God Loves Uganda, Roger Ross Williams’ documentary portrait of the International House of Prayer’s (IHOP) efforts to spread the gospel in Uganda. It exposes the widespread institutionalization of homophobia and hatred in the country, prominently focusing on organizations like IHOP and their puritanical perspective as they support indirectly the persecution of the nation’s LGBT community in Uganda.
Williams starts the journey interviewing some members of the IHOP, a Massachusetts-based priest who fled Uganda to protect his family and a young group of missionaries that are in Uganda to “save” some souls. The film shows a different number of perspectives on Christianity in Uganda, one of the few nations that openly stand against the LGBT community.
Reverend Kapya Kaoma and Bishop Christopher Senyonjo collaborate to the documentary by giving a sane, natural perspective of what their beliefs are. The director’s goal was not to demonize religion but only the expose the extremist views that continue to endanger lives of an uneducated population that is forced to believe in speakers that go against sexuality and acceptance.
Currently in Ugandan Parliament, there’s a bill currently circulating that imposes severe penalties on the country’s LGBT community. Homosexuality is a crime there so homophobia continues to escalate, encouraged by Uganda’s significant population of Evangelical Christians. In the documentary, we also see young American missionaries that come to Africa with the intent of spread the love of the Lord.
The documentary also analyses the idea that missionaries may not being doing as much good as they think. It's critical, but never overly judgmental towards all Christians. This just highlights the missteps and misguidance towards a country that is desperate to have its own identity.
God Loves Uganda is one refrain, repeated over and over: “American Christians are endangering Ugandan homosexuals.” It’s a message that needs to be spread, and the strategy the film takes was not inherently doomed to fail, but it ends up creating a numbing effect.
God Loves Uganda will be available on VOD on April 18th and DVD on May 16th. Check their website at godlovesuganda.com