Thinking Anglicans

UK government grants asylum to MacIyalla

Changing Attitude reports that:

UK grants asylum to Director of Changing Attitude Nigeria

As Ruth Gledhill notes on her blog about this, Lambeth Diary: Nigerian gay Christian activist granted asylum:

This is extremely rare here and a clear indication of how seriously the British Government is taking the attacks and threats made against him in Nigeria. It will also surely send a signal to bishops meeting here about this whole issue, to be on the agenda of indaba groups this week…

and the Church of Nigeria still has this statement on its official website.

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Cheryl Va.
12 years ago

Prayers of thanks that the UK government has acted compassionately. God knows, without some “third party” intervention, Davis would literally had no safe place to dwell.

Mind you, he and his friends should not be too complacent, but then neither should they live out their lives in fear.

Once again, we are seeing righteousness being made manifest in the forms of justice for the alien and outcaste.

Praise and thanks to God and all those who acted compassionately in these circumstances.

Göran Koch-Swahne
12 years ago

Some of he comments on Ruth’s blog follow the Anglican.nig party line closely.

Disgusting, but they only denigrate themselves.

Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
12 years ago

The defamatory statement by the Church of Nigeria about David MacIyala, shows just how homophobia is institutionalised in that Church. This just demonstrates how desperate Archbishop Akinola is to demonise gays in his country – having gone on record as supporting their criminalisation and imprisonment by the Nigerian government.

Is this the sort of attitude we want to support in a new Covenantal relationship as Anglicans? I pray that the Lambeth Bishops will repudiate any attempt to support such anti-Gospel behaviour

Merseymike
Merseymike
12 years ago

And what does this tell us about both Nigeria and the Nigerian church?

And there are people who still wish to be in communion with this organisation? Why?

dodgey_vicar
dodgey_vicar
12 years ago

I would welcome him to preach the Gospel here.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
12 years ago

So a secular government, one criticized by conservatives for being anti-Christian and actually persecuting Christians, acts to protect a human being against people who threaten his life, among whom are prominent Christian bishops, who themselves claim persecution by those who defend the man they are persecuting. Wow! What a witness to the Gospel. And I wonder how many conservatives want to accuse me of distortion because +Akinola and others have not ACTUALLY called for Davis to be killed, as if the only way to threaten someone’s life is to call for his death. Again, what a witness to the Gospel!

JPM
JPM
12 years ago

Yes, the comments on Ruth’s site are pretty awful, even by the usual standards of the so-called “orthodox.”

I have an increasingly hard time recognizing these hateful people as Christian at all, much less Anglican.

drdanfee
drdanfee
12 years ago

Yes if we want to hear an authentic cultural voice, those blog comments will do for a start. All the way to the top, i.e., Akinola’s comments, too. Alas. Lord have mercy. Another clue that Deng Bul’s wish for everything to go back = silence, invisibility, cover ups of the closeted life for queer folks – is wishful Anglican thinking indeed. So, in current Lambeth/Anglican rule making, one is bullied and doomed in traditional Anglican preachments until/unless one actually gets hit in the face and receives death threats from people who happen to take those preachments too literally or too… Read more »

choirboyfromhell
choirboyfromhell
12 years ago

Ford, it is the same thing we in the U.S. where saying a few years ago when a newly elected/ appointed “born-again” president was bashing gays, gunning for a war and wrapping himself in the flag.

It is the same thing when one of the regular contributers to this blogsite make claims against the people of a another country, who have taken many of the Iraqi refugees that my country has displaced and call the host country unChristian because of some foggy claims on it’s citizens’ church attendance.

It shows how very far Christianity is from Christ.

Colin Coward
12 years ago

Bishop Tunde Popoola initiated the persecution of Davis Mac-Iyalla in Nigeria by the Disclaimer he issued in December 2005. We asked him repeatedly to substantiate the allegations, which we believed to be false, and which the evidence supplied by Davis proved were false http://www.changingattitude.org.uk/news/newsitem.asp?id=9. Tunde has never provided a single piece of evidence. I also aksed Bishop Martyn Minns to request the then Canon Tunde to remove the Disclaimer and cease attacking Davis. The Disclaimer is still on the Church web site. Two bishops have thus colluded in perpetuating lies and falsehood against another Anglican Christian – because he is… Read more »

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
12 years ago

Dodgey_vicar,
if you’re serious, Davis’ contact details are on the Changing Attitude website.

John
John
12 years ago

From the base point of view of Anglican politics, this is a GOOD THING because it will force silly authoritarians like Tom Wright to think seriously about the position of the C of E within the UK.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
12 years ago

“And there are people who still wish to be in communion with this organisation? Why?” Because they are fellow human beings, and fellow Christians, in need of our love and prayers? Because there’s more kinds of oppression in the world than what we Western gay people experience, and in many places it’s a lot more raw, and we are called to minister to those things without making sure our own wants are covered first? Because there is still, essentially, theft of Nigeria’s resources by Western governments, and that creates animosity in them towards us that our love and tolerance might… Read more »

peterpi
peterpi
12 years ago

I also offer up praise and thanks that the British Government expeditiously offered David MacIyala asylum, though I am saddened that he now has to continue his work on behalf of GLBT Christians and others in Nigeria as a stranger in a strange land. I echo Father Ron Smith: Is this part of the “consensus” Lambeth wants to build? Part of the Covenant? I sing in the choir and otherwise participate in a TEC church. Nobody there wants to impose American values on Nigeria or its people. By the same token, why can’t Primate Akinola and like-minded folks allow TEC… Read more »

Neil
Neil
12 years ago

The extreme conservatives lie about other Christians. They refuse to believe the evidence and witness of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender African Christians. They commit sin against other Christians by denigrating them and provoking prejudice…

Slightly off the point but an accurate portrayal of how people like Giles Fraser and Inclusive Church treat opponents of womens ordination…even MORE than accurate…it is SPOT ON!!!

choirboyfromhell
choirboyfromhell
12 years ago

Yeah Neil, we even physically attack, knife and beat opponents of women’s ordination.

I’ll believe that when I see one of them seeking asylum in Nigeria, or some such GAFCON province.

They denigrate themselves with their continual mis-interpretation and misrepresentation of Christ and scripture to feed their insecurities and bigotry. Plain and simple.

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
12 years ago

The only sad thing about this , is that Nigeria is the scam centre of Africa… and its people desperate to get out. So now, to get asylum , you just pretend to be gay and persdecuted and don’t bother with the back of a Calais lorry.

In the end it could have a worse effect on UK opinion.

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
12 years ago

RIW
Although I don’t always agree with your views I have come to respect your integrity here on TA.

I sincerely hope your last comment was not intended to imply that Davis has made up his story and hoodwinked the Home Office into granting him asylum.

Cheryl Va.
12 years ago

Long term subscribers to TA have witnessed and are still witnessing the slander and attacks being made against Davis and members of his family and friends.

That allegations from several years ago could still be linked at the beginning of this thread proves the character assassination has not stopped.

Davis may or may not be pretending to be gay, but the fact that he is persecuted has been proven beyond reasonable doubt.

Anyone who purports otherwise has simply not followed the audit trail, or thought they could whitewash and pretend it never existed.

Walsingham
Walsingham
12 years ago

Thank God he will be safer, though I’m afraid even in the UK he won’t be safe.

And I also share the hope expressed above that this will increase pressure on conservatives to realize the extreme danger many (most? all?) African gays are in and to realize their responsibility to speak up loudly for their safety. It’s one thing to oppose ordination of gays to the priesthood or episcopate; it’s totally another to stand idly by as people are outright persecuted for their sexuality and treated as little better than animals.

Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
12 years ago

It seems that Robert Ian Williams has a hidden agenda with his remark (above) about the circumstances of Davis McIyala’s being granted asylum by the British Government. Does he really believe that Davis was pretending to be gay, just to achieve that end? If so, I think he has entirely misread all of the other positings on this thread. Does he really think the British Government could be so easily persuaded to offer asylum on the basis of a lie?

Tunde
Tunde
12 years ago

Congrats Davis. Long time TA readers might remember you denied it when I suggusted asylum might be your goal a long time ago. CONGRATS! I continue to pray for you. +Tunde

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
12 years ago

No Erika, i believe David is genuine, but an Asylum policy which has integrity and fairness for all concerned , must be watchful.

Colin Coward
12 years ago

Bishop Tunde Popoola breaks cover again to congratulate Davis. He doesn’t apologise to Davis, he doesn’t withdraw his false allegations against him, but crows that he predicted long ago what Davis would do in terms of seeking asylum. Davis has talked with me about asylum many times in the nearly three years since Tunde first posted his attack on Davis. When Davis first visited the USA in June 2007, he was put under great pressure to seek asylum there and not return to Africa. Some of his American friends couldn’t understand why he didn’t take the opportunity offered to him.… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
12 years ago

Do we see here again 1) Smear from Tunde 2) Fear (co-dependency to the opposition to Asylum of the BNP and others).

To grant Asylum to the persecuted is a sign of Civilsation.

In the Middle Ages church-doors used to be painted r e d for this (and to guide those needful).

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
12 years ago

RIW “but an Asylum policy which has integrity and fairness for all concerned , must be watchful” It is, Robert Ian, it is. If there are floodgates it is only because the persecution of 2-8% of African people by their own government and church is only too real. And whatever Tunde might claim, Davis would have much prefered to stay in Togo, indeed stayed there even after he was discovered and started to receive credible death threats that the Togan police took very seriously. Only when they finally attacked and injured him in broad daylight did he realise just how… Read more »

Fr Mark
Fr Mark
12 years ago

Robert: it is, very watchful. I was a chaplain in a detention centre for asylum seekers and illegal immigrants: it is incredibly difficult for gay asylum seekers to get proof. If you flee a developing country because, say, the gay bar you were in got raided by the police and you had to run out the back door and away as fast as you could; or if the police arrest you for being gay, take you to the station and beat you up, then you escape through a window and run for your life; then you have to get across… Read more »

Walsingham
Walsingham
12 years ago

“And, Tunde, before you congratulate Davis for finally finding safety, could you explain again why you did absolutely nothing to help him and to reduce the danger he was in?”

An excellent question. I’d like to see a cogent answer.

Liz W
12 years ago

I am very glad that asylum has been granted in this case, but as a lawyer who does some asylum cases, I think this is testimony to the ability of the C of E hierarchy to pull strings on MacIyalla’s behalf rather than to the seriousness of his case. I do not doubt that his case is indeed serious, but other activists in this area with equally strong cases have not been so fortunate. The Labour Government is currently arguing in various cases that a ten-year prison sentence for homosexuality is “not disproprotionate” (take a moment to digest that), that… Read more »

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
12 years ago

“I think this is testimony to the ability of the C of E hierarchy to pull strings on MacIyalla’s behalf rather than to the seriousness of his case” If only! I do think you overestimate the influence of the gay groups within the CoE, who were the only ones considering this case worthy enough of getting involved in. I don’t know what your professional code allows, but you might wish to get in touch with Davis’ lawyers. Maybe they can give you some idea of how they handle asylum cases, it could be that they’re just very experienced in their… Read more »

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