December 10 is International Human Rights Day, and we’re taking the opportunity to celebrate progress and note where more is needed.
In August, recognizing that “demonization and criminalization of sexual minorities” in Africa is a threat to the well-being of the continent, African religious leaders, scholars, and members of civil society met and drafted the KwaZulu Natal Declaration as a call to reflection and action for the African continent.
In September, the UN passed the Resolution on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity.
In November, the Jakarta Declaration was adopted during the first-ever international LGBT-Faith Conference in Indonesia. It “implore[s] Christian communities to begin to engage in dialogue … with persons with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions and listen to their stories and struggles as acts of love.”
Of course, there is still a need for people of faith to recognize how religion has contributed to persecution and violence against LGBTQ people in African countries and to stand with African activists to stop it. The Gilead Sabbath Initiative will equip people of faith in the U.S. to do so.