In a united effort, Catholic bishops in Malawi, alongside leaders from other faith groups, have announced plans to hold nationwide demonstrations against the promotion of homosexuality.
The Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) issued a letter urging all Christians to join in defending the family by participating in these peaceful marches, which are scheduled to take place next week.
According to Reverend Father Alfred Chaima, the secretary general of the ECM, they will deliver a petition to relevant authorities.
“It is expected that at the end of that peaceful march, a petition shall be presented to relevant authorities. At diocese level, we ask pastoral secretaries, parish priests and CCJP [Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace] officers to play a very active role—in close collaboration with the ECM secretariat and with leaders of other faith groups—in preparing for the march.”
The bishops emphasized the importance of their stand against the promotion of homosexuality in Malawi.
In their letter, they stated, “We have said it many times that there was a need to do much more in supporting and animating families in society; especially today when they face so many problems.”
Addressing the issue of foreign influences, the bishops highlighted, “Unfortunately, these problems are largely imposed in Africa, Asia and Latin America by foreign societies; taking advantage of abject poverty in our countries as well as high illiteracy levels in the same continents.”
The Archdiocese of Lilongwe first unveiled plans for the demonstrations, and support has since grown from the Malawi Council of Churches, the Muslim Association of Malawi, and the Evangelical Association of Malawi.
Reverend Father Alfred Chaima expressed the bishops’ expectations, saying, “The peaceful marches will be happening while the High Court of Malawi, sitting as the Constitutional Court, is still hearing a petition to legalize same-sex relations.”
The call for peaceful demonstrations comes as the High Court of Malawi continues to hear a petition challenging the constitutionality of banning same-sex marriages in the country.
The case before the court arose from a constitutional referral filed by Jan Willem Akstar, a Dutch national, and Jana Gonani, a transgender woman, challenging the constitutionality of the ban on same-sex marriages in Malawi.
They contend that such a prohibition infringes upon their rights to privacy, dignity, and other fundamental rights.