A controversy is raging about Christian attitudes towards the LGBTI community at the 10th World Council of Churches (WCC) meeting currently being held in Busan, Korea.
Several high-profile Christian leaders have been pushing for the issue to be discussed at the meeting but attempts to put the gay agenda on the table were derailed due to the resistance of some protestant groups.
Pro-LGBTI Christian leaders said the application to hold a workshop on Christianity and the LGBTI community was declined by the assembly’s Korean organizers although they were not given a clear reason.
Despite the high level of economic development, Korea remains a country where many protestant groups are highly vocal about their extremely anti-gay views.
Several big names on the international Christian scene, such as Dr Gabriele Mayer of Germany, coordinator of the European Forum of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Christian Groups and Canada’s Reverend Catherine Christie are at the forefront of the drive to put the gay issue on the discussion table.
Due to the setback at the WCC, they are now planning an international LGBTI gathering in Seoul to be held over this weekend where topics of discussion will include whether the Christian church should be the preserve of straight men and women.
Gay issues have been discussed at past WCC assemblies and LGBTI activists as well as liberal Christian leaders say the anti-gay attitudes at this year’s Busan meeting is a regression.
LGBTI groups from 10 countries are expected to take part at the two-day gathering in Seoul this weekend where organizers will release a joint statement this Sunday (3 November), urging governments around the world to come up with policies to lessen prejudice towards sexual minorities.