Inclusive Affirmative Ministries (IAM) has developed a network of supportive clergy from southern Africa and plans to continue to grow this network over the coming year. This network can be mobilised to support LGBTI rights and is committed to building acceptance of LGBTI people within their communities. During 2010 and 2011, much progress was made to build this type of network in each of the target countries (Malawi, Lesotho, Namibia and Kenya).
In the coming year, IAM will continue to act as a resource to clergy and the local LGBTI leaders they work with. IAM will also evaluate the overall approach of the Regional Partnerships in Africa Project, and will begin assessing other southern and east African countries where it may want to launch similar projects in future. Although LGBTI activists are gaining strength in their human rights fights, they are not equipped to challenge the homophobic arguments on religious grounds, as the majority of LGBTI people of faith have internalised religious prejudice that has resulted in self-condemnation. IAM wishes to empower the LGBTI sector to address this need.
The overall objective of the IAM project is to empower LGBTI leadership, concerned individuals and progressive clergy in Africa to address the growing homophobia of religious fundamentalism, thus enabling them to build welcoming, inclusive and faith-affirming communities, where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people can participate fully.
This project aims to achieve this goal by helping to build IAM into a strong and sustainable organisation; raising awareness around LGBTI issues with clergy; engaging religious communities and their LGBTI members in dialogue; training clergy on ways to integrate spirituality with sexuality; and building strong regional partnerships in Africa.ShareThis