Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Uganda World Day of Prayer

I don't know if you've been following the news about a new anti-homosexuality bill that has been proposed in Uganda. It's a harsh piece of work: prison for anyone convicted of homosexuality; the death penalty for "aggravated homosexuality;" prison for "promotion of homosexuality;" criminal penalties that apply to citizens and permanent residents living outside of Uganda; and declaring null and void any “international legal instrument whose provisions are contradictory to the spirit and provisions enshrined in this Act.” [summary courtesy of an editorial in today's Daily Monitor.]

A group of Facebookers declared today as Uganda World Day of Prayer, primarily in response to this bill in Parliament, and I do ask your prayers. I'm sure they'll count through the end of the week. Maybe even later.

It has been suggested that people write to various members of the Ugandan government; I personally doubt the efficacy of this move, though if you feel so called, then you can find all the names and addresses here.

The reason I am skeptical about this is because the Ugandan government is in no way accountable to individuals outside its borders. Given that President Museveni said just last weekend that he feels European homosexuals have started a recruitment drive in Uganda, I'm worried that direct pressure from citizens of Western countries will just encourage Ugandan leaders to dig in their heels. The chances of intercultural miscommunication seem huge and I worry that writing these letters and emails will be counterproductive.

Instead, I would suggest writing people within the U.S. who might have sway over people and events in Uganda. For example,

Rick Warren, who is a rock star in Uganda. You can write him at
Saddleback Church
1 Saddleback Parkway
Lake Forest, CA, 92630

Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.
She has a strong background in African Affairs, and the U.S. mission to the U.N. has officially endorsed a declaration on the decriminalization of homosexuality. It seems a worthwhile thing to ask them what diplomatic steps are being taken on this specific issue. You can write the U.S. mission to the U.N. here.

For that matter, you can contact the UN directly with a very brief message (so I found) here.

You can also contact the U.S. State Department since they are the people most involved in foreign affairs. Here's their contact us page.

Finally, the Archbishop of Canterbury has not yet made any statement regarding this bill. If you feel that a statement from him would be beneficial, you may contact him here.

And do keep praying.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for these thoughtful suggestions.