The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, The Most Rev. Stephen Mugalu Kaziimba, has appealed to the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran to help Uganda in the fight against homosexuality.
Kaziimba made the appeal at the Uganda National Mosque at Kampala Hill in Uganda’s capital where Iran’s visiting President, Ebrahim Raisi joined believers for the Muslim-Christian dialogue on the philosophy of waiting for the saviour in Islam and Christianity.
The Archbishop was speaking in his capacity as the Chairperson of the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU).
“Your Excellency, as you might be aware due to the weighing divergence in terms of values, our Western partners have withdrawn funding from most of our vital programs due to our firm stance against same-sex rights. Your Excellency, this is an area where we need the support of your government,” Kaziimba said.
The IRCU has a partnership with the Islamic Republic of Iran that dates back to 2017 when the former signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Cultural Counsel of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The agreement was reached with the objective of improving the capacity and participation of religious leaders in creating an enabling environment for peaceful co-existence through inter-religious and inter-sect collaboration, dialogue, and action.
Iran’s president who arrived in the country on Wednesday, had earlier met with the country’s President Yoweri Museveni.
During a joint press conference with Museveni, President Raisi bashed the west for promoting the evil of homosexuality.
“The West is today trying to promote the idea of homosexuality and of course by homosexuality they are trying to end the generation of human beings and at the same time they are acting against the inherence and the nature of human beings I believe that this issue and these strong attacks by the West against the establishment of families and against the culture of the nations is another area of cooperation for Iran and Uganda,” President Raisi said.
Archbishop Kaziimba asked the Iranian leader to activate, support, and expand the partnership as it has the potential to create opportunities for young people in trade and investment, and strengthen the capacity of religious leaders and religious initiatives including the Youth Centers for skills enhancement and entrepreneurship; Peace and leadership capacity development.
“Your Excellency, in order to deepen our collaboration with the People of the Islamic Republic of Iran, it would be helpful for the heads of the different faith groups in Uganda to visit the religious historical centers of Iran,” Kaziimba added.
He also praised the Iranian diplomatic mission in Uganda for organising the dialogue. H.E Mr. Majid Saffar is Iran’s ambassador to Uganda.
The IRCU is an indigenous, national faith-based organization founded in 2001, uniting the efforts of seven religious institutions to jointly address issues of common concern. IRCU’s member organizations are the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of Uganda, the Uganda Orthodox Church, the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council, Seventh-day Adventist Uganda Union, the Born-Again Faith in Uganda and the Association of Pentecostals and Evangelicals in Uganda.
The IRCU has made significant strides in laying a foundation for interreligious dialogue and cooperation in Uganda.