While gender-based discrimination and oppression are nothing new abroad, for the past decade the U.S. Christian Right has been aggressively exporting its campaigns against reproductive rights and gay rights to countries around the world. Recently, exporting homophobia and discrimination against the LGBTQ communities in Africa has entered a new phase, especially with a homophobic conference in Uganda held March 5-8, 2009 sponsored by Family Life Network (see box). Meanwhile, there are continued battles over access to abortion, not only in Africa, but in Europe, South and Central America, Asia, and South Asia.
In 2003, conservative Christians successfully shifted the foreign aid policy of the United States so that it promotes abstinence-only education abroad through HIV/AIDS relief grants channeled to the Christian Right base of the George W. Bush Administration. An Institute of Medicine report confirms that these programs are one of the biggest obstacles to challenging the global HIV/AIDs epidemic, which sees five million new cases of HIV each year. The Obama administration has shown interest in changing the policy, which was renewed by the Democratic Congress in 2008 with some of its controversial elements intact.
Christian conservatives in the United States have always been concerned with gender roles, the importance of male domination, the special role of heterosexual families in civilized society, and sexuality. In the 1960s, there was a movement by Christian conservatives to block the spread of rock music because of its dangerous sexualizing orgiastic roots in “primitive” African music.
The role of the U.S. Christian Right in Africa today is ironic since its resurgence in 1970s America was fueled by those seeking to block the integration of hundreds of all-White Christian academies. The U.S. federal government had warned that the segregated schools—from kindergarten through high school in some states—would lose their tax exempt status unless they allowed Black students to attend.
When Christian conservatives from the United States fund and support Christian groups around the world, it is a form of neocolonialism. Anticipating this criticism, the Christian Right attempts to portray access to contraception, the availability of a full range of reproductive health services, and basic human rights for gay people as the “real” colonialism. This is nonsense.
The new campaigns around the world by the U.S. Christian Right are part of a larger project to control the lives and health choices of women, return men to their prior status of holding unfair superior powers and privileges in society, and police the acceptable boundaries of sexual expression—and even love itself.
Resources provided by Canon Jim Naughton Episcopal Diocese of Washington (D.C.)
Catholics for Choice
- The Global Network for Injustice: The World Congress of Families
- Opposing Condoms and Undermining AIDS prevention in Africa
The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC)
Background on the Religious Right
Reproductive Health Reality Check (RH Reality Check)
About the Right
Other Key Players
Political Research Associates
- Christian Right Pushes Abstinence only Education Internationally
- PRA articles on LGBTQ Equity
- PRA articles on Reproductive Justice
- PRA articles on The Christian Right
Other Research Resources:
Use the Media Transparency Funding database to research grantees and funders. For example:
- Adams H. John.“East African churches sever ties with PCUSA presbytery,” The Layman Online, Posted Thursday, April 29, 2004. Accessed 01/26/2009.
- Amory P. Deborah. “Homosexuality” in Africa: Issues and Debates “Homosexuality” in Africa: Issues and Debates.” Issue: A Journal of Opinion, Vol. 25, No. 1, Commentaries in African Studies: Essays about African Social Change and the Meaning of Our Professional Work (1997), pp. 5-10
- Anglican AID net. “Anglican Relief and Development Fund,” http://www.anglicanaid.net/ accessed 8/21/08.
- Aruho Paul ,”Archbishop Orombi Re-affirms anti-gay Stand,” The Daily Monitor, Kampala, Uganda,http://www.monitor.co.ug/artman/publish/regional-special/Archbishop_Oro…, . Accessed, 11/24/2008.
- Baguma Raymond. “Museveni lauds Ugandans on anti-gay stand Monday,” 14th July, 2008, http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/8/18/639029. Accessed 12/ 22/ 2008.
- BBC News. “Nigeria to outlaw same-sex unions.” BBCNEWS http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4626994.stm, Accessed, October 14, 2008.
- Bishop Johnson. “Pastoral Letter” January 15, 2004. http://www.chwalmsley.com/Church/aacletter2.shtml Accessed, October 16, 2008.
- Brouwer Steve, Gifford Paul and Rose D. Susan. Exporting the American Gospel: Global Christian Fundamentalism, New York, Routledge, 1969.
- CANA. The Convocation of Anglicans in North America (http://www.canaconvocation.org/)
- Chane Bryson John. “A Gospel of Intolerance,” Washington Post, Sunday, February 26, 2006 B07http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/24/AR20060…. Accessed 10/ 14, 2008;
- Chaplin H. James, “A Report on Sexual Behavior: Six Case Histories from Northern Rhodesia A Report on Sexual Behavior: Six Case Histories from Northern Rhodesia,” Advances in Sex Research, Vol. 1, (Oct., 1963), pp. 13-26.
- Daly C. Lewis. “Warfare in the Presbyterian Church,” Institute for Democracy Studies. accessed 9/22/2008.
- Daly C. Lewis. A Moment to Decide: The Crisis in Mainstream Presbyterianism, (New York, Institute for Democracy Studies), 2000.
- Daly C. Lewis. “A Church at Risk: The Episcopal ‘Renewal Movement” IDS Insights, Volume 2, Issue 2, December 2001. http://www.institutefordemocracy.org/art/Insights_Vol02Iss02.pdf, Accessed, November 16, 2008;
- Dorhauer John, “Churches under Siege: Exposing the Right’s Attacks on Mainline Protestantism,” Public Eye, Summer 2007.
- Douglas Ian T. and Pui-Lan Kwok, eds. Beyond Colonial Anglicanism: The Anglican Communion in the Twenty – First Century, (New York, Church Publishing Incorporated), 2001.
- Epprecht Marc, “The ‘Unsaying’ of Indigenous Homosexualities in Zimbabwe: Mapping blind spot in an African Masculinity,” Journal of Southern African Studies, Vol.24. No. 4. Special Issue on Masculinities in Southern Africa (Dec., 1998), pp. 631-651.
- Epprecht, Marc, “The Gay Oral History Project: Black empowerment, human rights, and the Research process,” History in Africa. 26 (1999): 25-41
- Five Talents, “The Knippers Education Fund,” http://www.fivetalents.org/content.asp?contentid=503, 8/21/08.
- Fowler, Carmen. “Living the New Wineskins Vision in an Old Wineskin World,” New Wineskins Convocation V. Nov. 11, Cleveland, 2008.
- Gay, Judy, “Mummies and Babies and Friends and Lovers in Lesotho,” Journal of Homosexuality, Vol. 11, Nos.3/4, The Haworth Press, (1986), pp.97-116.
- George Conger. “Rebel Zimbabwe bishop claims support of Gafcon constituency,” Sunday, 13th July 2008.http://www.religiousintelligence.co.uk/news/?NewsID=2296 Accessed 09/ 19/08.
- Hassett K. Miranda. Anglican Communion in Crisis: How Episcopal Dissidents and Their African Allies Are Reshaping Anglicanism, (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press), 2007.
- Hoad Neville. African Intimacies: Race, Homosexuality, and Globalization. University Of Minnesota Press; 1 edition (January 3, 2007)
- Howell Leon, United Methodism at Risk: A Wake-Up Call, (New York, Information Project for United Methodist), 2003.
- IDS, “Taking Aim: Conservative’ Bid for Power in the Presbyterian Church Entering Advance Stage. Executive Summary of a forthcoming study from the Institute for Democracy Studies.” October 7, 1999.
- IGLHRC, More than A Name: State Sponsored Homophobia and Its Consequences in Southern Africa, Human Rights Watch and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, 2001.
- IGLHRC, Off the Map: How HIV/AIDS programming is Falling Same-Sex Practicing People in Africa, A Publication of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, November, 2007.
- IGLHRC, Voices from Nigeria: Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, and Transgender speak out About the Same-Sex Bill, A Publication of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, November, 2006;
- Jenkins Phillip. The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity, (Oxford, Oxford University Press) 2002.
- Jones Kevin , “Report From Indianapolis,” Saturday, November02,2002,” http://www.everyvoice.net/archive/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file… Accessed 9/3/2008.
- Kelly Douglas, “Westminster Refresher: Exploring the Confessional” paper presented at the New Wineskins Convocation V, Ohio, Nov 10.
- Larry B. Stammer and Solomon Moore, “Two Worlds Collide in Anglican Church,” August 10, 2003 http://articles.latimes.com/2003/aug/10/world/fg-anglican10, Accessed, 10/14/ 2008.
- Macauley Rowland. “Africa and Homosexuality,” The Witness Magazine http://www.thewitness.org/agw/macauley121604.html
- Marishane, Jeffrey “Prayer, Profit and US Religious Right and Foreign Policy,” Review of African Political Economy, No. 52, Fundamentalism in Africa: Religion and Politics, (Nov. 1991), pp. 73-86.
- McKaiser Eusebius, “Homosexuality: unnatural? Immoral? Un-African?”
- Naughton, Jim. “Following the Money, Part 1 and II: A special Report from the Washington Window” http://www.edow.org/follow/ Accessed, 8/21/08.
- Neela Banerjee. “Methodist Bishops Protest Ruling in Exclusion of a Gay Congregant,” Published: November 5, 2005, http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/05/national/05methodists.html
- New Wineskins. “The Strategy Report” of New Wineskins Association of Churches.
- New Wineskins. A Time for Every Purpose Under Heaven: Report of the Strategy Team of the New Wineskins Association of Churches. Florida, 2007.
- Noel, Anderson K. “A New Wineskins Initiative White Paper on Networking.” http://www.newwineskinsassociation.org/papers.html. Accessed, October 21, 2008.
- Olson R. Laura and Cadge Wendy. “Talking about Homosexuality: The Views of Mainline Protestant Clergy,” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, vol. 41. No. 1 (Mar., 2002), pp, 153-167.
- Olupot Milton and Edyegu Daniel , “Museveni backs Church against Gays”, Sunday, 17th August, 2008. http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/8/12/644954. Accessed 12/ 22/ 2008.
- Parker T. Williamson. Broken Covenant: Signs of Shattered Communion, (Lenoir, Reformation Press, 2007).
- Pew Forum. “Spirit and Power: A 10 – Country Survey of Pentecostals,” PEW Forum, 2006.
- Presbyterian Coalition, Union in Christ: A Declaration, adopted during Gathering III of the Presbyterian Coalition, Dallas 1998.
- Rukweza, Jacob. “Africa at large: Is Homosexuality really “UnAfrican”?, The Norwegian Council for Africa.” 03.23.2006 http://www.afrika.no/noop/page.php?p=Detailed/11767&print=1
- Small D. Joseph. “Signs of the Post denominational Future,” Christian Century. May 5, 1999. Accessed 9/23/2008
- Smith, Alexa. “PCEA Council says it will sever ties with gay-affirming churches, Presbyterian News Service,” http://www.pcusa.org/pcnews/2004/04203.htm
- Stammer B. Larry and Moore Solomon. “Two Worlds Collide in Anglican Church,” August 10, 2003 http://articles.latimes.com/2003/aug/10/world/fg-anglican10, Accessed, October14, 2008.
- Stanton, Diane. Uganda Partners newsletter, Uganda Partners, http://www.ugandapartners.org/news. 2008.
- Tamale Sylvia. “Out of the Closet: Unveiling Sexuality Discourses in Uganda, Standpoint, [Issue 2, 2003 ] http://www.feministafrica.org/index.php/out-of-the-closet. Accessed, Nov 24, 2008.
- Terence. O. Ranger Evangelical Christianity and Democracy in Africa. (Oxford, Oxford University Press), 2008.
- The Layman, “Knox Fellowship partners with East Africans; special account established” http://www.layman.org/News.aspx?article=15228. Accessed 01/26/2009.
- The Presbyterian Lay Committee. “Do you know where your Tithes and Offerings are Going?” September/October 2008.
- Tooley Mark. “Africa Power: How 192 Delegates Saved Methodists from Madness & Other Stories from the General Conference” http://touchstonemag.com/archives/print.php?id=21-09-043-r. Accessed, 10/31/2008.10/31/2008
- Tutu, Desmond. God has a Dream, (New York, Doubleday), 2004.
- Uganda Christian University. Global South Institute, http://www.ucu.ac.ug/content/view/603/95/ accessed 8/12/2008.
- Virtue W. David. “KENYA: Anglican Province Pays Heavy Price for rejection of TEC Money over Sodomy,” http://www.virtueonline.org/portal/modules/news/article.php. Accessed, 8/20/2008.
- Voice of America. “Gay Bishop Controversy Shakes African Anglican Community” 02 February 2004 http://www.voanews.com/english/archive/2004-02/a-2004-02-02-32-Gay.cfm
- Walls, Andrew. The Missionary Movement in Christian History. Studies in the Transmission of Faith, (New York, Orbis Books), 1997.
- Williams, Rowan. “Presidential Address to the Lambeth Conference 2008” Lambeth Conference, http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/1925; Accessed 09/08/2008.