Ugandan Ethics Minister
James Nsaba Buturo

Conservative Christians in Uganda staged a “prayer crusade” on Sunday which was used as a platform to condemn homosexuality as evil and support the country’s controversial Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

Around 1,300 people took part in the rally against “homosexuality, witchcraft, and corruption” at Makerere University in Kampala.

Writing on the Gay Activists Alliance Africa website, Denis Nzioka reported on the event saying that it began with gospel music and then “turned into a crusade against homosexuality”.

According to Nzioka, Pastor John Mulinde of Trumpet Church described homosexuality as a product of western civilisation and claimed that children are being “recruited” by homosexuals in schools.

He also urged Ugandan lawmakers to stop wasting time by debating the ant-gay Bill before the country’s parliament and to simply make it law.

Homophobic American evangelist Lou Engle took to the stage and announced his support for the legislation, which would impose the death penalty in certain cases of “aggravated” homosexuality.

According to The New York Times he praised the country’s “courage” and “righteousness” in promoting the bill.

“NGOs, the U.N., Unicef, they are all coming in here and promoting an agenda,” Engle said, adding: “Today, America is losing its religious freedom. We are trying to restrain an agenda that is sweeping through the education system. Uganda has become ground zero.”

The country’s Minister of Ethics Nsaba Buturu also spoke at the event, dismissing claims that LGBT rights are human rights: “Uganda cannot listen to that nonsense,” he said, reported Nzioka.

He urged the audience to pray for the government to stand firm in its stand against homosexuality.

The rally took place following recent reports that there is little support in parliament to make the Anti-Homosexuality Bill law. The legislation has been slammed by governments around the world as well as influential figures such as Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu.

Last week the organisers of the largest LGBT Pride parade in Africa, South Africa’s Joburg Pride, announced that the event would this year focus on the issue of the deteriorating human rights landscape for LGBT people across Africa.

“We intend to dispel the absurd and false notion that homosexuality is ‘un-African’ or is somehow ‘imported’ from Europe, when in fact it is most anti-gay laws in Africa that are colonial creations,” says Zak Mbhele, Joburg Pride’s Co-Chair.

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