Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival. Dalai Lama
The other evening I received an email inviting me to meet the man commonly refered to as the ‘Desmond Tutu’ of Uganda – Bishop Christopher Senyonjo. Bishop Senyonjo’s unfailing support for the LGBTI people cost him his job in the Anglican Church of Uganda and everything else but his integrity. To his fellow Anglican Bishops and church leaders, he is a useless, good for nothing person, BUT to the LGBTI community, he is a savior and that is what keeps him standing. When the Kampala tabloids called for the hanging of LGBTI Ugandans, they included his picture.
He has been aggressive in his fight against the Ugandan Parliament’s “Anti-Homosexuality Bill,” which calls for imprisonment and death. Against all odds, he has gone on to create a safe space where the LGBTI/straight allies find refuge while the rest of the population turns against them: St. Paul’s Reconciliation And Equality Centre-Kampala.
St. Paul Reconciliation Centre pursues a holistic approach to the challenges in Uganda, providing essential services while also seeking systemic change and fostering genuine reconciliation for LGBTI persons and other marginalized groups. Its programs include business development, HIV education and services, counseling, and support for expanded schools, LGBTI advocacy and dialogue, an LGBTI legal resource team, and a sanctuary safe house for activists who frequently need to go into hiding.
Whenever he is around town, I get to see him, and over the weekend had another opportunity to listen to him speak at All Souls Episcopal Church in Washington, DC. Throngs listened to him talk about Compassion and call for all people to be tolerant of everybody like Jesus was.
He thanked Americans for their good heart and for sacrificing their huge taxes towards helping the disadvantaged populations around the world, including but not limited to the LGBTI community in Uganda.
Anyone who wants to contribute to this cause…please visit the center’s website.
“The only weapon we can use to fight our battles isn’t guns, atomic bombs, or missiles, but compassion.” Bishop Christopher Senyonjo