Letter to ++Uganda from an African Gay Christian

You need to read this Christian’s response to an anti-gay Ugandan Archbishop

You have incited violence and cruelty towards us

You need to read this Christian’s response to an anti-gay Ugandan Archbishop
Archbishop of Uganda, Stanley Ntagali has incited hate and violence against LGBTIs

He claims he has been ‘betrayed’ by the Anglican Church. Why? Because bishops didn’t do even more to punish the Episcopal Church in the USA and Canada for same-sex blessings and LGBTI ordinations. He’s so upset, he’s boycotting the Anglican Consultative Forum in Zambia this April.

As a Nigerian and an Anglican, I believe it’s time our bishops’ took full responsibility for their actions towards LGBT people. If anyone should feel betrayed, it is LGBTI Anglicans who have suffered first hand from the African church’s persecution.

Here’s my open letter to Archbishop Ntagali.

Your Grace,

I write to you in the name of our loving and merciful God. I have been following your views on human sexuality for a long time. Your continued wish to avoid dialogue with the Anglican Communion causes me much sorrow.

The problem arises from you and your associates’ misunderstandings of Holy Scripture.

There was once a biblical justification for the enslavement of black people, and yet now the world views this as completely abhorrent. Similarly, you should not be so arrogant as to imagine you have nothing to learn from the theological perspectives of The Episcopal Church.

The Commandments tell us to love your neighbor as yourself. Where is this love in your continued snubbing of your brothers and sisters in Christ? Where is this love in your support for laws which persecute and jail people who through no fault of their own happen to be LGBTI?

I grew up in Nigeria, and lost my job because I was gay. I had to leave my village, my friends and family, and eventually had to leave the country. I suffered death threats and was tortured by the police, all because I was gay.

These memories continue to haunt me with pain and sorrow. This persecution of LGBTI people was and continues to be incited and egged on by the Church of Nigeria.

The church should be a sanctuary of love for everyone. But in Uganda, in Nigeria and throughout Africa, it has stoked the fires of persecution.

The heart of Jesus was open to everyone. He embraced sinners and tax collectors alike, and preached a message of inclusiveness. Where is your love?

I find it astounding you should claim to feel betrayed by the Anglican Communion. If anyone should feel betrayed it is LGBTI Anglicans in Africa, who have suffered a holocaust of violence and cruelty, incited by people such as you. You are like the Pharisees of the Gospels, following what you think is the letter of the law, while completely missing the fundamental message.

I am happy the South African Church is now accepting and welcoming everyone including us homosexuals. However, I will not rest until all of Africa, and the entire world has followed in their Christian footsteps, and shown love and acceptance to LGBTI people everywhere.

Davis Mac-Iyalla is a Nigerian gay Christian currently living in exile in London/UK. He is the founder of Changing Attitude Nigeria.

____________________________________________________

This letter to the Archbishop of Uganda – who has now along with the Primates of Kenya and Nigeria, withdrawn from representation at the next meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC16) in Lusaka – from a well-known Nigerian Anglican, Davis Mac-Iyalla (Founder of Changing Attiitude Nigeria), tells the sad story of how the Anglican Church in Uganda (along with other GAFCON Churches in Africa) have colluded with local government oppression and criminalisation of LGBTQI people within their Provinces of the Anglican Communion.

This situation, of GAFCON’s homophobic and sexist attitudes towards a significant minority in their own cultural setting, is no doubt the reason the Anglican Primates of Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria have decided not to allow local representatives from their provinces to attend ACC16.

They are no doubt aware that they would come under questioning from the representatives of other provinces about the level of homophobic treatment they have allowed to be part of their cultural response to openly Gay people in their Churches. It has become dangerous in their provinces to openly declare one’s sexual orientation, if it is not binary.

The problem with this is that, in other parts of the Communion, Church leaders are becoming aware of the problems of homophobia and sexism – which are plainly contrary to the Gospel of Christ, whose own treatment of ‘outsiders’ was very different. His problem was with the outwardly ‘religious’ who were dismissive of those they considered less pure and undefiled than themselves.

Now that (along with Kenya) Nigeria, too, has withdrawn its province’s representation from the ACC, it would seem almost inevitable that the next GAFCON meeting will re-assess its relationship to the rest of us in the world-wide Anglican Communion.

Having already stood apart from more liberal provinces of the Anglican Communion – on the basis of its self-promoted ‘Jerusalem Declaration of Faith’, it becomes more likely than ever that GAFCON will choose to walk apart from the rest of us who are represented at ACC 16.

However, if they sever themselves from the traditional leadership of the See of Canterbury, they can hardly arrogate to themselves exclusive rights to the title ‘Anglican’ – except in an act of self-promotion on the grounds of their self-styled ‘Anglican orthodoxy’ which begs the question as to whether, or not, they have the prior claim.

(N.B. Since David wrote to the Primate of Uganda, the Primate of his own home country, Nigeria (together with the Primate of Kenya) has announced his own boycotting of the ACC16 Meeting)

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

 

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About kiwianglo

Retired Anglican priest, living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ardent supporter of LGBT Community, and blogger on 'Thinking Anglicans UK' site. Theology: liberal, Anglo-Catholic & traditional. regarding each person as a unique expression of Christ, and therefore lovable.
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