Guardian Stephen Bates Gay Ugandan Christian denied visa to visit UK (well OK it’s just as much a story from the UK about the Foreign Office)
A gay Ugandan Christian has been denied a visa to enter Britain in order to attend a meeting at the invitation of the Anglican church next week because there is a warrant for his arrest in his home country where homosexuality is punishable by life imprisonment.
Chris Stentaza, a headteacher at a church school who was dismissed from his job and forced into hiding after speaking at a conference of gay Christians in Manchester 15 months ago, has been rejected for a visa by the British high commission in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, apparently because of his sexuality.
He had been invited to join a delegation due to meet Canon Gregory Cameron, the secretary to the church’s commission responsible for last October’s Windsor report, investigating ways of keeping the worldwide communion together after the row over the promotion of gay clergy.
Update Monday 31 Jan
Today, the Guardian carries a letter about this Christian persecution
Chris Stentaza’s experience of persecution (Gay Ugandan Christian denied visa to visit UK, January 29) has become extremely common among gay Christians in Africa.
The most recent wave of imprisonments and beatings in Uganda started in 1999 when President Yoweri Museveni launched a crackdown on homosexuals, publicly supported by the Anglican archbishop.
Just last month, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission reported that the persecution of homosexuals in Uganda had intensified following the Anglican church of Uganda’s aggressive campaign against homosexuality that was launched as a direct response to the American church consecrating a gay bishop.
Throughout Africa, gay Christians are frightened, isolated and desperate. Those who are open about their sexuality are commonly excluded from church life and refused baptism and communion. They can be subjected to verbal abuse by their priests and bishops. Those working for the church are sacked.
The Anglican church has committed itself to listen to the voices of lesbian and gay people. Yet the church attacks and excludes them as soon as they make their voices heard. The bishops of the Anglican communion must make it possible for listening to take place and engage in the dialogue that it has been so repeatedly promised.
Rev Colin Coward
Director, Changing Attitude
Rev Dr Giles Fraser
Chair, Inclusive Church
Rev Kelvin Holdsworth
Changing Attitude Scotland
Rt Rev Barry Hollowell
Bishop of Calgary
The Rev’d Susan Russell
President, Integrity USA
East African Standard, Nairobi African Anglicans firm on gay bishop
African Anglican Archbishops yesterday rejected the apology by the American Episcopal Church over the ordination of a homosexual bishop and the wedding of gay couples.
The clerics, representing 50 million faithful, asked their American counterparts to repent instead.
“They have only apologised and not repented,” said Dr Reverend Bernard Malango, the Archbishop of Zambia.
“Apology does not make sense to us, the biblical word is repentance,” said Kenya’s Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi.
They were speaking late yesterday at a news conference in Nairobi at the end of a two days meeting skipped by South Africa’s archbishop Njongokulu Ndungane, the only pro-gay voice in Africa.
The meeting dubbed third Trumpet, was chaired by the Nigerian Primate archbishop Peter Akinola was also attended by representatives of representatives from South East Asia, Latin America and Asia.
or this report from Associated Press Anglicans Abroad Say Apology Not Enough
Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola noted the U.S. bishops apologized to individual church members in a letter issued earlier this month expressing “sincere regret” for consecrating V. Gene Robinson in November 2003 as bishop of New Hampshire without full consideration of other Anglicans’ objections. But Akinola told journalists they failed to repent for an act he said was contrary to their faith.
“That gives us a very big question mark whether we are together or not,” said Malawi’s Archbishop Bernard Malango.
Akinola spoke after a weeklong meeting to discuss recommendations by an Anglican commission to resolve discord within the communion over homosexuality.
In a report issued in October, the panel urged the U.S. branch not to elect any more gay bishops and called on conservative African bishops to stop meddling in the affairs of other dioceses.
In Kenya Friday, church leaders were circumspect about their views on the recommendations, saying they did not want to pre-empt a meeting of all Anglican archbishops in Ireland next month.
About 15 archbishops attended the gathering in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
Daily Champion, Lagos Tinubu, Odili Speak On Role of Clerics in Governance
GOVERNORS Peter Odili of Rivers and Bola Tinubu of Lagos states have hailed the positive roles of the clergy in secular governance, describing same as elevating.
In a brief speech that lasted five minutes, Gov. Odili said both religious clerics and secular rulers had common goal which, according to him, was serving the people and so they should co-operate.
…Gov. Tinubu, in his own speech, lauded the position taken by clerics, urging them to speak the truth always.
…The governor maintained that the church had a social responsibility to crusade against all vices, insisting that it was only by doing so would Nigerians feel challenged and retraced their steps, if they are on the wrong track.
Both Govs Tinubu and Odili praised the Anglican Church for standing firm against gay practice, saying that it was an indication that the church had come of age in Africa.
Here is another item from the Standard Anglican bishop urges all faiths to reject gay unions
Christians were yesterday exhorted to intensify the fight against gay relationships in the church.
Mombasa Anglican Bishop Julius Kalu made the clarion call yesterday, urging all religions to come out against homosexuality and lesbianism.
“Homosexuals have invaded all religious institutions, including non-Christian ones,” said the bishop.
In a statement issued just a day after Anglican Church of Kenya bishops rejected an apology by the Episcopal Church in America over the ordination of an openly gay bishop and its support for same-sex unions, the bishop said: “We call upon all denominations to come out and condemn this evil, which is against the commandments of God.”
The bishop also expressed concern over the rampant practice of lynching suspected witches in parts of Coast Province.
Several suspected witches have been killed in Kilifi, Kwale and Taita Taveta districts over the past few months. In the latest incident, a middle-aged woman in Voi Division, Taita Taveta District, was set upon by an angry mob which beat her senseless before setting her ablaze.
A community in Kaloleni Division, Kilifi District has also put up a list of 11 suspected witches, whom it wants eliminated.
Bishop Kalu pointed out that the government has enough machinery to deal with those involved in the vice and proposed that they should be charged in court or placed in seclusion.