Objectives: We sought to examine the role of religious organizations in the provision of HIV/AIDS-related assistance in Africa.
Methods: We used data collected from Christian religious organizations in southern Mozambique. Bivariate comparisons and logistic regression analysis of survey data were performed. We conducted an analysis of the qualitative data to complement the quantitative results.
Results: Our analysis revealed little involvement of religious organizations in provision of assistance. Most assistance was decentralized and consisted of psychological support and some personal care and household help. Material or financial help was rare. Assistance to nonmembers of congregations was reported more often than to members. Members of larger and better-secularly connected congregations were more likely to report assistance than were members of smaller and less-secularly engaged ones. Assistance was reported more in cities than in rural areas. Women were more likely than men to report providing assistance to congregation members, and the reverse was true for assistance provided to nonmembers. The cooperation of religious organizations in provision of assistance was hindered by financial constraints and institutional rivalry.
Conclusions: Policy efforts to involve religious organizations in provision of HIV/AIDS-related assistance should take into account that organization's resources, institutional goals, and social characteristics.