Saturday, June 28, 2008

Kenya Anglican Gays Send a Strong Message to Lambeth Conference

NAIROBI, June 26, 2008. By Rev. John Makokha, Other Sheep Coordinator/ United Methodist Minister.
Kenyan Anglican clergy, gays and allies sent a strong message of affirmation and inclusiveness to the bishops at the forthcoming Lambeth conference in July-August, 2008. This was unanimously agreed on at the ceremony organized by Integrity USA, a pro Anglican US based organization, in partnership with the Other Sheep organization in Kenya. The function took place in one of the hotels in Nairobi, Kenya on June, 19.

Rev. Cynthia Black and Katie Sherrod from Integrity USA carried out the personal interview of the participants using video recording. The objective of this program was to take the voices and faces of gays, lesbians and allies to the Lambeth conference for the Anglican bishops to see and hear from the horse's own mouth.

Kimindu sitting at poolRev. Michael Kimindu, an Anglican priest and Other Sheep East Africa Coordinator said that it is hard for young people to discover that they are gay in Kenya. They come to fear God and hate themselves. And society and religious condemnation causes young gay people to live in isolation, depression and subsequently commit suicide in schools, colleges and homes.

"Religious teachings are against homosexuality, and for us allies we are looked at as people promoting a gay movement in Africa," said Kimindu. You cannot discourage or promote what you cannot change. It is not a choice, it is inborn.

(Above photo: Rev. Michael Kimindu, Anglican Priest)

His message to the bishops was that they should be bishops and not judges. They should appreciate the diversity of God's gifts in relation to the clergy and laity in the church without being dictators. The bishops should commission well educated people to conduct a research on homosexuality. The findings can help remove grey hairs in their approach.

Kimindu said that the church in Kenya has lesbians, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons who have questions and are seeking answers. They are living in the closet due to fear of stigma and condemnation propagated by religious homophobia.

He said the bishops should stop thinking that homosexuality is unAfrican. The truth of the matter is homosexuality is part of human history and since civilization started in Africa, therefore homosexuality started from Africa. We should not blame the West for introducing homosexuality.

1 comment:

Ann said...

More on the story here with quotes by Katie and Cynthia. Also news of a play by Western MI University to be at Lambeth.