Uganda Pastors Chide Rick Warren; Defend Anti-Gay Bill

Pastors in Uganda recently chided evangelical pastor Rick Warren after he urged them to speak out against the country’s Anti-Homosexuality bill.

Mon, Dec. 21, 2009 Posted: 03:15 PM EDT
Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter

Pastors in Uganda recently chided evangelical pastor Rick Warren after he urged them to speak out against the country’s Anti-Homosexuality bill.

A group of 20 denominational heads recently formed the Uganda National Pastors Task Force Against Homosexuality and demanded that Warren “biblically issue an apology for having wronged us.”

“Your letter has caused great distress and the pastors are demanding that you issue a formal apology for insulting the people of Africa by your very inapropriate (sic) bully use of your church and purpose driven pulpits to coerse us into the ‘evil’ of Sodomy and Gaymorrah (sic),” the pastors, which include Martin Ssempa, state in a letter emailed to Warren.

They also note, “As you yourself have said, ‘..the Bible says evil has to be opposed. Evil has to be stopped. The Bible does not say negotiate with evil. It says stop it. Stop evil’. (12/2007) Since homosexuality is evil, you cannot possibly be against a law that seeks to stop it unless you have misunderstood it.”

Warren, who works with pastors in Uganda on the “Purpose Driven” campaign and P.E.A.C.E. Plan, had addressed Ugandan pastors in a video earlier this month. He condemned the criminalization of homosexuality, particularly the death penalty as proposed in Uganda’s proposed legislation, and called it unjust and un-Christian.

The Purpose Driven pastor was among a number of U.S. religious leaders who expressed opposition and concern over the bill.

But Ugandan pastors state in their letter to Warren that the bill has been “greatly misrepresented by some homosexual activists causing hysteria.”

They stress that the proposed death penalty applies only in special cases termed “aggravated homosexuality,” which include those convicted of unlawful homosexual rape of a child or handicapped invalid.

“This is a conviction of paedophilles!” they exclaim, noting that the country has for 15 years had a death penalty in place for those who sexually abuse a girl under the age of 18 years. The proposed measure simply extends the protection to boys, they say.

Attempting to clarify what they believe is misinformation regarding the Anti-Homosexuality bill, the pastors task force says the proposed requirement that people report offenses of homosexuality was included because of high levels of unreported heterosexual/homosexual rape and harassment especially in single-sex schools. School officials and some police officers “maintain a conspiracy of silence” and ignore the pleas of the children and victims who report such crimes, the task force points out.

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