By Junior Mayema,
These two important articles below shed light on how religious extremism is generating a boomerang effect both to western countries such as USA that is the biggest export of homophobia around the world and re-export or migration of homophobia from Africans back and forth to where it is coming just read these two articles to understand more on how religion is being utilized as weapon of mass destruction below :
Homophobia in American African Migrant Churches
A lot has been said about how American evangelists are supporting efforts and campaigns to legislate against gay marriage in Uganda and other African countries. But there is very little mention of African churches that are re-exporting a homophobic gospel to Europe and America. Many African Pentecostal groups are extending their mission overseas. They are promoting programs and activities that undermine the rights of gay people in this region. These churches are mainly from West Africa, particularly from Nigeria. They are establishing branches in immigrant communities in Western countries where they propagate “Africanized Christianity.” Yes, they qualify their Christianity as African because they think American and European Christians have drifted from preaching the true word of God. They claim that Western churches have teachings and practices that are incompatible with their Africanized Christianity. But this is only a ploy to create a gospel niche for themselves where they can promote doctrines that go against the human rights laws of these countries. One of these homophobic African churches in the United States is the Mountain of Fire and Miracle Ministries (MFM).
This church has its headquarters in Nigeria but it has branches in Europe and North America. MFM preaches against homosexuality. It regards homosexuals as sexual perverts in need of salvation and redemption. One of the prayer points of the Los Angeles branch of MFM is “Deliverance Prayers Against Homosexuality and Sexual Perversion.” The prayer point urges those who are caught in the sexual bondage of homosexuality, lesbianism, and other forms of sexual immorality to understand that their bondage can be broken “through the power of the blood of Jesus.” MFM branches in New Jersey and Katy, Texas have adopted the same prayer programs. To learn more see these links:
Another MFM branch of the church in Houston, dubbed the United States. and Caribbean Regional Headquarters, compares homosexuals and lesbians to dogs. See:
At the website, you will find the following wording:
“The Bible refers to homosexuals and lesbians as dogs. Anyone who has ever engaged in these kinds of things would need to receive deliverance from the spirit of the dog, which has entered into him or her. Generally, in the spirit world, dogs symbolize sexual perversion. So, if you see yourself being pursued in the spirit by a dog, check your sexual life. It means that something must be wrong somewhere, whether in your heart or your activities. Psalm 22:16 says, ‘For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed [sic] me: they pierced my hands and my feet.’ ”
Unfortunately, praying against homosexuality is a policy of the North American Network of MFM and it is documented at this link: mfmnorthamerica.com/?page_id=1297
All human rights communities should be concerned about this church and its affiliates. These homophobic prayers should not be seen as innocuous intercessions and suppli- cations to God. The prayer programs are actually teachings that negatively and unfairly shape the minds and attitudes of the congregants. The hateful prayers are statements of opposition against homosexuality. Humanists, secularists, and religious individuals who support the rights of gay people should speak out against the activities of MFM. Perhaps a strong effort can be made to petition the leaders of the offending MFM branches to sanction the hateful prayers.
Just as the world came out and roundly condemned American evangelists who sponsored or supported the “Kill the Gays Bill” in Uganda, we should also condemn expressly African pastors and churches that are propagating hatred and persecution of gay people in the United States. Hate speech should not be considered a constitutional right when so many lives are at stake. Individuals and organizations must bring attention to the dangerous situation and publicly criticize African churches that are praying against homosexuality. There is a slight risk in such a protest. Criticism could be misconstrued as some type of racism. But condemning the activities of homophobic churches has nothing to do with racism. That would be a counter argument to avoid the real problem of hate speech. Protesting hate speech is a clear effort to protect the universal human rights of dignity, safety, equality and protection against fear of bodily harm.
The nontheist community can work and campaign for the respect and recognition of gay rights in the United States, Uganda, Nigeria, and in other parts of Africa. Together, we can object to African Pentecostal churches eroding the gains we have made in Europe and some of North America. We need to act now and complain about the dangerous church doctrine that equates homosexuals to dogs. Such an analogy and hatred has no place in contemporary America.
I urge readers of this article to form a protest committee and take action. Coordinate your efforts with other groups that are equally appalled by the situation. Form alliances to put an end to bigotry and hatred. It is our duty to demand social changes to better the world.
And here is what Frank Mugisha says :
And just about time for a few quick questions from Twitter:
Support community church projects and empower citizens, the message is easily spread that way
Society prejudice, fear and stigma
Some messages help if they are well thought out, but some times they cause problems for our work.
Also on Facebook Ugandan Ssempijja Lwanga said:
Uganda condemns homosexuality but no homosexual has been threatened or publicly humiliated. European tabloids are good at tarnishing the African image. I really don’t understand the gains from such false reporting.
Hilda Rose added:
No one is threatening Homosexuals in Uganda, self engineered articles are possible to attract sympathy for self gain. So I suggest balance when looking at this story. Ugandans are too friendly to attack anyone who is living their life and minding their own business. They don’t like it but will not attack.
Actually, many homosexual Ugandans have been threatened, in fact, it is now under reported because of the misplaced belief that the LGBT community are reporting cases of violence to get sympathy: the comments on some of the newer news articles from Uganda will give you a good picture of this. I do agree though that homophobia is not deep-rooted amongst many Ugandans, though it is condemned.
Updated at 2.07pm GMT
Find more churches and liberal voices to support faith groups in Uganda and beyond. Partner with them and support them to do projects that empower citizens.
This is what the extreme conservative groups have done, they partner with their Ugandan friends to support orphanages, provide clean water, medical supplies and build schools.
We should support liberal groups and local communities as they preach the good message of love for all
Updated at 2.07pm GMT
The international community protects me from the state – maybe – but I don’t think it can protect me from the threat of an extreme homophobic person. But yes, I have support from my many friends and my family
Updated at 2.07pm GMT
I have been tempted a few times, when it feels too much: internal problems draining my energy; dealing with everyday problems; the laws that come and go; homophobic statements.
When I sit and think sometimes I am like: “What am I doing here why not leave?” But I love the struggle, it has registered some progress and it keeps me going.
Updated at 2.06pm GMT
The Ugandan LGBT community in the United States is trying to build its profile. We have some allies in the US but they are mostly NGOs working on human rights. What we want is solidarity from ordinary LGBT Americans and the Ugandan diaspora groups can help bridge that gap.
Updated at 1.41pm GMT
There is very little space for the LGBT community to organise. Extreme Christians are pushing for the expanded criminalisation of homosexuality in most African countries and unfortunately, many are buying into it.
Updated at 1.40pm GMT
Homophobia in Uganda in not deep-rooted, it is mostly influenced by extreme western churches.
Updated at 1.40pm GMT
Talk to your politicians, ask them not to issue public statements that could cause problems for LGBT Africans.
Make friends with people and politicians in Africa so when you discuss human rights, and LGBT rights, it is a level-headed conversation: no one party should be telling the other what to do – it should be a dialogue.