Africa / Americas / Commentary / Faith and religion

Dear Rick Warren, please save African lives, not just souls

[Editor’s note: In a message to the blog, Warren stated (1) that this commentary misstates his record of speaking out about Christians’ responsibility for loving their homosexual neighbors as themselves and (2) that the All Africa Purpose Driven Church Congress is now scheduled for late 2016. I am seeking further information on both those subjects and, after receiving it, will revise this commentary.]

Rick Warren, author and pastor of Saddleback Church

Rick Warren, best-selling author and pastor of Saddleback Church

Starting tomorrow [but see above], Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in Southern California has a unique opportunity to save many thousands of Africans’ lives by speaking out against Christians’ hatred and fear of LGBTI people.

That aversion underlies the anti-homosexuality laws and the stigma that enable HIV to spread by restricting sexual minorities’ access to health care and Aids prevention information.

Many of Warren’s evangelical supporters will be at his All Africa Purpose Driven Church Congress from Aug. 6 to 10 [but see above] in Kigali, Rwanda.  Pastors and church leaders from all 54 African nations have been invited.  They include some of the strongest supporters of the anti-homosexuality laws currently on the books in 34 African countries that hinder the fight against Aids.

For years, Pastor Warren has fought hard against the Aids epidemic, but so far has not challenged his homophobic supporters to love their LGBTI neighbors enough to make sure they can see a doctor without worrying they will be shunned, arrested, or attacked.

This week is his opportunity to do so.

5 thoughts on “Dear Rick Warren, please save African lives, not just souls

  1. Dear Colin, I hope you will have the integrity to correct your error that “.. so far he has not challenges his followers…” It can easily be proven false many times over. As far back as 2009, I send a video to the pastors of Africa on this issue. That video even posted on YOU TUBE here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jmGu9o4fDE .
    It is articles like this that perpetuate false impressions and create divisions..
    Also, you’re facts are incorrect. I am in Southern California all this week, and haven’t been in Africa all year. The All Africa Conference is at end of 2016 – next year.

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    • Dear Pastor Warren,

      I am quite ready to make the corrections that you request, and will do so promptly, after I receive links to those statements that you say you have made “many times over” that urge your supporters to love their LGBTI neighbors enough to make sure they can see a doctor without worrying they will be shunned, arrested, or attacked.

      As you may know, I requested that information in an email to you on Aug. 11, 2015. At that time, I also sought confirmation about the new schedule for the All Africa Conference.

      At this point, I have annotated the blog post to indicate your request for corrections, but cannot do more without further information from you.

      Thank you for all the good work that you do; I hope you will respond to my further requests.

      — Colin Stewart, editor/publisher of this blog

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    • Good questions.
      All I know is that the conference was delayed, reportedly until 2016. I’ve received no response to my requests for further information about the conference and about Pastor Warren’s claimed “many” pleas to his supporters to love their LGBTI neighbors.
      — Colin Stewart, editor/publisher of this blog.

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