The Anglican Archbishops of these islands have publicly expressed their dismay about Uganda’s new ‘anti-gay’ legislation – and invited Anglicans in Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia to pray for Uganda, for “those placed further at risk by these laws, and for those who lead the Church and the state” there.
Together, the Archbishops have made the following prayer request:
Dear Friends and Colleagues in Christ,
Anglicans throughout Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia continue to wrestle with divergent views on many aspects of human sexuality, and on a Christian response to the marriage or blessing of same gender couples in particular. However, we believe that all Anglicans are united in condemning homophobic attitudes or the persecution of people on the basis of their sexual orientation.
Many of us will have seen reports this week (eg: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-26320102) that Uganda’s President has signed into law a bill that toughens penalties for gay people.
This new law includes the provision of life sentences for certain of these new ‘crimes’, and the legislation appears to have been passed with the encouragement of Uganda’s Joint Christian Council – which includes the country’s Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican bishops.
We recall Resolution 1:10 from the 1998 Lambeth Conference, which encouraged Anglicans throughout our Communion “to minister pastorally and sensitively to all, irrespective of sexual orientation and to condemn irrational fear of homosexuals...”
We note with dismay these developments in Uganda, and encourage you to remember that country, those placed further at risk by these laws, and those who lead the Church and the state in Uganda, in your prayers.
Archbishop Brown Turei
Archbishop Philip Richardson
Archbishop Winston Halapua