Saturday, July 26, 2008

UK grants asylum to Director of Changing Attitude Nigeria

Friday, 25 July 2008
by Colin Coward

Davis MacIyalla, Director of Changing Attitude Nigeria, has been granted asylum in the UK.
MacIyalla fled Nigeria in 2006 following a series of death threats. After settling in Togo a brief period of calm was followed by further intimidation, culminating in a violent assault in April of this year. In the same week a fellow gay Anglican activist was severely beaten while representing Davis at his sister’s funeral in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
Following his arrival in the UK, to help contribute to the Listening Process ahead of the Lambeth Conference, MacIyalla and the Director of Changing Attitude England, Colin Coward, both received more death threats. British police established that the threats originated outside the UK and MacIyalla decided that he had no option but to seek asylum in Britain.

This afternoon MacIyalla said 'This is a huge relief. This morning I wasn't a free man – now I'm safe. My great sadness is for all my brother and sister LGBT Christians back in Nigeria whose lives are still limited and sometimes endangered, just because of who they are.'
The Revd Colin Coward, Changing Attitude's Director in England said 'We're very grateful that the Government has taken seriously the threat to Davis’ life were he to return to Africa. Thanks to his refugee status he can continue to work for LGBT Nigerian Anglicans, along with friends and colleagues from many parts of Africa, from the safety of a base in London.'
The UK Government's recognition that Nigeria can be a dangerous place for gay Anglicans sits in stark contrast to the view of Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) leaders who until recently denied that that homosexuality existed within their church. They still refuse to condemn violence against LGBT people and continue to deny them a place within the body of the Church.
For further information contact:
The Reverend Colin Coward
Director of Changing Attitude England
Mobile +44 (0)7770 844302
Notes: Changing Attitude is a charitable organisation that works for the full inclusion and affirmation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people in the Anglican Communion.


Pat Klemme said...

Thanks be to God. Alleluia! Amen.

Linda Ryan said...

Thank God!

And thank you, government of the UK, for your wise and compassionate action.