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Guardian UK: Nigeria's gay church is reborn amid a climate of fear

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 09:33 PM
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Guardian UK: Nigeria's gay church is reborn amid a climate of fear

When Ade's aunt learned he was gay, the then 16-year-old Nigerian was made to go through an exorcism to expel "the demon of homosexuality".

"The priest came to the house with candles, holy water and anointing oils. I had to kneel down, holding candles in my hands," recalls Ade, now 25, as he sits in a cafe in Lagos. He does not wish to reveal his full name. "He kept shouting 'Come out! Come out! Come out!' in a fevered voice I was allowed to go back to church after that but I had to pretend to be straight."

In a country where homosexuality is punishable by up to 14 years in prison, it is no surprise that many of Ade's friends those who, like him, are both gay and religious stay away from church altogether for fear of being outed.

However, an alternative could soon be at hand. Ade is helping to resurrect a religious refuge for himself and his friends. He is part of the team restarting House of Rainbow, the country's only gay church, which was forced to close in 2008 after a witch-hunt stirred by exposs in local newspapers. .............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/24/gay-nigeria...



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