Christopher Senyonjo Provides Hope For Gays In Uganda

Bishop Christopher Uganda

' I lost a lot of privileges,' he says. 'I stayed in the US for six months, for fear to come back.'

Bishop Christopher Senyonjo could have retired ten years ago. Instead, he has become known as the Desmond Tutu of Uganda, a lone voice of support for gays living in Uganda, and around the world.

Dark Times

The hatred filled Anti-Gay movement in Uganda has left gay Ugandans fearing for their lives, requesting asylum in other parts of the world or being tortured in their own communities.

We will publish more pictures but in a diplomatic way, so that we can dodge the law”

David Bahati, a member of parliament, rose to world wide attention in October of 2009 for submitting a bill establishing a death sentence to anyone found to be a practicing homosexual in Uganda. The bill remains on the table, although it will not be considered until after the February 18, 2011 elections.

Giles Muhame

Giles Muhame - editor of Uganda's 'Rolling Stone' calling for death to gay Ugandans

You may also have heard of Giles Muhame, who started a Ugandan newspaper in August under the name “Rolling Stone” and then outed 100 different homosexuals across the country. Photos were printed of each alleged homosexual with large type across the top “HANG THEM”. At least one women was stoned to death by her neighbors after they saw the issue.

A court order came out last month, banning the publishing of more photos, but Giles pledges to continue. “We will publish more pictures but in a diplomatic way, so that we can dodge the law,” he said.

Many young gays in Uganda feel they have nowhere to turn. The whole country appears stacked against them, as gays are routinely tortured and harassed all over Uganda.

Preaching Understanding

In 1998, Bishop Christopher was approached by an openly gay man pleading for his help.

Uganda

Ignorance about homosexuality is causing huge problems

“I listened to him,” said Christopher, “That was strange for the man. Most people just told homosexuals they should change.”

Word spread of the Bishop who would listen, and soon he had more than ten clients a day asking for his help.

“The attitude of my church is that I should condemn them,” he says. “But I refuse.”

“The attitude of my church is that I should condemn them,” he says. “But I refuse.”

For his efforts, Christopher was thrown out of the Bishop’s circle while he traveled in the United States and Europe. He continued preaching a message of acceptance and talking to those who would support his cause. He was denied his pension, still Bishop Christopher never stops smiling.

“God wants me to help oppressed peoples,” he insists. “Homosexuals should enjoy all the rights and benefits that heterosexuals enjoy.”

“I lost a lot of privileges,” he says. “I stayed in the US for six months, for fear to come back.”

Now Christopher is a loan voice of hope for many in Uganda. He believes no human being should be punished for expressing love for another human being.

“I’m standing on the side of love.”

“God is sometimes portrayed as someone who hates and kills,” he says. “I’ve reached another stage of what God is. God is love.”

His work is now being recognized around the world, even as it is condemned in his home. In the United States, California Senate Resolution 51 officially recognized Bishop Christopher for his work, and calls for the U.S. to support creation of policies in other countries that do not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

“Thank God there are people who appreciate what I am doing,” says Christopher “I didn’t think, in my lifetime, that I would be recognized for what I am doing. … It encourages me to go on serving to the end of my life.”

“It is a beginning,” he continued “I’m not working for just my time (on Earth) … but for the future.” His work is changing lives even now

“I’m standing on the side of love.”

To support Bishop Christopher Senyonjo and his work, checkout his Facebook page for more information.

Bishop Christopher Senyonjo from Claiming the Blessing on Vimeo.

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Tags: , Global Good, Uganda

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