The Rev. Colin Coward, MBE, director of Changing Attitude England, writes on Facebook:
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.
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.
- Plea to silent church leaders: Oppose ‘Jail the Gays’ law (76crimes.com)
- Eject anti-gay Anglicans or keep a poisoner at dinner? (76crimes.com)
- Nigerians seek support of fearful Archbishop of Canterbury (76crimes.com)
- LGBT Nigerian: ‘Religious leaders have abandoned us’ (76crimes.com)
- LGBT Ugandans: Here’s how you can help us (76crimes.com)
- How the church oppresses Zimbabwe’s faithful LGBTs (76crimes.com)
- Stemming Britain’s tide of exported homophobia (76crimes.com)