A South African pastor has angered Christians by preaching a sermon entitled ‘Jesus was HIV positive’ in a bid to combat the stigma surrounding HIV and Aids.
"My responsibility as a pastor is to paint a picture of a God who cares for people and wants the best for them, not who judges them and is ashamed of them," Sky News quoted Reverend Xola Skosana as telling the Mail And Guardian newspaper.
The reverend preaches at the non-denominational Way of Life church in Khayelitsha, near Cape Town, a township with one of the highest rates of HIV in South Africa.
Last month Skosana, who has lost two of his sisters to Aids, underwent an HIV test in front of his congregation, along with more than 100 young people from the township.
While his approach has been appreciated by Aids campaigners in South Africa, some Christians have accused him of portraying Jesus as sexually promiscuous.
Former president Thabo Mbeki fought the claims of Aids campaigners.
"They're saying you can't reconcile Jesus and Aids,” Mbeki said.
"But in many parts of the Bible God put himself in the position of the sick and the marginalized," the priest countered former president’s statement.
Whilst the nation is still recovering from the damage happened due to ignorance towards the HIV issue, the Catholic Church in the country has avoided discussion on Aids.