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Anglican Communion’s Tangled Connections To Uganda’s Anti-Gay Pogrom

Jim Burroway

November 14th, 2009

There has been considerable consternation over the worldwide Anglican Communion’s silence on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill that is now before Uganda’s Parliament. That bill would reaffirm a penalty of life imprisonment for anyone convicted of being gay and impose the death penalty under certain circumstances. It would also criminalize all advocacy on behalf of LGBT citizens, and impose criminal penalties on family, friends, teachers, counselors and ministers who fail to report LGBT persons to the police.

Archbishop of York John Sentamu, the number two man in the Anglican Communion.

Archbishop of York John Sentamu, the number two man in the Anglican Communion.

The Anglican Church is the second largest Christian denomination in Uganda, making its voice an exceptionally important one as the bill is debated. One would think that with the draconian nature of this proposed legislation, a denunciation would be easy. But so far it hasn’t been forthcoming, save for some reservations about the death penalty. Other than that, the Anglican Church’s official spokesperson in Uganda has been largely supportive of the bill, while the worldwide Anglican Communion has remained silent. This despite public calls for a statement against the bill directed toward Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, head of the Anglican Union, as well as the Archbishop of York John Sentamu, who is the number two man in the Anglican Communion. Sentamu, who was born and raised in Uganda, has already vowed to remain silent on the Ugandan proposals now before Parliament.

Why stay silent in the face of such obvious evil? Good question, and it turns out the answer looks like a tale that one would only expect to find in the most outrageous soap operas.

Uganda megachurch pastor Robert Kayanja, younger brother of the Archbishop of York.

Uganda megachurch pastor Robert Kayanja, younger brother of the Archbishop of York.

It turns out that Archbishop Semtamu is the older brother of a megachurch pastor by the name of Robert Kayanja. If that name rings a bell, it may be because we reported last May that Kayanja, a wealthy and powerful pastor of the Rubaga Miracle Center in Kampala, was accused of being gay by rival pastors led Solomon Male. Kayanja’s personal aide was allegedly kidnapped and tortured by armed men and held for five days, as his captors demanded that he make a video accusing Kayanja of sodomy. Kayanja accused another rival, Pastor Michael Kyazze of the Omega Healing Center of being behind the plot.

Pastor Martin Ssempa, who has been the recipient of US HIV/AIDS prevention funding and has past ties to American megachurch pastor Rick Warren, also played a prominent role in the accusations against Kayanja, as well as other well-known pastors in Uganda.

Police investigated Kayanja and found the charges baseless, although its unclear what role his donations for refurbishing police barracks or his close ties with Uganda President Yoweri Museveni may have played in the investigation. But at any rate, it appears that Kayanja is now officially in the clear, while Ssempa, Male and others were investigated for providing false accusations to police. A police report released last August called for Ssempa and the other false accusers to be brought up on criminal charges.

So does Kayanja’s brush with deadly-serious accusations of homosexuality explain the silence of the Archbishop of York, Kayanja’s brother, on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill? Or is it merely the same blatant hatred of LGBT people that infects much of Uganda’s religious community that is holding Archbishop Semantu’s tongue? And how does the silence of the Communion’s second in command affect the Archbishop of Canterbury’s refusal to address these life-and-death developments in one of the Church’s most active countries?

We can expect more false accusations and score settling should the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Act become law, with its requirement that anyone who knows someone is gay report that individual to local police. We can also expect the Act to fuel further public vigilante campaigns against private Ugandan citizens similar to the one waged by the tabloid Red Pepper last April.

L-R: Unidentified woman, American holocaust revisionist Scott Lively, International Healing Foundation's Caleb Brundidge, Exodus International boardmember Don Schmierer, Family Life Network (Uganda)'s Stephen Langa, at the time of the March 2009 anti-gay conference in Uganda.

L-R: Unidentified woman, American holocaust revisionist Scott Lively, International Healing Foundation's Caleb Brundidge, Exodus International boardmember Don Schmierer, Family Life Network (Uganda)'s Stephen Langa, at the time of the March 2009 anti-gay conference in Uganda.

Meanwhile, the largest components of worldwide Christianity remain silent, while others actively stoke the hatred and antagonisms fueling this year’s anti-gay pogrom. Active American participants in this current campaign have included Exodus International board member Don Schmierer, Holocaust Revisionist Scott Lively, and International Healing Foundation’s Caleb Brundidge, who kicked off the latest spasm with a three-day anti-gay conference held in Kampala last March. The College of Prayer’s Fred Hartly has direct ties to the two Members of Parliament who are cosponsoring the proposed bill. And the U.S based shadow Christian group known as “The Family” or “The Fellowship” has identified Uganda President Museveni as “their man in Uganda.” I’m not one for wild conspiracy theories, but watching all of this unfold is simply breathtaking. And with the Anglican Communion’s continued silence on the issue, they are becoming complicit in this bloody web as well.

[Hat tip: GayUganda]

Click here to see BTB’s complete coverage of recent anti-gay developments in Uganda.

Comments

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Lynn David
November 14th, 2009 | LINK

The same could be said of the silence of the Catholic Church. Despite a policy of the Catholic Church which “urges States to do away with criminal penalties” against gay peoples, the Archbishop of Kampala Catholic Archdiocese Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga has, “urged the government of Uganda to fight human sacrifice, human trafficking, homosexuality and prostitution.

Likely this blatant disobedience of his Roman superiors will go unpunished as the Catholic Church is not about to be seen as weak on homosexuality compared to his Anglican counterparts in Uganda, but likewise also elsewhere as Pope Benedict and the Catholic Church have been attempting to court those Anglican/Episcopal churches and bishoprics who are disgruntled with the more liberal social action of their church. However, as Virtue Online reports, it appears that Pope Benedicts Anglican gambit is coming to naught.

Jim
November 15th, 2009 | LINK

Like I’ve said before, if Uganda made a product worth buying, I’d boycott it. Uganda doesn’t do anything except kill people. Uganda has for a long time. Just ask Idi.

Ad Dominum » Blog Archive » World day of prayer for justice in Uganda
November 17th, 2009 | LINK

[…] That the Ugandan Church- and the Church Universal- realize this legislation is not morally or Scripturally correct… and speak up. Many Ugandan churches have made statements in support of this legislation, and other churches worldwide have refused to comment on it. (The Archbishop of York, specifically, has refused to address it, as he has close family ties to the bill’s supporters in Uganda.) […]

lejos del usa 6
March 11th, 2010 | LINK

Pro homosexual propaganda is BLATANT COLONIALISM — We all know homosexuals from the USA & Western Europe travel to Africa South America & Asia to recruit boys to be homosexuals– feminists do the same with girls & lesbians–Presidente Hugo Chavez has warned over again– BEWARE OF THE EMPIRE & ITS PROPAGANDA We demand to the North America & Western Euro COLONIALISTS–KEEP YOUR PROPAGANDA OUT OF OUR PRECIOUS NATIONS GO AWAY WE REJECT YOU & YOUR INVASIONS

Burr
March 11th, 2010 | LINK

How ironic. Actually it’s the churches (rife with pedophilic abuse) that you cling to so mindlessly that represent the western colonialism you are deriding. Open your eyes.

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