Movement Behind Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” Bill Organizing in Newark

[Ed. note: Guest poster Bruce Wilson is Co-Founder, with journalist Frederick Clarkson, of the website Talk To Action, which covers the intersection of religion and politics. Please welcome Bruce to FDL.]

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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.

Dominion Fellowship Ministries newsletter encourages "enemy identification"
Dominion Fellowship Ministries newsletter encourages "enemy identification"

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.

The International Transformation Network

Lloyd Turner and Bernard Wilks are active leaders in the international “Transformation” movement, which holds an eliminationalist agenda and holds up Uganda, close to legislating execution by hanging of an entire segment of Ugandan society, as a shining model of ¬†“transformation.” (more…)