The growing cultural war is not unique to the United States. The ACLJ has been at the forefront in this country and abroad working to protect life and defend pro-family policies.
Recently, a highly biased report published by the liberal Political Research Associates accused the ACLJ and other faith-based western groups of importing anti-abortion and homophobic political agendas into Africa with the intent to “establish a new legal infrastructure on the African continent that reflects the U.S. Christian Right’s ideals.” This report is without merit, riddled with inaccuracies, and only seeks to promote their political agenda by distorting the facts.
The truth is that the ACLJ has partnered with Africans in Zimbabwe and Kenya, and has been doing great work in Africa now for years.
Each of our international affiliates is independently operated with in-country nationals at the helm. We recognize that the mission and agenda of each office must be guided by the cultural norms of the surrounding society.
In Zimbabwe, we partnered with the Christian churches to ensure that their collective voice is represented in the drafting of a new constitution. A published news report alleging that the ACLJ was invited by President Mugabe to operate in Zimbabwe is patently false. Nor has the ACLJ sought out opportunities to get involved in Africa. Instead, the partnerships in both Zimbabwe and Kenya arose because African Christians sought our help. The ACLJ is sensitive to Zimbabwe’s history and culture, which is why our Zimbabwean affiliates have always set their own agenda.
Great work is being done in Zimbabwe. Our affiliate has taken proactive steps to assist churches in unifying the Christian voice in the constitutional draft process. Because we are committed to providing humanitarian aid, the office has also assisted orphanages and single mother’s centers, and helped launch a neighborhood cleanup project in the City of Harare.
Like Zimbabwe, in Kenya, we partnered with the Christian churches during Kenya’s constitutional drafting and referendum processes. After elections turned violent in 2007, many Christians were afraid to vote. By partnering with prominent religious leaders in Kenya, the East African Centre for Law & Justice (EACLJ) has helped to restore Christians’ faith in the legal system and given them an avenue to voice their concerns over pending laws. The EACLJ has conducted civic education campaigns across the country to educate Kenyans on the importance of standing up for their values and participating in the legal process. The EACLJ also aims to be a haven for those who find themselves in conflict with the law, especially over the exercise of their faith.
Despite the great work being done in Zimbabwe and Kenya by our affiliates, the badly flawed report by Political Research Associates wrongly asserts the ACLJ is pushing a Christian pro-life, pro-family agenda regarding that is out of sync with African cultures. But even a cursory review of Kenyan and other African cultures demonstrates it is western governments, not the ACLJ, that seeks to create a culture war in Africa.
During the constitutional referendum in Kenya, the EACLJ took a strong stance on protecting the unborn. The EACLJ took this position, not because it represented the ACLJ’s Christian ideals, but because Kenyans are deeply pro-life. According to a poll conducted in Kenya last year by Synovate, 69 percent of Kenyans are against legalizing abortions and only 9 percent support legalized abortions. Remarkably, 77 percent of Kenyans stated that life begins at conception. Despite these staggering statistics, the Obama administration used tax payer dollars, in violation of U.S. law, to openly lobby expanded abortion provisions in the Kenyan constitution.
It is abundantly clear whose agenda is being pushed in Africa against cultural norms.
In addition to promoting a culture of abortion, the Obama administration’s decision to prioritize the homosexual agenda in its foreign policy, has also created controversy in in many African countries where traditional cultures strongly oppose homosexuality.
According to Voice of America, it is “pressure from the United States, the United Nations and other international powers to protect gay rights,” not religiously based groups, that “has . . . further entrenched homophobia among many in Africa. Threats to withdraw foreign aid have been met with defiance.”
The faulty findings presented in the report by the Political Research Associates are not only troubling, but predictable. By misrepresenting the facts, the organization seeks only to promote its political agenda – an agenda that is clearly out of step with African norms – an agenda that backs the intrusive and dangerous foreign policy of the Obama Administration.
As one native-born Kenyan stated, “The United States’ footprint is quite large in Kenya. . . . We must be aware that there are those who offer a poisoned chalice, claiming it is refreshment.”