Religion and Condoms Condoms are an important tool in preventing unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Studies have shown that they are effective when used correctly and consistently. However, despite their usefulness, certain religions do not allow them to be used by married couples as a form of birth control. As most religions are pro-life, they believe this popular contraceptive is against their stance. Some allow them only for purposes of preventing the spread of infectious diseases but never as a means for people to engage in extra marital affairs. Catholics The Catholic Church, as an example, is firm in its stand to disallow condom use in family planning or birth control. It believes that married couples should procreate and not hinder reproduction if necessary. Only natural family planning (NFP) and abstinence are preferred to prevent conception. For the leaders of this religious denomination, it is a sin to use any unnatural form of contraception. This has been a major concern in the Philippines where leaders of the Catholic Church had been at war with government officials who are committed to encouraging the use of the contraceptive in helping poor families limit their number of children thus preventing the ballooning of the country’s population. Philippine President Benigno Aquino Jr. signed into law in December 2012 the Reproductive Health Bill that had been pending for 13 long years. In 2010, Pope Benedict XVI announced that the Catholic Church would now accept condoms but only as a means to reduce the risk of infection from AIDS. He stressed, though, that the church will objects the use of contraception because it interferes with the creation of life. Muslims Other than the Catholics, Muslims are also not open to wearing condoms. In fact, Muslim leaders do not favor condom machines being placed in public areas in certain countries as they only promote promiscuity among the young Islam followers. In the African region where HIV and AIDS cases are very high, researchers have found the condom use was lowest among Muslims. This is despite the fact that their Islam religion does not totally prohibit the use of such contraceptive. The researchers also said that religious teachings did not influence people in their study on their decision to use or not to use condoms. For most Muslims, abstinence and faithfulness are more important in preventing the spread of HIV. Christians Among the Protestants, condom use depends on their specific denomination. The conservatives, however, continue to oppose such contraception. Those who belong to the Orthodox Christian Church are free to choose the kind of contraception that they see appropriate. Followers of Judaism, meanwhile, differ in their views on condoms. The Orthodox does not allow males to use contraceptives while the females may be allowed to use any form particularly to protect their health. As for the Conservative and Reform believers, their view is that condoms may only be used for social, economic and environmental reasons. Most Jews believe men should not waste their seeds and using contraceptives only encourage this.