Mission in South Africa (MiSA)

Name: Mission in South Africa (MiSA)
Location: South Africa

The battle over inclusivity in Africa has more to do with politics than personal-morality. Homophobic perceptions are encouraged by fundamentalist Christian groups (generally imported from the US) which agitate for anti-gay legislation on one hand, and the proponents of Islamic sharia law on the other. Even those African Anglican bishops, who have found some support in the North, and whose actions now endanger the Anglican Communion are motivated to a large extent by the politics of anti-imperialism rather than scripture and faith. African leaders routinely engage in populist homophobic rhetoric, often putting forward the fiction that homosexuality is “un-African” The church in Africa, it has been noted, has been silent, and in some cases quietly complicit in the discourse on homophobic laws. This absence of intervention for justice may lead some to interpret it as approval of injustice. South Africa in unique in that is one of the most culturally diverse countries on the continent, but also one which has bravely faced its own demons of unjust discrimination and dehumanization. Its society is one which, acknowledging the unlawfulness of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, must squarely fare up against prevailing homosexual bigotry expressed in violent attacks, “corrective-rape” of both men and women, and murders which often go unreported or ignored by the police. The EACA’s Mission in South Africa is important as it shows the Universal Church as compassionate and standing up for those living in fear, using its prophetic voice to condemn African society’s general homophobia. Though its work in South Africa the EACA assists the Universal Church speak loudly against discriminatory legislation and violence. The Universal Church, after all, has an obligation, mandated by Christ, to be in solidarity with those who are unjustly marginalized and persecuted.

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