A new film exploring the relationship between American evangelical churches and anti-gay laws in Africa will premiere today at Sundance Film Festival (18 January).
God Loves Uganda takes a wider look at missionaries who visit the African country, helping to promote anti-gay feeling.
The documentary comes as American pastor Scott Lively is on trial for crimes against humanity in Uganda.
Director Roger Ross Williams said he was curious about the people who wanted to kill him, but notably every evangelical he ever met was ‘polite, agreeable, or even charming’.
‘Yet I knew that if the bill passed, there would be blood on the streets of Kampala,’ he said.
Williams added: ‘What explains that contradiction? What explains the murderous rage and ecstatic transcendence?
‘In the well-known trope about Africa, a white man journeys into the heart of darkness and finds the mystery of Africa and its unknowable otherness. I, a black man, made that journey and found – America.’
AllOut’s executive director Andre Banks said the world has never had an up-close look at how anti-gay animus is exported from the United States to places like Uganda.
‘The film also raises urgent questions for American people of faith who care about justice and human rights,’ he said.
‘The large majority of churches in the U.S. raise money to do good in their communities and abroad.
‘But this film makes clear that we must each be certain that our contributions at the collection plate are not going, directly or indirectly, toward supporting laws that call for the death of gays and lesbians.’
Uganda’s parliament will return in February, where the Anti-Homosexuality bill will remain one of the top priorities.