Rwanda: Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini Addresses a Crusade to Fight Against Homosexuality
Fight Homosexuality, Kolini Tells Churches by Vanrozenheim
(Rwanda) – Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini has called on churches in the East African region to fight against homosexuality for the ‘good of the society.’ The leader of the Province of the Anglican Church of Rwanda insisted that Anglican churches in East Africa will not mingle with the homosexuals in the affairs of the church for the good of the community. “We are reformed Anglicans who want to adhere to the original creeds of the Bible, and that’s why our church has decided to ignore the 2008 Lambeth Conference because it has not done much to fight homosexuality in the communion,” he said on Sunday. He was addressing a big congregation gathered for a three-day ‘peace crusade’ at Remera St. Peter’s Church. The crusade, which was organised by the Anglican Church of Rwanda, brought together Christians from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and hosts Rwanda.
IGLHRC: The Treatment of LGBT Individuals in Rwandan Law and Society
The worsening situation of gays and lesbians in Rwanda poses a serious threat to the security and freedom of individuals in the country, and warrants immediate attention. Particularly alarming has been the recent use of the media to advocate violence against individuals because of their sexual orientation, and a seeming increase in arbitrary detention of individuals on the same basis. Rather than protecting the rights of gays and lesbians in the country, certain authorities have chosen to abuse their power in violation of the rights of these individuals.
Police officers and other officials must investigate and immediately put an end to illegal detentions of homosexuals, and must ensure that their safety and rights are being protected in their communities. The constitution clearly protects the privacy of individuals and in no way suggests that homosexuality be considered a criminal offense. Moreover, there are strong protections in place against discrimination and abuse of individual or group rights, which must be respected. There is also an urgent need for activism to encourage the government to immediately stop and punish any individuals who abuse the press as a tool to incite violence or discrimination against individuals, particularly given the painful past of Rwanda, when the radio was used to incite the population to commit genocide.
Finally, there is an urgent need for well-planned and targeted advocacy to oppose an amendment to the penal code to criminalize homosexuality. Institutionalizing discrimination against individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation not only violates the fundamental principles and freedoms outlined in the constitution of the country, but also sets a dangerous precedent for discrimination and division in a country that has battled these issues for many decades.
This is a call to action for human rights defenders, both inside and outside of the country, to stand up for individuals whose rights are being abused on the basis of their sexual orientation, and for the government to take action to ensure that these individual’s rights are protected.