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CAR Conflict Could Escalate Into Religious War, U.N. Official Warns

U.N. News Centre: Strife in Central African Republic could turn into religious war and spill over borders, U.N. warns “The worsening strife in the Central African Republic (CAR) with its Muslim-Christian overtones risks escalating into sustained violence along religious lines and spilling beyond the country’s borders, further destabilizing the whole…

Guttmacher Analysis Examines Faith-Based Groups’ Roles In Family Planning Services

“Contrary to public perception, faith-based organizations from diverse religious backgrounds are key players in the provision of family planning services around the world, and those based in the United States advocate for increased U.S. assistance in this area to boost global health, according to a new Guttmacher Institute analysis,” a…

Faith Leaders ‘Uniquely Positioned’ To Help Eliminate HIV/AIDS Stigma

“[T]here has been tremendous progress in the medical and scientific aspects of HIV and AIDS. But there has been much less progress on the social aspects of the pandemic, especially the stigma associated with the disease,” David Barstow, president of EMPACT Africa, writes in the Huffington Post’s “Religion” blog. “Leaders…

Pakistani Religious Scholar Speaks In Support Of Polio, Other Vaccines

“A radical Pakistani religious scholar known as the ‘Father of the Taliban’ has issued a fatwa urging parents to immunize their children against polio and other fatal diseases, adding that vaccinations comply with Islamic law,” Agence France-Presse reports. “The edict by Maulana Sami-ul-Haq, who heads the hardline Dar-ul-Uloom Haqqania seminary,…

USA TODAY Examines Resurgence Of Polio In Some Muslim-Majority Countries

“Once close to eradication worldwide, the dreaded disease polio is resurfacing in Muslim-majority countries where vaccinations are hard to come by due to war, religious edicts and ignorance, experts say,” USA TODAY reports. The newspaper highlights outbreaks of the disease and efforts to immunize children in countries such as Syria,…

Polio Making Comeback In Middle East

“[I]t’s clear that polio — which just two years ago was on the verge of eradication, with active cases confined to just three countries — is resurgent, and the news is grim,” Laurie Garrett, a journalist and senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, writes in…

Saudi Health Ministry Says No MERS Cases Detected So Far Among Hajj Pilgrims

“Saudi Arabia has so far recorded no cases of the deadly MERS coronavirus among pilgrims in the holy city of Mecca for the annual hajj season, the Ministry of Health said on Saturday,” Reuters reports. “The death toll from the respiratory virus in the kingdom, where the strain emerged last…

Awareness Campaign Working To Reduce HIV/AIDS Stigma In Somalia

Al Jazeera examines the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS in Somalia and how an “aggressive awareness campaign” is helping people living with the disease seek treatment. The South Central Relief Network (SCRN), which launched the campaign, operates an HIV/AIDS clinic in Mogadishu’s Banadir Hospital and currently “provides free treatment to 132 patients…