American Evangelist To Rally Against Gays In Uganda

Jim Burroway

April 21st, 2010

The month of May will be a very dangerous time to be gay in Uganda, as Pentecostal churches there gear up for a series of crusades, marches and rallies commemorating the 50th Jubilee of the Pentecostal movement there. An anonymous BTB reader in Uganda reports that television is already carrying commercials advertising at least one event, a three-day conference to be held at the sports grounds at Makerere University (Uganda’s largest institution of higher learning) with a march and rally to be held the following Friday, May 7.

In the midst of that expected furor steps yet another American anti-gay extremist, Lou Engle of The Call, who has announced plans to hold a rally in Kampala on May 2, also at the Makerere University Sports Field. The Call Uganda’s web site gives these reasons for holding the rally:

It is intended to awaken and revive the young and the old, men and women, church and family, government and the public and to fight vices eating away at our society. We shall all join our hearts across tribal, political, denominational, and generational boundaries, to cry to God to help us with the challenges in our country such as:

  • The heightened political tensions and wrangles in the country, especially as we go towards the 2011 general elections
  • The increasing level of social evils in our society, some which are threatening our values and lifestyles e.g.
    • Witchcraft and human sacrifice
    • Homosexuality and increased immorality
    • Disasters and the resultant suffering of the people
    • The decay of morals and infrastructure of our city Kampala

Engle’s emotionally-charged extremism and violence-laden rhetoric has become quite familiar here in the U.S. Engle believes that gays are possessed by demons, and was part of a major rally for Prop 8 in San Diego where he called for Christian martyrs. Casey Sanchez, of the Southern Poverty Law Center describes one talk that Engle gave this way:

“I believe we’re headed to an Elijah/Jezebel showdown on the Earth, not just in America but all over the globe, and the main warriors will be the prophets of Baal versus the prophets of God, and there will be no middle ground,” said Engle. He was referring to the Baal of the Old Testament, a pagan idol whose followers were slaughtered under orders from the prophet Elijah.

“There’s an Elijah generation that’s going to be the forerunners for the coming of Jesus, a generation marked not by their niceness but by the intensity of their passion,” Engle continued. “The kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force. Such force demands an equal response, and Jesus is going to make war on everything that hinders love, with his eyes blazing fire.”

Engle has also said, “The most ‘dangerous terrorist’ is not Islam but God. One of God’s names is the avenger of blood. Have you worshiped that God yet?”

Lou Engle at The Call in Nashville, 2007

Last year, a BTB reader shared with me his experience of attending a Call rally in Nashville in 2007.  Tyler (his last name is being withheld) remembers that day vividly — July 7, 2007 (07/07/07 was their “Holy Date”):

I went to Nashville and the day was a whole day of fasting and prayer to “turn the nation back to God.”  Their tactics include, in my opinion, a lot of manipulation using emotionally-driven songs, yelling, dancing, and the like to get individuals charged up.

The Call Uganda’s web site lists the following endorsements by Ugandan Christian leaders:

  • Bishop Simon Peter Emiau – Chairman Evangelical Fellowship of Uganda;
  • Archbishop Luke Henry Orombi – Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Uganda;
  • Pastor Jotham Mutebi – Chairman Full Gospel Churches of Uganda;
  • Pastor Titus Oundo – Chairman Deliverance Churches of Uganda;
  • Apostle John Mulinde – World Trumpet Mission, which also has extensive staff in Orlando, Florida under International Director Mark Daniel.
  • Apostle Jackson Ssenyonga – Christian Life Ministries;
  • Pastor Gary Skinner – Watoto (formerly Kampala Pentecostal) Church. An elder of that church is Stephen Langa, who helped to organize last year’s anti-gay conference featuring three American anti-gay activists. That conference delivered the “nuclear bomb” that served as a precursor and catalyst to the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill that is now before Uganda’s Parliament.
  • Apostle Joseph Ssewadda – General Overseer of Born Again Federation;
  • Peter Asiimwe – Uganda Evangelical Mission Agency;
  • Pastor Fred Wantaate – Coordinator for Pentecostal Golden Jubilee – Full Gospel Church.

April 19, 2009 edition of Uganda's Red Pepper (Scans via GayUganda. Names and faces obscured by Box Turtle Bulletin. Click to enlarge).

The next several weeks will prove to be exceedingly dangerous for LGBT Ugandans. Last year’s conference led to a massive public anti-gay pogrom that included a public vigilante campaign in a major Ugandan tabloid and various FM stations in Kampala in which gay people were forcibly outed. We have reports that several people lost their jobs and were abandoned by their families as a result. Several were arrested, and there are reports of at least one death in the eastern city of Mbale.

Frank Mugisha, president Sexual Minorities of Uganda, said, “Gay people are already fleeing their homes and have to move from house to house because of threats to their lives. Americans need to stop Lou Engle from coming to Uganda.”

When we first reported on the anti-gay conference last March in Uganda, we warned that it was a very dangerous move. But even knowing and warning of those dangers, we had no idea that it would ultimately lead to a proposal to put gay people to death under certain circumstances.

After that experience, there now can be no excuse. We know what can happen following rallies like this one. And whatever happens as an aftermath of this rally, no one can say they could not predict what would happen next. Given the virulent hatred openly expressed by ordinary Ugandans and their religious leaders toward the gay community, Engle’s rally is a dangerous and reckless escalation.

Matt Gatheringwater

April 21st, 2010

Does anyone know of a trustworthy relief effort to help gay Ugandan refugees?

What countries will accept refugees fleeing persecution for being gay?


April 21st, 2010

Isn’t there something that can be done to this guy? There must be some law he’s breaking. At the very least, this should be spread as far and wide as possible across the news media.

Engle knows what he’s doing and knows what can result from this, so there has to be some way to prove that he intended to incite violence.


April 21st, 2010

Too bad his name couldn’t somehow appear on the ‘no fly’ list – he is a terrorist of sorts, after all.


April 21st, 2010

Oh Lord, here we go again… I’ve been to those meetings. EVERYBODY has demons, EVERYBODY needs demons cast out, and if you don’t agree then you’re a WITCH!!!!!!!!!!!! And if you dont agree that you’re a witch, then everybody should get together and kick your ass and run you out of town.

Pentecostal evangelists know exactly how to work a crowd and get the people into an emotional/close to sexual frenzy to advance the agnda of the speaker. I’ve seen it done a thousand times, from small-church speakers to Benny Hinn. Once the crowd is in an altered state, it’s easy to plant an agenda into their minds, whether it is kill the witch or kill the queer or give me your best offering today. And if you give enough, I might pray for your healing.

If you DON’T go to them meeting, it is proof you’re afraid of the power of the evangelist. So you have to go. And if you go and don’t jump up and down or roll on thefloor or jump the pews, then you have demons. And if you say you don’t have demons, then you have POWERFUL demons. And if you don’t cooperate with the group activity of throwing you on the floor and pouring oil on you and kicking and slapping you while everyone screams in tongues, then you are coming against the evangelist because you’re a witch.

This guyt knows he can use the “queer/witch” angle to bring a shitload of money back with him. And trust me that he will never give a thought to the lives destroyed by his antics, but will instead sit back all smug, convinced he did God a service.


April 21st, 2010

You can send an email to Jeffrey Gettleman, the reporter who wrote the New York Times article on the Exodus conference in Uganda, here:

The MSM needs to pick this story up, pronto.


April 21st, 2010

… or go to the article, and click Gettleman’s by-line if the link doesn’t work.

Karen Barr

April 21st, 2010

I sent an email to the NYTimes. I also sent an email to Rachael Maddow. Other ideas of what to do?


April 21st, 2010

Those quotes were deranged, even by the standards of the Christian Right. I do respect the fact that he acknowledges that the God of the Bible is a terrorist, i.e., someone who intentionally kills or maims civilians in order to achieve a policy objective. You cannot read the Old Testament and come to any other conclusion. It is just that when God does it, it is by definition righteous.

Accordingly, I don’t think Engle views the Call as a “reckless escalation.” It is an intentional and righteous escalation in the war for souls.


April 21st, 2010

actually, when i read the old testament, i come to the conclusion that it’s the biggest pile of ancient b.s. and that it’s about time the whole world got over it and moved on. it belongs to museums and history departments. both the old and new testaments.

it looks like many ugandans interpret their bibles literally, and selectively. joseph kony wants uganda to be ruled according to the 10 commandments, and he cuts off limbs that cause his victims to sin – straight outta the bible. many ugandan pastors want gays persecuted and judged – straight outta the bible. and the doomsday cults like kibwetere’s church that go crazy about “the end times” – straight outta the bible. not surprising for a country where kids are sacrificed and people live in fear of witches and homosexuals who they think are out to “recruit” their kids and destroy families… they learnt that from scott lively (the christian expert on homosexuality who claimed he knew more about this than anyone else) in last year’s march conference in kampala. flew all the way from america to uganda, to personally deliver his “nuclear bomb” and promote his pink swastika book – a book full of b.s. – at least one ugandan pastor was filmed praising scott lively’s pink swastika as having lots of data. the kill the gays bill followed.

lou engle should not be allowed to deliver another “nuclear bomb” …too many people have suffered too much as a result of last year’s anti-gay conference. so much work and effort has been put into mitigating the effects of that conference. a year later, they wanna do it all over again… but this time, spread the hate campaign over a week, sandwich it up with random stuff and disguise it as something other than an anti-gay crusade.

cant happen.

lou engle must be stopped, or at least spotlighted by the media into behaving more ethically sound than last year’s american visitors to uganda.

from one of the links in the article, Dr. T L Osborn is also invited to uganda as a guest at one of the pentecostal events during may… he may need to know that he’s being watched, not just by his ugandan audience.


April 22nd, 2010

If Evangelicals send people to all corners of the (third) world spreading their propaganda to the uninformed, why can’t Rational people do the same? Let’s have Dawkins or Hitchens make a conference to counteract the fanatics in Uganda.

Jean-Paul, Canada

April 22nd, 2010

‘Engle has also said, “The most ‘dangerous terrorist’ is not Islam but God. One of God’s names is the avenger of blood. Have you worshiped that God yet?”’

Good grief, can’t the Ugandan Government prevent this madman, Lou Engle, from exploiting innocent citizens ($$$$$), and threatening others with death?


April 22nd, 2010

Don’t forget that Engle’s group, “The Call” is part of the Freedom Federation that includes major ex-gay proponents – Exodus International, Focus on the Family, Liberty Counsel, and Liberty University.

Exodus – you claim to care about what happens in Uganda, yet you affiliate (and then disaffiliate, but only after you are called on it) with extremists.

Here’s another opportunity you’ll likely miss.

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