Sunday, January 24, 2010

uganda anti-gay bill backers in newark

TalktoAction | Street by street, block by block, organized by city ward, PrayforNewark's squads of church members are walking their city, praying for residents and businesses. Launched on Martin Luther King Day in 2008, its leaders claim their effort now fields enough volunteers to pray for almost every street in the New Jersey city. Endorsed by Newark's liberal mayor, PrayforNewark would seem a blessing for any city. What could be wrong with prayer ? But the effort is directly tied to an international movement that, as detailed in my new video documentary Transforming Uganda, played a significant role in organizing and inspiring Ugandan politicians who have backed the internationally notorious "kill the gays" bill, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill currently before Uganda's parliament.

The ecumenical coalition behind PrayforNewark is led by Rev. Bernard Wilks, whose Dominion Fellowship Ministries newsletters for PrayforNewark have repeatedly called for "enemy identification" and a document on the official PrayforNewark web site touts the "Seven Mountains" program which calls upon born-again, charismatic Christians to take dominion over key societal sectors such as business, government, media and education.

Given the benign-seeming exterior of PrayforNewark, it is likely that many Newark citizens involved in the effort are not fully aware of the ideological roots of PrayforNewark, or of its links to international entities tied to the Uganda bill.

PrayforNewark was founded by Newark suburb resident Lloyd Turner, who in October 2008 spoke at an Argentina conference of the International Transformation Network (ITN), whose CEO Ed Silvoso wrote, in his 2007 book, Transformation: Change the Marketplace and You Change the World, that homosexuality is caused by demon possession and that HIV and AIDS can be cured through faith healing and prayer. According to Silvoso, the entire national police force of the Philippines is being indoctrinated in this ideology.

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