The New York Times has a report from Uganda on The Call Uganda and it does not sound promising.
Though not originally linked to the Ugandan legislation, Mr. Engle has long been a controversial figure in the United States for his views on homosexuality. During California’s referendum on same-sex marriage in 2008, he called homosexuality a “spirit of lawlessness.”
Before arriving here last week, Mr. Engle came out with a statement condemning the harsh penalties proposed in the bill, and said that his ministry could not support it. But when he took the stage late on Sunday afternoon, with Ugandan politicians and pastors looking on, 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,” Mr. Engle said, referring to nongovernmental organizations. “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.”
Lou Engle’s statement last week promised that the meeting in Kampala would not promote the bill:
Therefore TheCall, though continuing to be held in Uganda, will not promote this bill. In fact, we challenge the Church of Uganda to join with Christians around the world, to first examine our own moral failures, confess our own lack of love, and from that heart seek to establish true biblical standards, reflecting compassion for those struggling with same-sex attraction and equal justice for criminal offenses committed by heterosexuals or homosexuals. We believe this also reflects the heart and intent of the Christian leaders of Uganda.
I am aware of several sources who video taped the meeting and footage should be available sometime tomorrow. We will be able to see if the NYT report is accurate.
UPDATE: While I wait to review video of the event, I am going to post reports that come from Uganda about The Call Uganda. Another report, this time from a gay advocacy group, disputes The Call’s promise not to promote the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
UGANDA – 03 May 2010: The commencement of Uganda’s prayer crusade yesterday, Sunday 2 May became a platform for religious leaders to cast out homosexuality once more, as a Western behavior, unAfrican and unbiblical.
Reports state that Pastor Mulinde of Trumpet Church called on other pastors present to come to the floor and pray for the nation of Uganda and in his prayer he condemned ‘evils in society’, committed by both homosexuals and heterosexuals.
He further emphasized that homosexuality is invading schools, families and the entire community and that it should be stopped.
Pastor Oyet Julius pointed out that Uganda is not for sale and that western civilization should not be allowed to take over the country.
“Members of parliament should not waste time by debating the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, they should quickly make it a law”, Oyet reportedly said.
He also called upon the cabinet, media, and business community to take a firm stand against homosexuality, also accusing homosexuals of paying school fees for young children while recruiting them to ‘the act’.
“Uganda cannot be intimidated by the Western World, we cannot put our dignity for sale” He said.
Pastor Lou Engle of The Call Ministries, a movement emphasizing prayer, worship and fasting for Spiritual breakthrough, said Western countries are using Ugandan NGO’s to promote homosexuality.
“We warned the youth against the act, when America allowed homosexuals freedom, it was the end of their Nation”, he said.
Meanwhile minister of Ethics and Intergrity Nsaba Buturo said that Uganda will not listen to the “nonsense” that homosexuality is a human rights issue.
Another report from someone who says he was there. This from Ugandan blogger, wamala dennis mawejje:
Lou engle on stage
He said he come to know Uganda through Apostle John Mulinde and knew nothing about the anti-homosexuality bill when he was being invited to Uganda hence he had a big debate on whether he should come to Uganda when there was international controversy over his trip.
They were under a lot of pressure and now they understand the kind of pressure Ugandan pastors are under.
He encouraged Ugandan pastors to stand firm because they have been chosen to lead the world in the fight against homosexuality and that they are standing for the truth.
The pastors don’t hate gays or spread hate but NGOs, UN, UNICEF, etc are promoting a homosexual agenda which is against the teachings of the church.
Uganda is a Christian nation and God loves everyone trapped in sin but marriage was established between Man and woman for the wellbeing of children.
The government of Uganda should uphold righteousness in this land.
America has lost the fight against the homosexual agenda and it has got into school. Parents are even losing power over their children as schools are teaching them that homosexuality is okay.
God is using Uganda as ground zero or a starting point for the rest of the world against homosexuality. God chose Uganda.
His son prayed for the sexually broken and then all youths below 30 years were called in front and blessed to be the front runners in the fight for morality in Uganda.
Lou Engel and crew went back to US immediately after his prayer.
Again, if accurate, this is very disturbing and would not match up with the commitment not to promote the bill. Ground zero? Reminds one of Scott Lively’s imagery of a nuclear bomb in Uganda.
Bob Hunter writes to say that 1,300 is a very small turnout for a rally of this nature in Uganda. The area in question will accommodate many times that number of people and this would have to be considered a bust.