General Conference Affirms Human Dignity,
Opposes Uganda Bill
Statement rebuts comments attributed to local church leader
BY MARK A. KELLNER, News Editor
aying it had “noted with concern” comments attributed to the head of the Uganda Union Mission of Seventh-day Adventists, the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, the world church’s administrative body, moved quickly on January 8, 2010 to affirm human dignity in opposition to extreme penalties called for in pending Ugandan legislation.
Media reports indicate that the Union Mission’s executive director had supported some provisions of the anti-homosexuality legislation being considered by Uganda’s parliament, but not the bill’s call for executing those found guilty of “aggravated homosexuality.” The Web site of Uganda’s “New Vision” newspaper said that while Adventist pastor John Kakembo supported the overall bill, Kakembo and other clerics took exception to the death penalty provision.
The Adventist Church headquarters statement, issued by GC communication director Rajmund Dabrowski, reads: “Church leadership noted with concern some statements reportedly made by the Uganda Union Mission Executive Director in connection with the Anti-Homosexuality Bill under consideration in Uganda. These views do not reflect the values of the Church as expressed in published statements on same sex conduct.
“Seventh-day Adventists continue to affirm the equal dignity and rights of every person as articulated in the relevant international human rights declarations and covenants.”
The Seventh-day Adventist Church message first came to Uganda in 1906, and formal work began 20 years later. Today, nearly 200,000 Seventh-day Adventists worship weekly in over 800 congregations in Uganda.