Common Roots: Ancient Evangelical Future Conference

Anglicans say no to stoning gays

Church leaders in Kenya have urged Parliament to kill a bill calling for a sentence of death by stoning for foreigners convicted of sodomy. The bill put forward by the Republican Life Party states in its preamble that its purpose is to support “the nation’s capacity to deal with emerging internal and external threats to the traditional heterosexual family.” The bill calls for foreigners found guilty of “aggravated homosexuality” under the nation’s sodomy laws to be stoned to death in public. Kenyans found guilty of the same offence would be jailed for life under the bill. However if a Kenyan offender is HIV positive or commits an act of gross indecency with a minor of the same-sex, the penalty for such an act would be public stoning. Muslim leaders have backed the bill, saying the penalty of stoning for sodomy is in line with Sharia law. However the Rt. Rev. Joseph Wasonga, Bishop of Maseno West, said that while the church teaches that homosexual actions are sinful, that does not mean homosexuals should be stoned. “In my view, stoning is too extreme. Even God does not want a sinner to die, but for one to repent and live. That is why even in our prisons, we advocate more correction as opposed to punishment,” he told The Star. Dr. Agnes Abuom, the Moderator of the World Council of Churches and member of the Anglican Church of Kenya also urged MPs to reject the bill, saying it was contrary to the “values and moral ethics” taught in Scripture.

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