Last edited: November 26, 2004

Church Annoyed by Norway’s Support for Homosexuals

All Africa News Agency, January 11, 1999

LUSAKA (AANA)  – The revelation by Norway that it funded a campaign for homosexuals to fight for their rights in Zambia has attracted condemnation from a cross-section of church leaders in the Southern African country.

Norwegian Ambassador to Zambia Jon Lomoy told the local media in late November 1998 that he funded a campaign for homosexuals and lesbians to form an association through which they can fight for their rights and general recognition.

Mr. Lomoy said the US$ 1,000 donation was meant to organize workshops and radio programmes on gay rights in Zambia. The money was channeled through the Zambia Independent Monitoring Team (ZIMT), the parent body of all human rights non-governmental organisations in the country.

But the donation and general support of Norway for homosexuality has received all-round condemnation from the church.

Leading the attack, the United Church of Zambia (UCG) priest for Kamenza parish in Chililabombwe, over 400 kilometres from Lusaka said, "Homosexuality upsets the order of God in which male and female were created. If Norway has money to spend, let that money go towards alleviating poverty among the many Zambians rather than on unnatural schemes."

Rev. Jon Simukonde told an AANA correspondent that the declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation some three years ago was meant to safeguard Christian values, but "homosexuality defies these norms."

In support, Church of God overseer for central and Southern Africa, Bishop John Mambo called on all Christians to unite in condemning Norway’s stance on gays. Other clergy from a cross-section of churches have expressed similar views.

The state too is not left out in the debate. Foreign Affairs minister Kelly Walubita has since summoned the Norwegian envoy to his office to explain "certain things" about homosexuality.

[Home] [World] [Zambia]