Right now, Rev. Rowland has relocated abroad where he is presently running his gay church,”House Of Rainbow Fellowship”.
According to him, “ My Church is a voice of the younger generation of citizens, activists, and diaspora, and our collective belief in a more progressive Nigeria. They are afraid of our growing influence as we gather allies not just from the West, a people that are not afraid but powerful and resilient.
Pentecostal pastors often see gay desire as the work of demons. “You might start casually but, once you get into it, you will be possessed by the spirit,” said Emmanuel Owoyemi, a pastor in Lagos.
Meanwhile, in the 12 sharia states in the North, gay sex carries the death penalty, although no executions have yet taken place.
There are so many stories of antigay persecution coming out of Africa, it's hard to keep track of them. Nigeria is just one of multiple countries where LGBT people are under attack. Uganda has been in the news frequently due to antigay legislation inspired by American Evangelicals.
For summary of recent antigay bill in nigeria, npr.org
"Gays and lesbians face open discrimination and abuse in a country divided by Christians and Muslims who almost uniformly oppose homosexuality. In the areas in Nigeria's north where Islamic Shariah law has been enforced for about a decade, gays and lesbians can face death by stoning.
Under the proposed law passed by Senate this week, couples who marry could face up to 14 years each in prison. Witnesses or anyone who helps couples marry could be sentenced to 10 years behind bars. The bill also punishes the "public show of same-sex amorous relationships directly or indirectly" with ten years in prison."
According to the npr article, there are 3 million nigerians living with HIV. I imagine that most are not LGBT people - HIV in Africa is mainly heteresexually spread. 95% of antiretrovirals are provided by donated funds. The US has given $300 million in funding for HIV related support. It is unclear how much Nigeria, an major oil-exporting nation, provides for its own citizens in HIV care or prevention.
(note, the vanguardngr reference has some reliability issues, although I think this story is probably OK. On the other hand, the same issue discusses a woman who was dead for 10 days and was resurrected. That's longer than Jesus was dead. The other article is from npr but also is supported in other mainstream sources). here is a blogger on the church:
It is almost impossible to deal with the human rights situation in Africa for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people without addressing the dominant role of religion, particularly Christianity.
This is a different minister but apparently the same church movemement. Their website is not kept up much, and I don't do facebook.
They are very gutsy. I know a lot of us don't think much of gays still supporting religion after all the discrimination it's given them, but in this case it looks like the church may be one of the only support systems for these people.