Seethingly angry at anti-gay distortions of Christian teachings

The Rev. Colin Coward, MBE, director of Changing Attitude England, writes on Facebook:

The Rev. Colin Coward (Photo courtesy of The Independent)
The Rev. Colin Coward (Photo courtesy of The Independent)

I feel incredibly angry today. I’ve been chatting for the last hour and a half with a gay Nigerian friend, a quiet, thoughtful, stable young man who allowed himself to trust a ‘friend’ who invited him to a café this morning.

It was entrapment. They went to a place that was more rooming house than café which was a set-up, finding himself in a room where other guys were waiting to assault him. He has been attacked, threatened with a machete, kicked and punched, burnt with cigarettes, forcibly stripped naked, clothes torn, photos and a video taken, beaten, and those in the room were joined by guys he had seen playing football earlier.

He is a Christian and those assaulting him were Christians. He feels suicidal now, fears the police and further exposure, can’t seek medical treatment, is in deep pain physical and emotional.

Assaults like this against LGBTI people are a daily event in Nigeria and other homophobic African countries. I am seethingly angry at the distortion of Christian teaching that encourages and supports the abuse of LGBTI people.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. (Photo courtesy of
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. (Photo courtesy of

I’m furious at the failure of [Archbishop of Canterbury] Justin Welby and other Primates and bishops to have the guts to proclaim the love of God and condemn all abusive action.

I’m sick of the corruption of the church in this country which also abuses LGBTI people, but in a spineless, devious, underhand way, blocking vocations, colluding in the appointment of people who flout the rules whilst blocking those judged to be inconvenient – because they would upset the African churches. …

Christianity has become so sick, following a Jesus who I don’t recognise but who gets trotted out by the [Archbishop of Canterbury] as if he is the magical answer to all our needs. Welby’s Jesus isn’t the answer to the need for love and protection of LGBTI Africans nor the need for just recognition of LGBTI members of the Church of England.

My friend needs help but I am impotent. African Christianity needs to be transformed from corruption to love and justice and truth, and I thank God for all those friends of mine who work with passion for such a transformation.

The goal of the Rev. Colin Coward’s organization, Changing Attitude, is  the full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in the life of the Anglican Communion, which comprises the various churches that originally grew out of the Church of England. Those churches range from the LGBTI-friendly Episcopal Church in the United States to the homophobic Church of Nigeria and Church of Uganda.

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 Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.


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