Archive for the ‘Peter Akinola’ Category
Bigoted clerics stir up anti-gay witch-hunts in Africa
London – 2 July 2008
“This breakaway Anglican faction is fundamentalist, homophobic and sexist. It opposes equal rights for women and gay people, and is allied with hardline church leaders whose bigoted teachings are fuelling anti-gay witch-hunts in many countries.”
The condemnation comes from human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, who yesterday (1 July) picketed a meeting at All Soul’s Church in London of the newly-formed Anglican fundamentalist sect, the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FOCA). Mr Tatchell was joined by his OutRage! African colleague Brett Lock and gay Christian and Ugandan gay rights activist, Kizza Musinguzi.
When they tried to enter the church, they were violently ejected. Mr Tatchell was punched in the chest by a church steward.
Photos of the protest are here:
“Archbishop Peter Akinola is backing the state-sponsored persecution of lesbians and gays in Nigeria. He is orchestrating a wicked victimisation campaign against the Nigerian gay Christian leader, Davis Mac-Iyalla, Director of Changing Attitude Nigeria,” added Mr Tatchell.
“The Archisbishop of Uganda, Henry Orombi, has stirred up prejudice against gay Ugandans in a society where anti-gay hatred and violence is rife. In 2006, he excommunicated a heterosexual bishop, Christopher Senyonjo, because he defended gay people against persecution.
“Jesus Christ is recorded in The Bible as condemning many sins but he never once condemned homosexuality. The anti-gay campaign of the breakaway Anglican leaders is a perversion of Christ’s gospel of love and compassion. These splitters are Old Testament fundamentalists, not true followers of Jesus Christ,” concluded Mr Tatchell.
Kizza Musinguzi is a gay member of the Anglican Church of Uganda. He has witnessed first hand the homophobic campaign by his church leaders. Mr Musinguzi was jailed and tortured in Uganda because of his gay rights activism. He is currently seeking asylum in the UK.
“The church is supposed to be all-loving. It is not acceptable that it has one set of rights for straight Christians and a lesser set of rights for gay Christians,” said Mr Musinguzi.
“When Archbishop Orombi takes a stand against gay people, he signals to the population that it is okay to discriminate against gay people. He supports Uganda’s vicious anti-gay laws, which stipulate life imprisonment for consenting same-sex relationships. Orombi is encouraging prejudice and hatred. His victimisation of Bishop Senyonjo is cruel and vindictive.
“Gay people in Uganda face imprisonment, torture and mob violence. Many are driven out their communities and left destitute. The government excludes gay people from its HIV programmes, leaving them to die without medication. The Church of Uganda is exacerbating this homophobia, neglect and persecution,” said Mr Musinguzi.
Anglican Split And Consequences For Gays by Viktor Zimmermann, Sept 23, 2007, Gay Republic.
Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola is visiting the US congregations, and Gay rights activists do good to let him know he is not welcome. Some 30 protesters expressed their anger outside the Wheaton College chapel, where Akinola was spreading his hateful insights to a willing auditory of several hundred Christian believers. The protesters, who were mostly Christians themselves, accused Akinola of attempts to lure singular Anglican churches away from the official US congregation.
Akinola is a known enemy of the Gay people and has been waging a war against homosexuality in Africa for many years. Akinola’s visit appears to be a bold provocation to the US Anglican churches, considering the fact that on Tuesday, the US bishops will meet to decide on how to deal with the ultimatum issued to them by African and Asian congregations.
Christian commentators write that the majourity of the US bishops are considered liberals, and they are expected to vote for inclusion of religious Gays in the Church, both with regard to the blessing of Gay couples and ordaining more Gay bishops.
The split the Anglican Church seems inevitable, establishing an alternative alliance between Africa and conservatives in the US.
Meanwhile in New Orleans, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, attempts to put together what does not belong together. His efforts to have it both ways are most probably to fail, since the real motivation behind the split is Akinola’s greed for more power and the ‘moral uprising’ of the ‘Global South’ against the former colonial powers. Africa has its very own dynamics, and the times are not good for Gays on the continent. Increasing poverty, environmental issues and the devastating spread of AIDS are increasingly pressing Africa towards violent social schisms, of which Rwanda and Sudan genocides are vivid examples. As always, in times of crisis the populace is turning its hatred towards the ones most vulnerable who are considered easy victims. It goes without saying, that those at power (like Akinola or Mugabe) are utilizing and nurturing the feelings of the mob for their own political benefits.
In Uganda, the government is targeting Gay people with support of the indoctrinated population. In Ghana, the government assured that it will under no circumstances de-criminalize same-sex relationships. In Akinola’s home country Nigeria, the Anglicans have previously played a leading role in introduction of the “Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Bill”, which didn’t pass into law earlier this year only because the Nigerian parliament ran out of time. Under that unholy piece of legislation, anybody engaging in fighting for human rights of Gays in Nigeria, or providing social and medical councelling to Gays, would be sentenced to 5 years in prison.
The internal quarrels of Anglicans weren’t of much interest to the Gay people, if they didn’t have manifest consequences for the African Gays. Is it that far to assume that African Gays will pay a high price for those internal disputes of the Anglican Church? Gays who were caught, are already facing jail terms of 5 to 25 years in most of Africa (death penalty in Northern Nigeria), but apparently it isn’t hard enough, from the viewpoint of those so-called Christians. To strengthen his position, Akinola will most certainly press for harder measures against Gays once he separated African Anglicans from the control of mother Church. In this power struggle, Gays are simply used as a welcome scapegoat to be first victimized and subsequently blamed for causing the split of the Anglican Church.
Poor Gays in Africa. Will the international Gay community be able to show as much interest in them as their chasers do?
Bob Schwartz (GLN, Gay Liberation Network, Chicago) replies :
A notable exception to Christian protesters outside the Wheaton chapel in which Archbigot Akinola held forth were some 7 members of Chicago’s Gay Liberation Network. Earlier in the year, GLN sponsored the Chicago portion of Nigerian gay activist Davis Mac-Iyalla’s US tour. In October, GLN will sponsor the first ever US appearance of Russian LGBT activist, Nicolai Alexeyev.
A GLN spokesman told the assembled crowd in Wheaton that while schism within the Anglican communion, and bible teachings on homosexuality are not “our issues,” Akinola’s antigay bigotry is, since it poses problems for everyone in Nigeria. A successful organizing drive to poach congregations away from the gay friendly Episcopal church will strengthen the right-wing within the US generally, and this too will adversely affect everyone in the US, Christian and non-religious alike.
By challenging Akinola in the US, the international hate monger is put on notice that he will not be accorded the deference that he seems to enjoy in his native Nigeria where he is said to travel around with a state provided police escort. Hopefully, by protesting his US appearances, word will also get out that Peter Akinola plays a major role in oppressing LGBT folk in Nigeria, a fact that sometimes gets lost in the singular US focus on his role as schismatic.