At some point on Tuesday, November 17th, I hope each of us will take a moment to light a candle, and set aside 30 minutes to say a prayer for Uganda.
Specifically, the call going out across the globe is for all people of faith to pray that the Ugandan government withdraw the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009 which threatens the lives of LGBT people in that African nation.
It also threatens the work of any western organization that is doing outreach to the LGBT community in Uganda. If caught, there are fines and possible imprisonment. It could lead people to snitch on neighbors who are disseminating information about LGBT activities. As Integrity USA observes, this proposal is the most draconian attack on the civil rights of a minority since Hitler's regime passed anti-Semitic laws in Germany!
The silence from church leaders and politicians in the west is disturbing. The United States and European nations basically bankroll the Ugandan leadership that is proposing this hateful legislation! And where is the outrage from the Archbishop of Canterbury? Why has our Presiding Bishop remained mum on this topic? And what about Pope Benedict XVI? The government of Yowero Musevene is poised to pass a bill that should offend any Christian's sensibilities, and yet not a word. Why? Because the Ugandan Church is complicit in this action?
The Ugandan Church leadership is using the language adopted at the Lambeth Conference in 1998 (Lambeth 1:10) to bolster its support for this anti-gay legislation. Is this what the bishops of the Anglican Communion intended when they approved this? That, in Uganda, the "listening to the experience of homosexuals" (while keeping a boot on our necks) should result in a "seek and destroy" mission?
The leadership of the church may be asleep at the wheel, but the faithful community of believers is not. So, please, let us join our hearts, minds and souls in prayer for deliverance of Uganda from this evil legislation.
O God, you have bound us together in a common life. Help us, in the midst of our struggles for justice and truth, to confront one another without hatred and bitterness, and to work together with mutual forbearance and respect; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. --Collect for In Times of Conflict, BCP pg. 824