Originally published in Digital Journal
One of Africa’s best-known human-rights activists says religion is very much behind Nigeria’s recent outlawing of same-sex unions, which could mean a 14-year jail term for anyone convicted of entering into a gay marriage contract.
Also, according to a report in Nigeria’s Vanguard: “Those who abet or aid such unions could receive 10 years, as would ‘any person who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organisations’ – a provision that seems to target gay advocacy groups as well.”
Originally published in Sahara Reporters
I just returned from a two day conference on Witchcraft Branding, Spirit Possession and Safeguarding African Children. The conference was organized in London by a UK based charity, Africans United Against Child Abused (AFRUCA).
The aim of the conference was to mobilize the faith communities against the practice of witchcraft branding by highlighting the negative impact of this phenomenon and the belief in spirit possession on African children in the UK and in Africa.
According to the organisers, ‘The conference will explore the issue of the branding children as witches in all its dimensions looking at different factors underlying the phenomenon, its impact, different policies and strategies to tackle this growing problem. A focus will be put on the importance of religious beliefs given the role the faith organisations can play in enforcing the recommendations that will come out of the conference’.
The Nigerian Humanist Movement was started by Leo Igwe in 1996. People gave it a short shelf-life and warned Leo he was starting on a fruitless and impossible quest to bring non-religious ideas to a fiercely religious country. 15 years later the organisation is still going and growing and conducting campaigns not just in Nigeria but in other parts of Africa too.
This was my first convention of this sort as was the case for many of the participants. Because of this, the convention played an important role in linking isolated humanists who’d never come face to face with another non-believer. This was evident in the passion and excitement with which people spoke and their desire to express their opinions.
Oyedepo, Oyakhilome, Ashimolowo, Others Come Under Attack At Humanist Forum in Abuja; Sheila Solarin Urges Nigerian To Fight for A Better Society
Sent to AAI from its Affiliate the Nigerian Humanist Movement. Originally published in Sahara Reporters.
Stupendously wealthy Nigerian Pentecostal preachers and clerics have come under serious attack at the two-day national convention of the Nigerian Humanist Movement (NHM), which ended Saturday afternoon in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
The forum brought together students, children, scholars, government officials, atheists, sceptics, rationalists, agnostics, freethinkers and professionals from different fields to discuss Humanism as the next step in Nigeria.
Declaring open the forum which marked the 15th anniversary of the birth of the NHM, Leo Igwe, the administrative secretary of the Oyo State –NHM, told participants that many people across Nigeria and the world were looking up to them. “Meetings like this should spread message of reason, science and free inquiry, and usher in an era of positive and progressive change, hope and light,” he charged.
Originally published in Pakistan Today
Members of Pakistani Atheists and Agnostics trying to make their presence known and reach out to others sharing similar beliefs
But they have still chosen to tread a perilous path in their attempt to
reach out to other Pakistanis sharing similar beliefs and more
importantly, to let the world know they exist. They are a group of
Pakistani atheists called the Pakistani Atheists and Agnostics (PAA).
They first tried to make their presence known two years back by making a
page about their group on Facebook. On August 14 this year, they
launched their website www.e-paa.org that was literally an instant hit.
It received more than 17,000 hits in just 48 hours after its launch from
95 countries, including Saudi Arabia.
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