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Easter 2016: A prayer for all LGBT prisoners

An Easter message for 2016

Rainbow cross (Image courtesy of Birmingham LGCM)
Rainbow cross (Image courtesy of Birmingham LGCM)

Easter 2016 — a time when the Anglican Church of Nigeria refuses even to attend a meeting attended by a few representatives of the inclusive Episcopal Church for fears that, if they did, they would be in the midst of “a well-prepared camp of recruitment, blackmail, indoctrination and toxic relationship.” But they’re in favor of the law that demands 10 years in prison for LGBT Nigerians who show their love in public.

Easter 2016 — a time when the Easter message of the Catholic Church in Malawi criticizes the Malawian government for its moratorium on enforcement of the country’s anti-gay law while the courts decide whether it is constitutional. The Catholic leaders “condemn in strongest terms those inciting violence against homosexuals,” but they endorse a different type of violence — imprisoning “those guilty of homosexual acts or unions,” including the three men who were sentenced to 10 to 14 years in prison before the moratorium took effect.

Easter 2016 — a time when the Easter sunrise service in Stockton, California, was cancelled so that Christian pastors would not have to pray next to LGBT Christians.

For Easter 2016, here are excerpts from a prayer from 2014 by the Rev. Canon Albert Ogle based on the traditional “Hail, Mary” prayer:

The Rev. Canon Albert Ogle
The Rev. Canon Albert Ogle

Jesus, our brother in solitude, who knows the sexual violation of stripping, flogging and torture for crimes against God and the State: be close to your LGBT children in prison this night and may they know the consolation of your never-ending love and the hope of victory beyond whatever we may endure.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

Jesus, condemned and killed by zealots of religious certainty and political expediency, forgive your church for its collusion with civil powers who have sent us to a slow death in these prisons, and continue to protect us from your followers.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

Console all mothers and families who have lost loves ones because of their sexual orientation and help us to eradicate this unnecessary future destruction of human lives and potential.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

In communion with all the saints, angels and archangels, martyrs and the forgotten ones who have looked to you in hope, free us all from whatever enslaves us, that we may become the children you have created us to be and this is our prayer with all LGBT prisoners throughout the world this day – simply free us to love you and one another in the ways you are revealing to each one of us.

The full text of  “A prayer for all LGBT prisoners” was published in spring 2014. This blog’s list of people imprisoned or awaiting trial for homosexual behavior is currently titled “99 who are in prison for being gay, 148 more awaiting trial.” It is currently out of date, lacking information about the status of the more than 100 LGBT Egyptians who have been arrested in the far-ranging political/social crackdowns there during 2014-2015.

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Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at info@76crimes.com. Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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