Ugandan bishop speaks up for gay people

EDINBURGH, August 12, 2011: Bishop Christopher Senjonyo from Uganda, a courageous advocate of the rights and dignity of LGBT people in Africa, is speaking at three events in the 2011 Edinburgh Festival of Spirituality and Peace this weekend.

As Uganda considered a bill that would make homosexuality a capital offence, Bishop Christopher was one of those in the church who stood out against the anti-gay tide and campaigned against what he calls ‘sexual apartheid’.

As a result he has been the target of death threats and condemnations, but vows to continue his counselling and advocacy work.

The bishop will engage in a public Question & Answer session after the 17:45 showing of the film ‘Coming Out’, which examines the plight of gay people in Africa today, at the Filmhouse Cinema, Edinburgh, on Friday 12 August.

On Saturday 13 August, from 12:30, he will be interviewed at St John’s Church, Edinburgh, by John Watson from Amnesty International at a meeting entitled ‘The Worst Place in the World to Be Gay?’

Bishop Christopher then preaches at Evensong at St John’s Episcopal Church at 6pm on Sunday 14 August.

“The debate about sexuality within the churches has often been mean and vituperative. Much more attention needs to be paid to those like Bishop Christopher Senjonyo, who articulate a strong Christian case for compassion and justice towards the persecuted LGBT minority in Africa, both inside and outside the churches,” commented Simon Barrow, co-director of the religion and society think-tank Ekklesia.

Bishop Christopher Senjonyo was last year named by the Huffington Post as one of the ‘ten most influential religious figures in the world’.

ENDS

Notes to editors

1. The full programme for the 2011 Festival of Spirituality and Peace can be found at: http://www.festivalofspirituality.org.uk/

2. The venues for Bishop Christopher’s talks are the Edinburgh Filmhouse Cinema (http://www.filmhousecinema.com/) and St John’s Church (http://www.stjohns-edinburgh.org.uk/).

3. Media enquiries about the Festival can be directed to Simon Barrow at spiritualityfestivalmedia@gmail.com

4. The Festival news blog is at: http://festivalofspirituality.blogspot.com/

5. More news and comment on the Festival of Spirituality and Peace from Ekklesia: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/festivalofspirituality

6. Founded in 2001, Ekklesia examines politics, values and beliefs in a changing world, from an engaged Christian perspective. It has been listed by The Independent newspaper among 20 influential UK think-tanks. According to Alexa/Amazon, it has one of the most-visited religion and politics / current affairs websites in Britain. More: http://ekklesia.co.uk/content/about/about.shtml