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The Kinship Blog

1 minute reading time (229 words)

Because You Are, Therefore I Am

global faith and justice project
September 10th, 2014
“Because you are, therefore I am,” was the greeting that Dr. Ezra Chitando from Zimbabwe expressed to our amazing group of African scholars, theologians, faith leaders, activists and students at the Thorn Tree Lodge, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Dr. Chitando’s words to us were more than a greeting as they are often spoken in the context of a common African identity and an affirmation being known, understood and respected in community.
Dr. Chitando shared the justifiable suspicion of this statement by African women scholars: “Because I am a man and you are a woman, you are not” and extended it to “because I am a heterosexual and you are a homosexual, you are not.” He concluded that this traditional African statement must be used to include, rather than exclude people.
These thirty-plus African leaders from nine African countries gathered for a historic consultation on human sexuality, religion and equality: Cameroon, Lesotho, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Rev. Dr. Kaypa Kaoma and I worked with leaders from the World Council of Churches and Dr. Gerald West, University of KwaZulu-Natal in organizing this consultation. We are committed to changing the narrative in Africa from persecution of LGBTI persons and their families to acceptance. We are committed to making change happen in faith communities, theological schools, universities and in civil society. Read more...
Journey - Chapter 1

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