsel with them, but we acknowledge that spiritually we have tackled the problem.”
"We don't ask people to stop taking medication," Sama added. "Doctors treat. God heals."
Health and religion are uniquely connected in Cameroon, and pastors commonly preach that they have a cure for HIV. There are ever-present posters for church events and conferences focused on faith-based healing and deliverance from evil. Trust in God is so strong that people fully expect to be relieved of illness.
Irene notes, “We never discourage them, but we insist they have to do it with their medications.”