The Damage of Exodus Global Alliance Homophobic Mission in Ethiopia
“Organizations like Rainbow-Ethiopia have arisen in Ethiopia promoting homosexuality and same-sex marriage. Their power and influence in parliament has forced this issue onto the national agenda. It looks like these forces are trying to accomplish in 5 years in Ethiopia what took 30 years to accomplish in Canada.”
There has been longstanding confusion over the relationship between Exodus International and Exodus Global Alliance. Despite having “International” in its name, Exodus International has mainly confined its organizational activities to North America, although several Exodus officers, board members and member ministries have traveled throughout the world to participate in conferences, church missions, and other activities to spread the ex-gay message. Exodus Global Alliance, on the other hand, has operated as an international umbrella organization and resource for ministries around the world, similar to the role that Exodus International has played in North America.
The Exodus International Board of Directors officially voted to withdraw from the Exodus Global Alliance (EGA) May 28, 2013 after 18 years of membership. Exodus International was a founding member of EGA in 1995. This change in relationship releases both ministries to serve the Lord, the Church and their constituents in ways that honor their respective calling.
Exodus Global Alliance Mission in Ethiopia
In early 2007, Dr Tesfaye, Secretary General of the Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church (EKHC), the largest evangelical denomination in Ethiopia with more than 6000 local congregations, more than 5 million members and 260 seminaries asked Exodus Global Alliance, the overarching network that include the U.S.-based Exodus International and other regional affiliates to equip them to the truth and grace of Jesus Christ to the emerging issue of homosexuality in Ethiopia.
In his proposal to Exodus Global Alliance, Dr.Tesfaye expressed his concern as “the secular world’s response to AIDS is to look for things that will slow the spread of AIDS and stop it from killing people while encouraging and enabling people to continue to pursue sexual freedom and whatever sexual lives they want to practice.”
Tim Jacobson of SIM (Service In Mission) Canada- Ethiopian office staff arranged for Pat Lawrence of Exodus Global Alliance to meet with Desta Demessie, Deputy Secretary General of the Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church.
“There are many ministries working with us in the area of AIDS. But we need help in addressing the emerging issue of homosexuality in our country. Organizations like Rainbow-Ethiopia have arisen in Ethiopia promoting homosexuality and same-sex marriage. Their power and influence in parliament has forced this issue onto the national agenda. It looks like these forces are trying to accomplish in 5 years in Ethiopia what took 30 years to accomplish in Canada.”
Desta Demessie, Deputy Secretary General of the Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church.
Mr Demessie also urged the Exodus Global Alliance mission to include the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, the Ethiopian Catholic Church and SIM Ethiopia in the program to reach almost all of the churches across Ethiopia.
Upon the request of EKHC, Exodus International designed and successfully implemented a 3 year anti-homosexuality project by sending people to Ethiopia for more than 3- years period to teach & equip church leaders, establish an African Exodus Development which later included Nigeria and other parts of Africa.
Henok Ghebrehiwot, Director of Bethseda Restoration Ministry, which is one of Exodus Global Alliance funded ministries in Ethiopia, looks at trends and figures concerning the homosexual population in Africa. He proposes that Africa take a lead in ethics, truth and grace in Lausanne Movement’s Cape Town 2010 Congress
In early September 2008 Dr Million Shibeshi of the Ethiopian Christian Doctors & Dentists Fellowship contacted Exodus Global Alliance if they would come to the East Africa Regional conference of the International Christian Medical Doctors Association (ICMDA) to speak about homosexuality and Exodus Global Alliance agreed and sent Bryan Kliewer, executive director of Exodus Global Alliance to facilitate and conduct the conference. The ICMDA (doctors) conference went well in early October 2008 in the African Union Hall – the place where the leaders of African countries meet when they come together. About 150 doctors and medical students from Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda attended the conference.
After the conference, the doctors gave feedback, saying the sessions were very helpful and enlightening. This was the first time they had received any information on this issue and the possibility for providing Christian help to people. Bryan distributed anti-homosexuality books to each group of doctors from each country,the books were donated by Exodus International North America and Exodus Global Alliance.
Bryan was able to speak to hundreds of seminary students and faculty members at the Evangelical Theological College, and the Trinity Orthodox Seminary and a group of 50-75 Addis Ababa University students about the western deliberate exportation of homosexuality to Ethiopia as a cultural invasions.
During his trip Bryan also helped a young pastor named Tamrat Seyoum to start a new local ministry called “Deliverance for the ministry” in Ethiopia to help people find freedom from homosexuality. Tamrat has formed a team includes people from the Ethiopian Orthodox, Protestant and Catholic denominations which encouraged leaders from all denominations to refer tens of thousands of people to this ministry to seek help/cure from their homosexuality. Bryan and Tamrat have also conducted a series of anti-homosexuality trainings and workshops to church leaders in Addis Ababa and Awassa region of Ethiopia where the majority of their 5000 Evangelical churches operate.
What happened next?
Anti-homosexuality propaganda became a national agenda by in all religious institutions, churches, mosques, schools, government offices, police stations and even hospitals and clinics. The four 3 big churches; the Ethiopian Orthodox, the Evangelical and the Roman Catholic and Islamic council formed a national anti-homosexuality task force which several organize a national and local anti-homosexuality conferences and workshops and signed a petition and released a joint anti-homosexuality statement to urge the government to take strict legal measure including death penalty on those who practice homosexuality.
Private and state owned media and press started to publish a sensational articles to provoke the public to watch out homosexuals in their day to day life and in their respective region and take mob action which is still continued to hinder the HIV/AIDS service provision and threatened the safety and livelihood of Ethiopian LGBTI community.
For almost 40 years, Exodus International claimed to offer a “cure” for homosexuality. Alan Chambers, the leader of Exodus, decided last year to stop endorsing the controversial practice of gay-reparative therapy. And now, he has a new message: an apology.
In a special episode, Lisa Ling is joined by a group of survivors of the condemned and damaging practice of “reparative therapy” as they confront Alan Chambers. Chambers recently asked Ling to help orchestrate an opportunity in which he could formally apologize to those who felt deceived and defrauded by Exodus’ practices and to announce that the organization will cease to be an “ex gay” organization.
EGA is the worldwide coalition of “Exodus” ministries, which seek to work together under one umbrella structure.
In August 2010, New Zealand had refuse Exodus Global Alliance charitable status but Exodus Global Alliance based in Ajax Ontario is still operating in Canada and the global south especially in Africa and Latin America since 1999. The government of Canada must strip the organization charitable status
The Exodus International Board of Directors officially voted to withdraw from the Exodus Global Alliance (EGA) May 28, 2013 after 18 years of membership and the controversial Florida-based Christian ministry that advised gay people “seeking freedom from unwanted same-sex attraction” announce in Wednesday about shutting its doors by apologizing. The announcement was posted to the ministry’s website after Allen Chambers posted an open apology to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community earlier in the day. Exodus International was a founding member of EGA in 1995. In 2005 Exodus Europe withdrew from EGA, as well.
What about the Exodus Global Alliance and the executive director, Bryan Kliewer???
Exodus International and Exodus Global Alliance are independent organizations. As completely independent organizations, the mission and activities of Exodus Global Alliance are independent of Exodus International.
Both organizations were started by people who experienced a same-sex orientation who felt called by God to share their positive experience of Christian faith and life transformation with others in the LGBT community. The organizations have shared similar missions but have carried them out in different ways.
The recent announcements and actions of Exodus International do not represent the mission of Exodus Global Alliance. Exodus Global Alliance is receiving the news about Exodus International at the same time as everyone else.
Exodus Global Alliance continues to believe that Jesus Christ came to do that which we cannot do for ourselves. Jesus Christ invites people who experience same-sex attractions to be part of God’s kingdom and the local church. We are to ‘be transformed by the renewing of our minds’ (Romans 12:2), to ‘walk in the light’ (1 John 1:7), to ‘follow Him’ (John 12:26), to ‘deny ourselves and take up our crosses’ (Mark 8:34), to ‘love God with all our hearts, souls, mind and strength’ (Mark 12:30). It is the power of Christ in us that transforms our lives and enables us to partner with God in this process. God’s plans for us do not change. His message does not change.
The mission of Exodus Global Alliance continues to be:
Proclaiming that faith in Christ and a transformed life is possible through the transforming power of Jesus Christ for people who experience same-sex attractions or are involved in homosexuality.
Equipping Christians and churches to uphold the Biblical view of sexuality while responding with compassion and grace to those impacted by homosexuality.
Serving people impacted by homosexuality through Christian fellowship, discipleship, conferences, counselling, support groups and other services.”
Posted on June 21, 2013, in Ethiopian LGBTI Community, Rainbow-Ethiopia Updates, World LGBTI News and tagged Bryan Kliewer, Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus, Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church, Exodus Global Alliance, Exodus international, homosexuality in Ethiopia, International Christian Medical Doctors Association (ICMDA), Pat Lawrence of Exodus International, rainbow-Ethiopia, Service In Mission) Canada- Ethiopian. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.