Are we still sending white missionaries to cause problems in black Africa?

I heard about this film recently. It has made waves in the US and Canada- although only a few clips are available in the UK via you tube.

It is a documentary dealing about the impact of evangelists from the American International House of Prayer (IHOP), an organisation that some of us may know from forays into the weird world of Christian satellite TV.

Are we really still sending young white men and women to do this kind of thing? Did we not learn the lessons about from the Victorians about how religion and colonialism (perhaps better understood as globalisation) become a potent toxic mix?

And when violence and intolerance result, do we still blame the victims- as if it is the fault of some kind of black ‘heart of darkness’?

Another analogy that sprang to mind in relation to this shameful process was how the cold war used Africa to play out power games- we exported the tensions and hatreds to places like The Congo and Eritrea. It is almost as if the church is doing the same in relation to homosexuality. IHOP are losing the argument in increasingly secular US, so they are fighting the good theological fight against homosexuality in Uganda.

Lord forgive us.

Africa and the emerging church leaders…

The other day I was listening to some news about Uganda’s anti-homosexuality bill. It aims to criminalize the “promotion” of homosexuality, compels HIV testing in some circumstances, and imposes life sentences for entering into a same-sex marriage. It would also be an offence for a person who is aware of any violations of the bill’s wide-ranging provisions not to report them to the authorities within 24 hours.

Does anyone remember those ‘Transformations’ films? They described huge revivals sweeping through cities across the world, transforming whole communities. One of them described the revival taking place in Uganda;

How does a country undergoing such a process of freedom from oppression start to impose oppression on people as a result of their sexuality? Is this really the logical progression of revival- puritanical oppression of minorities?It should not surprise us I suppose – the lurch to the religious right is unfortunately a common phenomenon in Africa and elsewhere. It is all so depressing.

However, today I read on Brian McLaren’s blog something about a whole different movement – Amahoro Africa. It did something good to the heart to hear stories of how Christians are seeking a different kind of transformation.

I would love to go to this, but am not sure I would be much use…