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Group Presents Petition Against Anti-Gay Bill to Ugandan Parliament, Warns of More Pastor Wars

Jim Burroway

March 2nd, 2010

Here is NTV Uganda’s coverage from last night’s newscast:

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As we reported yesterday a group representing religious leaders, AIDS service providers and health care workers presented a petition with more than 450,000 signatures to Uganda’s Parliament calling for the withdrawal or defeat of the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Led by Anglican Canon Gideon Byamugisha and retired bishop Christopher Senyonjyo, the group handed the petition over to Parliament Speaker Edward Ssekandi. Speaker Ssekandi said that it was “too late” to withdraw the Anti-Homosexuality Bill from Parliament, but said that Parliament would take the group’s concerns under advisement.

Cannon Byamugisha warned of the bill’s dangers:

This would obstruct religious leaders, doctors, counselors, and other service providers in their essential role, and will facilitate political and religious witch hunts and false accusations.

"Pastors Name Benny Hinn Sodomy Bonkmate": The Red Pepper's cover story of February 25, 2010. (Scan provided by a BTB reader in Uganda. Click to enlarge.)

The Red Pepper's cover story of February 25, 2010. (Click to enlarge.)

Uganda has a long history of political and religious witch hunts, in which rival pastors accuse each other of sodomy in order to increase their own standing among their followers. The most recent accusation has been levied by the notorious tabloid Red Pepper, which recently accused American televangelist Benny Hinn of having an affair with a prominent Ugandan pastor. This is seen as retaliation from last June, when several Kampala pastors were denied entrance to Hinn’s “Fire Conference” revival in Kampala. Those pastors were denied entry after having falsely accused the pastor of the revival’s host church of sodomy.

Since the Ugandan pastor has been cleared of charges following a police investigation, the Red Pepper has declined to name him in these latest charges, although virtually everyone in Uganda who knows of the very popular Hinn (His program is carried twice-daily on Kampala-based Lighthouse TV) also knows the pastor whose name is hinted in the “story.”

An alert and helpful BTB reader has provided this scan of the kind of religious witch hunts which are a shamefully common practice between pentecostal pastors in Uganda. Given Uganda’s religious climate, it would seem that perhaps those who should fear the Anti-Homosexuality Bill the most would be pastors who become prominent enough to become a threat to the prestige or finances of other pastors.

The Red Pepper's story of February 25, 2010. (Click to enlarge)

The Red Pepper's story of February 25, 2010. (Click to enlarge)

Last spring, the Red Pepper launched a public vigilante campaign in an attempt to “out” LGBT people in Uganda. In December, the tabloid published what it claimed were “city tycoons who bankroll Ugandan homos.” Pastors Martin Ssempa and others are believed to be behind many of these campaigns.

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

Comments

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wister
March 2nd, 2010 | LINK

…those who should fear the Anti-Homosexuality Bill the most would be pastors who become prominent enough to become a threat to the prestige or finances of other pastors. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. Clearly this issue is about money and power. Ssempa will clearly do and say anything. He also seems to be blessed with unlimited vanity to match his ignorance. He’s all turned on by the attention he’s been getting here in the States. I reported his blog to google for infringements of their hate speech policy. I wonder if they’ll take action.

Akheloios
March 2nd, 2010 | LINK

This isn’t just not liking gay people, this is now getting to the levels of insanity that anti-semitism reached in history. People forget that some minorities were once accused of everything, accusations of Jews paying Lepers to poison wells, Jews and Romanis kidnapping Christian children, Jews killing Christian children, completely insane charges.

All false, all accusations levelled against innocents. Just so one powerful section of society could bolster their power by making the majority rally behind them by demonising a set of people unable to respond because of their lack of political power.

It’s worked all through history, it’s working now, and it always leads to a pogrom if not stopped.

Akheloios
March 2nd, 2010 | LINK

I forgot to say-

and when you have successfully created a minority that is thoroughly hated and reviled. The powerful only need to accuse their political rivals of being secret Jews, or have Romani blood, or are homosexuals, and they’re automatically hated too. It’s political terrorism in it’s purest, most vile form.

Ray
March 2nd, 2010 | LINK

Looks like libel laws haven’t reached Uganda. Benny Hinn could own those rags in the USA for printing that stuff.

soren456
March 3rd, 2010 | LINK

“Bonkmate.”

I like that. Benny Hinn reduced to a word.

(Assuming that it isn’t French, or something.)

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