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Church tells HIV patients to end medication

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Unread 11.26.11, 05:02 AM
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Church tells HIV patients to end medication

11.25.11 03:50 PM

LONDON, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- At least six people in Britain died after they were told by an evangelical church they were cured of HIV and no longer needed medication.

The Synagogue Church of All Nations, based in London, holds a prayer line once a month where people from across Europe come to be healed of all kinds of illnesses, Sky News reported Friday.

During the prayer line, pastors shout over the person being healed for the devil to come out of the body, while spraying water in the face.

Pastor Rachel Holmes told Sky News the church has a 100 percent success rate.

"We have many people that contract HIV. All are healed," Holmes said.

After the healing, pastors tell those who were cured to discard their medication and that they are free to start a family.

So far, at least six people who were told by the church to stop taking their HIV medication have died.

Former Health Secretary Lord Fowler said this is a dangerous message.

"It is foolish advice and it is tragic advice because the consequences of this kind of advice can only be that people pass on HIV and can only be seriously bad for the individual concerned -- including death," Fowler said.

The Department of Health agreed, saying, "Our advice is clear that faith and prayer are not a substitute for any form of treatment, especially for HIV treatment."

In response to the allegations, the Synagogue Church of All Nations said, "We are not the Healer -- God is the Healer. Never a sickness God cannot heal. Never a disease God cannot cure. Never a burden God cannot bear. Never a problem God cannot solve."

The church goes on to claim people who were not healed did not fully accept God would heal them.

"We must have a genuine desire if we come to God. We are not in position to question anybody's genuine desire. Only God knows if one comes with true desire. Only God can determine this," the church said.

"That is why, if anybody comes in the name of God, we pray for them. The outcome of the prayer will determine if they come genuinely or not."

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