Pro-gay activists and church leaders are touting an alternative "inclusive" prayer event to this year's National Prayer Breakfast.
Called "The American Prayer Hour," the event on Feb. 4 is being held in protest of Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Organizers claim that the "secretive fundamentalist organization" – The Fellowship Foundation, also known as The Family – behind the annual National Prayer Breakfast is directly tied to the bill.
"The American Prayer Hour events will affirm inclusive values and call on all nations, including Uganda, to decriminalize the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people," organizers state. more >>
World Vision Uganda's national director released a statement expressing concern that the country's Anti-Homosexuality Bill may deter their work against the spread of HIV/AIDS.
The proposed legislation, said Rudo Kwaramba, "has the potential to stigmatize some individuals in communities targeted by World Vision’s work" and prevent individuals from being tested.
And knowledge of one’s HIV status is what enables an individual to take actions to prevent further transmission of HIV, he added. more >>
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. more >>
A Ugandan legislator who proposed the highly contested Anti-Homosexuality Bill insists the measure is being misconstrued.
"There has been a distortion in the media that we are providing death for gays. That is not true," ruling party MP David Bahati said on BBC. "When a homosexual defiles a kid of less than 18 years old, we are providing a penalty for this."
The bill, which is currently being debated by a parliamentary committee, has drawn global attention from gay rights advocates and religious leaders alike, many of whom are condemning the legislation for promoting hatred and handing down severe penalties against homosexuals and their family, friends, and even pastors. Punishments range from a fine and a three-year imprisonment to life imprisonment and the death penalty. more >>
Though the Church has been criticized for being late to the HIV/AIDS fight, Christians around the world are now actively working to educate people about the deadly disease and dispel dangerous myths.
In Zimbabwe, The Evangelical Alliance Mission is working to educate the youth about treatment and medicine for those infected by the HIV virus. TEAM’s effort is in response to a dangerous myth that is spreading across Africa that an HIV-positive man can be cured by having sex with a virgin. Because it is hard to find a virgin adult woman, many of these men are raping young girls and infecting them with the virus.
Mark Clark, based in TEAM’s U.S. office, calls the myth the “Great Lie” that Satan is spreading throughout the continent, according to Mission Network News. more >>
The head of the worldwide Anglican Communion has called on governments to bring hope to the world’s millions of HIV sufferers by giving them the medical help they need.
In a video released for World Aids Day, Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams appealed in particular for more medical assistance to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the virus.
“We know that the transmission from mother to child is something that can be dealt with. We need to encourage all our governments to keep up their commitment to making this medical help available, and to giving hope, which we know is possible,” he said. more >>