U.S. support for ‘architect of homophobia in East Africa’


Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda (Photo courtesy of SDGLN.com)
Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda (Photo courtesy of SDGLN.com)

As the Church of Uganda elects its next archbishop, the Rev. Canon Albert Ogle examines the connections between outgoing Archbishop Henry Orombi, a key backer of Uganda’s so-called “Kill the Gays” bill, and his wealthy American supporters.

In his RGOD2 column, “Architect of homophobia in East Africa retiring in a ‘Field of Blood,’ “ Ogle writes:

The retiring archbishop has been extremely successful in developing a soaring 16-story building in the center of Kampala known as Church House. This will cost an additional $17 million when completed. While three previous archbishops failed to develop this prestigious site that lay dormant since 1965, why has Archbishop Orombi been so successful as a builder, developer and fundraiser? …

Nice wealthy Episcopalians wrote checks to support the Ugandan anti-gay hate machine. …

Millions of dollars fund a well-oiled hate machine that has created a new alliance between emerging young politicians like [David] Bahati (also an Anglican) and church leaders like Orombi. Behind them are respectable American church leaders and their congregations who see Uganda as the Armageddon of the culture wars and an emerging experiment in theocracy.

I loved Jerry Falwell’s comment to his ghost writer Mel White when his limo drove past a group of gay protestors in Virginia, “I love these gay people. Every time I preach about them on television, millions of dollars come rolling in!”

The Archbishop’s ministry is modeled after the late evangelist, and Orombi’s abiding legacy is undoubtedly Church House – Kampala’s own “Field of Blood.” It is built upon a foundation of lies and misinformation, abuse and violence against Orombi’s own people.

Orombi will also be remembered in history as the man who inhibited one of Uganda’s great church leaders, Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, because his theology of welcome and inclusion of LGBT people would stop Orombi’s gravy train. He inhibited Christopher without an ecclesiastical trial or even due process. As the bishops elect their new Archbishop …, ironically, the “shamed” Senyonjo will be cheered by a million people lining the streets of San Francisco to celebrate Gay Pride on Sunday. Outside of Uganda, Christopher is Uganda’s most favorite church leader and Orombi’s persecution of him has backfired and made him a world celebrity.

Read the full column here on the San Diego Gay and Lesbian News website.

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, and editor/publisher of Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at [email protected]


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