Burundi's President Calls for Stoning of Gay Couples Amid Global LGBTQ+ Rights Debate


Burundi’s President Evariste Ndayishimiye recently launched a vehement attack on same-sex marriage, labeling it an “abominable practice” and advocating for the stoning of gay couples on religious grounds.

Known for his conservative Christian beliefs, the President has previously called for the expulsion of homosexuals, considering them societal outcasts. He has criticized Western countries that support LGBTQ+ rights and has refused aid from those promoting such practices, urging those who embrace such beliefs to stay abroad.

This strong stance aligns with the conservative Christian values prevalent in Burundi, where same-sex relations are punishable by imprisonment.

This statement comes at a time when global conversations around LGBTQ+ rights are evolving, including Pope Francis’ recent statement on December 18th regarding the blessing of homosexual couples.

While this marks a symbolic shift in the Catholic Church’s position, it’s important to note that the Church still distinguishes between homosexual and heterosexual marriages.

The Vatican’s doctrine of the “one true marriage” emphasizes that while marriage is tolerated for all, it is not fully accepted within the Catholic faith.

Implementing such changes on a global scale is complex. Despite the Vatican’s guidance, enforcing a shift in mentality and imposing measures across all Catholic communities is challenging.

Several African churches have expressed resistance to these developments. For example, the bishops of Cameroon have explicitly rejected any changes, stating, “We formally prohibit all blessings of homosexual couples.” Similarly, Togo has signaled openness to individuals in same-sex relationships but advises priests against blessing such couples.

This dynamic reflects the ongoing struggle within the Catholic Church to reconcile divergent views on LGBTQ+ issues. It highlights the tension between global doctrinal shifts and the autonomy of individual religious communities, especially in conservative regions like Africa.

Piers Potter


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