03 May 2017
It is with deep distress that we hear of the ongoing annihilation of gay and bisexual men in Chechnya. We applaud the UK and German governments – as well as UN and other organisations – who are using diplomatic tracks to intervene. Authorities in Chechnya have been torturing gay and bi men, murdering them and calling on their parents to kill their own children in a bid to remove the gay population of that region.
So much of homophobia seeks to disgrace. In the Chechnya example we note that disgrace is underpinned by a desire to destroy. At the heart of attacks on a people is a message that their survival is debatable. As such, this is a matter for governments but it is also a matter for faith communities.
Corrymeela is proud to be an inclusive Christian community with LGBT people at all levels of our community membership, employment and leadership. And yet we know that in many matters of inclusion we have much to learn, much to embody, much to improve. We call on other voices of faith to manifest their protest against annihilationist attempts by increasing visibilities of diverse identities in their organisations.
In the Corrymeela prayer book for today, we recall the words of Elizabeth from the start of Luke’s Gospel. She sings of how her disgrace has been taken away. In the name of disgracing diverse identities and peoples, governments and other bodies bring disgrace on themselves, practicing abominably while accusing others of abominations.
Again, we call on voices and bodies of faith to be clear in demonstrating the very opposite to such practices, applying the many resources available to deepen the values of the household of God: welcome, safety, love and the kind of power that delights, not destroys.
Through the bold texts here, you can find links to reports from Attitude Magazine on the situation in Chechnya (please note that the details are disturbing), as well as ways to sign the Amnesty International Petition and explore Stonewall’s statements on the situation in Chechnya.