Passion and Compassion: The Ecumenical Journey with HIV

Passion and Compassion: The Ecumenical Journey with HIV

From despair to hope, Christian engagement with HIV has challenged stigma and discrimination - and also entailed genuine transformation in the church themselves.

Manoj Kurian

It is difficult to overstate the challenge posed by the advent of AIDS in the 1980s—to the world at large and also to the churches.

Alongside the medical challenge, an enormous pastoral task quickly arose, to minister to those living with HIV or dying from AIDS-related causes, but also to their families and others affected by the epidemic. But perhaps as wrenching, AIDS revealed a level or layer of intolerance and judgment and an underlying moral theology that could barely see the patient for the sinner. All the more remarkable, then, that churches around the world, led by the World Council of Churches, were able to respond with passion and compassion and to recognize, confront, and surmount the deep religious and cultural prejudices against those living with HIV through successive programmatic initiatives.

Beginning in the early 1980s and based on extensive interviews and primary sources, as well as key decisions, statements and texts, this is the story of the ecumenical movement’s determined, persistent and transformative wrestling with HIV and with the deep pain and tough questions posed by it to the religious community. The book offers a rich narrative of the persons and programmes involved, the lessons learned, and perspectives on how this experience can further equip faith communities to face HIV and future challenges to health and healing.  With timeline and bibliography.

Manoj Kurian MD is a medical doctor from Malaysia. Following his postgraduate training in Community Health in India, he worked for seven years in church-related institutions in India. He directed the Health and Healing programme at the World Council of Churches in Geneva from 1999 until 2012. Following this, he worked for the International AIDS Society, being responsible for their Policy and Advocacy work. He is currently the Coordinator of the WCC-Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance.


Specs: 162 pages; 6-1/4 X 9 1/2" trim, paperpack; perfect bind; four-color cover

Topic: Health and Healing/Ethics

ISBN: 978-2-8254-1682-2

Price:  CHF 19.00; £11.00; €13.00; $19.00

Rights: World, all languages


Click here to download the table of contents, preface and Chapter 1

Order from:,,,