One deputy recently objected to the suggestion that the Church might be involved in persecution of LGBT people. The Church could not, he argued, be held responsible for the actions of their governments any more than the Episcopal Church can be held responsible for the actions of the US government.
Unfortunately it’s not that simple. The Church of Nigeria has actively campaigned for laws which would make it illegal not only for LGBT people to get together but for anyone to support LGBT rights. Gay Anglican activist from Nigeria, Davis Mac-Illya, was able to make such a good case for the threats to his life that the Brits granted him asylum. Where did this persecution come from? What was the source of the death threats?
Some African bishops have actively spoken in support of the criminalization of LGBT people. At a press conference at GAFCON Archbishops Orombi and Akinola seemed not to understand a question about human rights for LGBT people. To fail to condemn violence is the same as condoning it.
It is not just the governments of these countries which oppress LGBT people. Despite repeated official statements about the importance of supporting civil rights, some Anglican churches continue to support the oppression and dehumanization of LGBT Christians.
To hear the voice of those in other parts of the Communion see Voices of Witness Africa.
Monday we are hosting a viewing of of Voices. Details are on the Integrity web portal, as well as listed below.
Voices of Witness Africa special screening
(4th floor), Anaheim Hilton