In Uganda’s parliament 4 years ago, a bill was introduced that would criminalize same-sex relations, even resulting in the death sentence. Although the anti-homosexuality bill has not yet become law, it has drawn international attention to the deadly hatred towards gays in the African nation.
God Loves Uganda, a documentary released earlier this year, traces the bill’s origins to American Evangelical Christian groups who have set up missions in the country.
“American evangelicals have done a lot of great work,” director of the film Roger Ross Williams said in an interview with NPR. “But it’s a certain type of fundamentalist evangelical ideology that came in there and basically instilled in a lot of young people in Uganda this message that Biblical law is above any other law.”
The film documents a mission to Uganda by the evangelical group International House of Prayer (IHOP).
Williams went on to say that evangelical leaders have a specific agenda in Africa.
“Everyone I’ve talked to in my film has said, ‘You know, look: American has lost.’ As marriage has passed, American is lost to them, but they are winning the war in Uganda,” he said. “And they believe that this war will be won by eradicating what they believe is sexual sin, and that means homosexuality. And that message gets translated very differently in African context.”
And that context can sometimes be deadly. In January of 2011, Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato was bludgeoned to death. A few months earlier, his name and photograph, along with about 100 others were published in a newspaper article which called for their execution.
So far, evangelical groups operating in Uganda have been silent on incidents such this and countless others.
Watch a preview for the God Loves Uganda in the video below.