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Health beyond prayer in faith-based congregations

Health professionals gave examples and perspectives on how religion and health intertwine at the annual conference of the Association of Health Care Journalists, held recently in Atlanta.

Miriam Burnett, M.D., M.Div., M.P.H., the connectional medical director of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, discussed conducting research several years ago on the influence of African traditional beliefs and its influence on African American health practices today. She said that people who don’t have health insurance and have low self-esteem often feel like they are non-beings.

At Blue Skies Ministries in Marietta, Ga., the approach to ministering to children with cancer and their families is a one-week respite from the physical, financial and emotional difficulties to a retreat at the beach for hope and healing through spiritual renewal.

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