The Christian Right Colonizes Africa Again


Political Research Associates has a new report out about American Christian right organizations dramatically ramping up their missionary and political efforts in Africa, where those efforts are often intertwined with anti-gay and anti-witchcraft crusades that have left thousands of people dead and many more oppressed.

While U.S. Christian Right leaders made headlines when international pressure forced them to retract support for Uganda’s notorious Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009, a new report by Political Research Associates shows that U.S. Christian Right groups continue to build organizational strength and campaign to inscribe homophobia and anti-abortion politics in the constitutions and laws of African countries in the years since.
The U.S. Christian Right’s most recent efforts are documented in the new report Colonizing African Values: How the U.S. Christian Right is Transforming Sexual Politics in Africa.

The report authored by Rev. Dr. Kapya Kaoma, an Anglican priest originally from Zambia, investigates the Pat Robertson-founded American Center for Law and Justice, the Mormon-led Family Watch International, and the Roman Catholic Human Life International, as well as a network of Christian dominionists known as the Transformation Movement or New Apostolic Reformation. The report details ACLJ’s efforts to influence the constitution-writing process in Zimbabwe and Kenya, and the anti-LGBT and anti-reproductive justice activities of the other groups in such countries as Uganda, Malawi and Zambia.

Although anti-abortion and anti-LGBT legislation were established by British colonial governments, U.S. Christian Right groups label human rights supporters as “neocolonialists” imposing liberal sexual mores on Africa. Hiding behind African staff, these groups have established local offices and befriended key African political and religious leaders. The charismatic beliefs shared by many African Christians and American religious conservatives has also created an opening for the U.S. right-wing to exploit.

You can read the full report (PDF). You will be appalled.

Comments

  1. Akira MacKenzie says

    Nice false equivocation, asshole. When those who are are trying to spread “liberal sexual mores” start killing people in the name of GLBT rights and contraception, then we can argue about hypocrisy.

    In the meantime, you can go fuck yourself.

  2. Akira MacKenzie says

    Oooooo…. That was a stupid of me.

    reverendrodney, I apologize for my previous post. I took your comment out of context and shot off a knee-jerk response. Again, I sincerely apologize.

  3. lancifer says

    Akira MacKenzi,

    I took your comment out of context and shot off a knee-jerk response.

    And that’s so unlike you.

  4. says

    Akira,
    Not to worry. I am slow on the uptake, usually a day late and a dollar short and didn’t realize you were talking to me until I also read your apology.

    You are a good person.

  5. lancifer says

    Sadly the Christian right has found fertile ground for their anti-LGBT bigotry in Africa.

    Most African countries are virulently homophobic, even denying that homosexuality existed in their countries before “western” influences introduced it. In fact it is criminal behavior in most African countries.

    It is repulsive that western Christian groups are further fomenting anti-LBGT behavior and laws rather than acting to stop the hatred of these “children of God”.

    I guess its OK to hate some of your children if they love the “wrong” people.

  6. nobody says

    Ah, Africa. It’s a great practice ground for theocracy. They’re already pretty superstitious, and nothing that happens there matters because they’re all black. Yay, go american theocrats! No, really, go live in Africa if you care that much about how they govern.

  7. left0ver1under says

    Nothing ever changes, does it? The same people did the same things in Southeast Asia back in 2004, viewing and using the deaths of thousands as an “opportunity from god” to proselytize to non-christians. The “10/40 Window” mentality still exists.

    http://reliefweb.int/report/sri-lanka/south-asia-disaster-aid-furthers-fears-proselytizing

    Although anti-abortion and anti-LGBT legislation were established by British colonial governments, U.S. Christian Right groups label human rights supporters as “neocolonialists” imposing liberal sexual mores on Africa.

    After World War II in Germany, all the Nazis’ laws against jews and gypsies were removed from the books. But Nazi laws against homosexuals were still active, and people spent decades in prison for being gay.

    Bigotry will use any excuse to maintain an unethical situation that they approve of. The wingnuts used the “Kony 2012″ video to whitewash the brutality of the Ugandan regime, to portray it as the “right side” rather than being as bad as what the video exposed about Kony/LRA.

  8. cag says

    For a disgusting sight, “fly” Google Earth to
    6°48’41.53″ N 5°17’48.36″ W
    then read the description of the church. Then look around the area at the tin roof huts.

    I wonder if this is the “morality” that Leah Libresco was seeking?

  9. Pen says

    Thanks for this. I will read it as soon as I manage to download it. I’m convinced missionary activity does a lot of harm but it seems like it would be very hard to stop. There are no laws against raising money privately to carry out all sorts of projects in other countries. Perhaps there is a way to block the flow of funding, by changing the opinions of the people who are paying or in some other way? Are these organisations tax-free I wonder? That really calls for serious protest.

    No, really, go live in Africa if you care that much about how they govern.

    I believe they do to some extent, that they train for it especially, and that they consider themselves on the frontline of bringing Christianity to the planet.

    The same people did the same things in Southeast Asia back in 2004

    I’m sure they are still there, though perhaps in a more low key way. People you can count on to spend more on bibles and churches than on vaccines, condoms and safe water supplies. I would love to think I was being unfair to them in saying that, but I’m not so sure.

    Also, with the European recession in full swing, I think they may be ramping up in Europe a bit.

  10. peterh says

    “…intertwined with anti-gay and anti-witchcraft crusades that have left thousands of people dead and many more oppressed.”

    I call apples & oranges here. In Swaziland (where a huge percentage of households are headed by a 15-year old – or younger – due to horrendous numbers of AIDS deaths) the witch doctors try to convince the gullible that one can cure oneself of AIDS by having sex with a virgin.

  11. lancifer says

    Pen,

    People you can count on to spend more on bibles and churches than on vaccines, condoms and safe water supplies.I would love to think I was being unfair to them in saying that, but I’m not so sure.

    Well, speaking as a person that is virulently anti-Christian and as a person that has spent some time around Christian African NGO participants, I would have to say that you are being unfair.

    While these people are seriously deluded and intent on bringing the “good news” to Africans, they are also (mostly) compassionate human beings that can’t help but be moved by the tremendous poverty and suffering they witness on a daily basis. While they may have ulterior motives to bringing relief to the suffering they are bringing relief.

    I sometimes feel guilty that my trips to Africa have been to visit relatives and friends and have not greatly benefited anyone but me.

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