Build up the body of Christ. Support the Pentecost Offering.

Today in the Mission Yearbook

Christian religious LGBT advocacy in Ghana


In many communities of faith in Africa, people who advocate for LGBT rights are not welcome

June 30, 2024

The Ghana Mission Network is working as friends and colleagues in the midst of cultural and societal differences. (Contributed photo)

According to the population and housing census of 2021, more than 71% of the people in Ghana identify as Christians in various church denominations.

Given these figures, it is reasonable to assume that God’s love will penetrate every sphere of society in this West African nation. However, the situation is the opposite, with church leaders and followers inciting hatred and prejudice against the LGBT community. This makes LGBT advocacy more and more hazardous, deadly and potentially catastrophic.

This pervasive animosity toward the LGBT community hangs from the cultural and Indigenous religious belief systems of Africans that homosexuality is taboo. Likewise, LGBT advocacy is disregarded by many of the faiths represented in the nation. Because of this, people who advocate for LGBT rights are not normally welcomed into the fellowship of their respective worship communities. They are often frowned upon, discriminated against or abused. This costs them unimaginable emotional, spiritual and psychological distress. Additionally, if parliament makes the anti-gay laws operational in Ghana, LGBT advocacy and activism will be criminalized and outlawed, with activists facing jail time.

I must say that the way the church regards and handles LGBT activists further exacerbates the situation. They are viewed as reprobates, spiritually depraved and patronizing. In this sense, the public’s attitude toward LGBT advocacy — including that of church leaders and members — remains antagonistic, denunciatory and confrontational.

The complacent attitude of the church toward LGBT people is terribly injurious to their safety and wellbeing. Just like Isaiah’s call for the repentance of the oppressors of his day, the return of justice in the church will bring a complete transformation to the LGBT community so that people will be known for who they really are and have their dignity in society. This affirms Isaiah 32:17 and emphasizes the fact that if the church takes action to promote justice, it will bring peace and genuine respect for LGBT people because peace and justice are inextricably linked.

This is why welcoming LGBT people in churches and including them as church members is crucial for the church’s mission and discipleship. They are our friends and family, yet we deny that they exist. They do exist, and they are part of us. God is calling us to accept and welcome them into our fellowships. This is why I feel God is calling me to this ministry of advocacy and pastoral care. It aligns with the dream and vision of the Center for Religion and Public Life, which is to create a climate of pastoral ministry for LGBT people to flourish in their spiritual lives and live meaningfully.

Rev. Canon Dr. Confidence Bansah, CEO and founder of the Center for Religion and Public Life in Accra, Ghana

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, June 30, 2024, the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

Today’s Focus: LGBT advocacy in Ghana

Let us join in prayer for:

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Amy Lewis, Mission Specialist I, Presbyterian Peacemaking Program, Presbyterian Mission Agency  
Bridgette Lewis, Mission Specialist, Young Adult & National Volunteers, World Mission, Presbyterian Mission Agency  

Let us pray

Gracious God, you call us to be Christ incarnate. We are to be the compassionate heart and hands of Christ. We are the loaves and the fishes that will give hope and life during these challenging times. Amen.