Friday, June 10, 2005

What Do Lutherans in Africa Think About This?

"The Conference of Bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) met in Bukoba between 2nd and 9th February, 2004 for spiritual retreat and prayer. In the said conference we reflected also on numerous issues facing the church and society in Tanzania and beyond. We are aware of our duties and responsibilities to pray for, teach, discipline and forewarn the community of faith in our nation and the larger community worldwide. In the face of many other issues facing our society, we have decided to give a conscientious statement on a few critical challenges facing the church and society. Two critical challenges that we reflected upon are effects of globalization and current/contemporary trends in human sexuality. Subsequently, both challenges debilitate our efforts in fighting HIV and AIDS.

Although Tanzanians are not well versed with all facets of globalization, and even though most of them feel that they didn't cause globalization, but rather have been forced into it by those who wield power, yet globalization is inevitable. We therefore, in the face of such inevitability, find it necessary to stand for the defense of our national identity, culture and dignity.

Above and beyond sexual immorality and cases of rape in our society, the critical issue facing the church and society today is homosexuality in different forms and shapes. It has shaken the church and the foundation of human civilization worldwide. Thus, we find it pertinent to state our position on this issue, hoping by so doing, to defend the church's fidelity to Holy Scripture and societal decency.

On HIV and the AIDS pandemic, we bishops view globalization and changing views of human sexuality as among the factors that contribute to the intensification of its gravity."

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