Faith does not justify homophobic behaviors
On 17th May every year the world wild celebrates the International Day Against Homo-bi-Transphobia. However, in Africa homosexuality is still a crime in 32 out of the 54 countries, penalised with a sentence that goes from one 1 year to death. In these countries this day is not openly celebrate.
Religion and faith are used to justify the homophobia position and crimes. Many Christians argues, homosexuality to be unbiblical, insanity or blasphemy. For a few who try to be understanding, it is a choice which with time can be changed (not taking into account that no one can decide to choose something that can lead him/her to prison, attacks or other kind of violence).For others it is a sickness that can be healed or an evil spirit that need deliverance.
Most homosexuals passed in that tunnel of prejudices, judgement and indifference. Some witnessed their similar being attacked by the society and the fear grew in their hearts. Gay Christians participate in sermons where every time homosexuality is brought up, it is a subject of condemnation.
It takes maturity, a lot of courage and faith for a homosexual to embrace himself as Christian because of the position of churches. Many protestant churches are so rigid on the topic and the Catholic church chose to move silently by avoiding the topic but still doesn’t open doors to LGBTQ+ people whenever it has to say something on gay issues.
Sunday 17th , The International Day Against Homophobia Biphobia and Transphobia, was celebrated in an unusual way over the world due to the pandemic situation that is taking lives and forced country to adopt lockdown measures in which 19 LGBTQ+ young people in Uganda- Kampala City were victim when they were found by the police in a home where they had a shelter and were immediately accused of disobeying the social distance rules and favouring the spread of the disease. After almost two months, the good news came Monday 18th May, the 19 victims were finally discharged and set free.
Many Christians and religious leaders such as Patriarch Filaret (Ukraine), Pastor Steven Andrew, blamed gays for the covid 19. Another act of intolerance and harmful speeches against LGBTQ+. Faith should never be used as hummer to hit the other just because he or she is different from us. Even the Bible should never be used as a tool for discrimination and hate. God’s Love is Immense, it reaches everyone without preferences.
If African societies in many countries morally rely on Christianity, then love should be the basement of faith. Every Christian is called to love the neighbor. This gives space for tolerance, openness, and freedom to a brother or a sister in front of us regardless of his sex, race, sexual orientation. 1 Corinthians 13:2 says: “if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing“.
Therefore, there is no doubt that love is the pillar of every faith. God looks at everyone with compassion and care. He created each one of us, gay, heterosexual, bisexual etc…in his image. Before everything else, we are all fearfully and wonderfully made.