Just as doubts have been raised on the passing of the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill, US evangelical preacher, Lou Engle who is the founder and leader of The Call Movement together with The Call Uganda, are planning a prayer meeting in Kampala on the 2nd May. Engle and The Call are radical anti-gay and anti-abortionist campaigners who held a similar day long “frenzy for yes on Prop 8” in California. This report from the Bilerico Project warns of the danger of The Call movement which extends to calls for acts of Christian martyrdom by followers.
Just this morning, an announcement went out from TheCall, asking its list of followers to join a national prayer-and-fasting movement aimed at “the spiritual darkness of the homosexual agenda” and the “restraining” of our “ideology.” TheCall is not just another fringy extremist church group — we need to pay serious attention to this move it’s making. Lou Engle, founder and leader of TheCall, is not the familiar old bible-thumping enemy like Jerry Falwell and James Dobson. A major figure in the New Apostolic Reformation that I’ve been writing about, Engle has close ties with the violent anti-abortion movement called The Army of God, who stirred up such a frenzied atmosphere of attacks on abortion clinics that they finally incited someone to assassinate the well-known doctor George Tiller.
Lou Engle and The Call are now transporting their vitriolic hatred to Uganda calling for Ugandans to participate in a day of “national repentance” for homosexuality and moral decay. SMUG have issued the following statement and call for action on the upcoming crusade.
Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) condemns Lou Engle’s upcoming crusade scheduled for May 2, 2010. The crusade could cause incalculable damage, as it is designed to label homosexuality as a “vice” in Uganda and to incite people to “fight” against this “vice” in society. In the context of an already inflamed extremist religious movement against homosexuality in Uganda sparked off by American evangelicals, the inflammatory preaching of Lou Engle and his associates is likely to incite further violence against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Inter-sex (LGBTI) people in Uganda.
Sexual Minorities Uganda calls on all Human Rights Defenders, organizations, religious communities and leaders, governments, and civil society, globally to take action to ensure that Lou Engle and his associates DO NOT set foot in Uganda and that TheCall Uganda does not proceed with this inflammatory and hate-inducing plan. While Sexual Minorities Uganda supports freedom of worship, we recognize the need for restriction on any speech that incites hatred and violence against a minority group. If a prayer event is to be held in Uganda, it should be done in a manner which encourages Christ-like love and acceptance and not incite hatred and violence toward Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Inter-sex people.
Lou Engle’s extremist and violence-laden preaching is often laced with references to gay people as being possessed by demons. During a rally for Proposition 8 in California, he called for Christian martyrs. His inflammatory speech and focus on martyrdom can easily incite people in Uganda to disregard people’s human rights and go to extreme measures to eliminate whatever they characterize as “evil” or a “vice”. For example, Lou Engle preaches, “The most ‘dangerous terrorist’ is not Islam but God. One of God’s names is the avenger of blood. Have you worshiped that God yet?”
The crusade is organized by The Call Uganda and ten Ugandan Pentecostal pastors. According to http://www.facebook.com/l/fa189;www.thecalluganda.com, the crusade is ‘intended to awaken and revive the young and the old, men and women, church and family, government and the public to fight vices eating away our society’. TheCall intends to address homosexuality in Uganda as what they label a “vice”. The crusade is preceded by a 21 day fast.
Lou Engle is a core founder of The CALL in the U.S. but has expanded chapters to different countries. Last year, The CALL sent an American Evangelical, JoAnna Watson of Touching Hearts International, to be based in Uganda full-time to orchestrate this crusade to fight vices like homosexuality.
This crusade could have the same kind of impact that the March 2009 anti-gay conference had in Uganda. Scott Lively, Caleb Lee Brundidge and Don Schmierer reinforced the desire of some religious leaders to persuade the government to create laws which would eliminate homosexuality from the nation. Eventually, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was introduced in the Parliament of Uganda by MP’s David Bahati and Benson Obua.
Lou Engle’s crusade will be the second major American evangelist event with an anti-homosexuality agenda after the trio to set foot in Uganda and will definitely incite our people into more hatred of homosexuals that may lead to further violence. This is very evident with the nature of preaching that he does in the US. He claims that homosexuals have demons and has mobilized Americans on several occasions for anti —gay rallies. Since the Bill was tabled, the rate of violence and homophobia has increased drastically in Uganda. Lou Engle’s inflammatory preaching is likely to exacerbate an already worrying situation.
– Call and/or write Letters of Protest to TheCall Ministries and ask them stop exporting homophobia to Uganda. The event they are organizing is dangerous to LGBTI people in Uganda.
Jo.Anna Watson, Coordinator of The Call Uganda
Phone: +256 779 864 985
Email: response AT thecall.com
Phone: +1 816 285 9351
– Hold demonstrations and/or marches in Kansas City where Lou Engle’s Church is located and protest against The CALL Uganda
– ASK LOU ENGLE AND THECALL MINISTRY TO:
1. STOP THECALL UGANDA CRUSADE IN THE FORM THAT IT IS PLANNED
2. PROMOTE RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS RATHER THAN INCITING VIOLENCE
3. STOP EXPORTING HOMOPHOBIA TO AFRICA
For further information, contact;
1. Valentine Kalende
Email: kalendenator AT gmail DOT com
2. Frank Mugisha
Email: frankmugisha AT gmail DOT com