Spiritual Affirmation

Black Pastors Launch African Tour To Counteract Rick Warren’s Anti-Gay Movement

by Alison Amyx

Spearheaded by The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries (TFAM), its founder and presiding Bishop Rev. Dr. Yvette Flunder and executive director, Bishop-Elect, Pastor Joseph Tolton, the organization’s international outreach ministry The Fellowship Global (TFG) has launched a month long tour of key African nations where LGBTI communities continue to experience extreme discrimination and persecution. These countries include: Uganda, Rwanda, Cote D’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Kenya.

Until April 30, 2015, Pastor Tolton will be on the ground working to counter this effort and provide an uplifting alternate narrative.

The message advocates for inclusion, economic justice and the reconciliation of all people of African descent globally. Pastor Joseph Tolton explains:

As black gay Christians who identify with Pentecostal worship and as people of social justice, we are countering the work of conservative, mostly white American evangelicals who are doubling down on their attempt of spiritual colonization of Africa.

The mission of the tour is to: bring global attention to these human rights issues in Africa; support affirming African organizations and local movements; and, promote governmental policies and the policies of organized religious structures that support LGBTI dignity, inclusion, and justice. A variety of certified academic trainings, worship events and economic development opportunities will be made available.

One of the tour’s primary goals is to clearly articulate the inextricable link between the global agenda of US conservative Christians like Rick Warren, the future of Christianity, and the fate of LGBTI people in Africa. “The future of Christianity is not Europe or North America, but Africa, Asia, and Latin America,” said Pastor Rick Warren.

Africa is ground zero for the Christian evangelical right-wing movement.

Under the veil of economic development, Rick Warren is also planning a conference in Rwanda that sells a dangerous theology. This anti-gay propaganda has spawned the passage of anti-gay legislation across Africa and notably in Nigeria, Uganda and Gambia.

In addition to promoting TFG’s message of equality and justice, the organization plans to establish new chapters of the United Coalition of Affirming Africans (UCAA) in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Cote d’Ivoire. UCAA chapters were established in Kenya in October 2013 and in Rwanda in May 2014.

TFG will also produce at least eight spiritual/worship events to advance the message of equality before God. A variety of certified theological workshops and revival worship services will be held, as well as establishing economic development projects based on gay/straight alliances.

Photo provided by The Fellowship Global