By Nico Bougas, Special to ASSIST News Service
DUMFRIES, SCOTLAND (ANS – August 24, 2016) -- Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender supporters staged a protest outside a church in Dumfries, Scotland, on Monday, August 22, 2016, where South African evangelist, Angus Buchan was speaking.
They accuse Angus Buchan of homophobia, pointing to reports that he said homosexuality could be “cured by prayer,” during a press conference in South Africa.
The evangelist had originally been scheduled to talk in Galashiels, in an event organized by the Hope Church. However, the event was cancelled when Scottish Borders LGBT Equality group complained that he was due to speak at a public hall.
Then, when they heard it had been rearranged to the Lighthouse Church in Dumfries instead, they contacted Dumfries and Galloway LGBT Plus, who then organized the protest.
Susan Hart, Chair of the Scottish Borders LGBT Equality Scottish Borders group, said she was disappointed that Angus Buchan had not been banned from Scotland altogether.
“We were delighted that he wasn’t coming to the Borders and a bonus was that we thought we’d managed to keep him out of Scotland full stop,” she said.
“So we were extremely disappointed that he’d been moved over to Dumfries and Galloway but, like I said, we offered our support right away and informed them as soon as we knew and it is a shame, but I think the demonstration is fantastic.”
She added, “We spend a lot of time building links with churches, with other organizations, and trying to create a happy, friendly, supportive and inclusive environment for LGBT Plus people.
“And we, as an organization, don't think it’s correct that people come here and speak out against that.”
In a statement, the Lighthouse Church in Dumfries said they respect the LGBT community, but also value freedom of speech.
“We respect the views of the LGBT community and although we believe different things, we hope that both communities can live peacefully and dignifiedly in a great country that allows freedom of speech, lifestyle and worship,” said their statement.
In a message posted on his website, Buchan called the criticism of his UK tour “the most severe attack” he has experienced as a Christian.
“I have come under the most severe attack and resistance I have ever experienced in my life since becoming a Christian...,” he said.
“I am accused of being a homophobe, and many other unsavory things, but all I am doing, and still intend to do in Great Britain, is to preach the undiluted Word of God -- ‘The Bible’ -- in its entirety, not compromising one word. It is because I love people and do not want them to perish and go to a lost eternity...
“I love homosexuals, and I love lesbians, but I cannot condone their way of living, their lifestyle, because it is contrary to the teaching of God’s Holy Word!”
Photo captions: 1) Angus Buchan speaking at the Lighthouse Church in Dumfries. (Credit: Lighthouse Church Dumfries). 2) Around 40 protestors chanted outside the church. (Credit: ITV Border). 3) Nico Bougas.
About the writer: Nico Bougas is the International Development Director for Hellenic Ministries. He has a master's degree in communication from Wheaton Graduate School and M. Div and D. Min degrees from Trinity Theological Seminary. He is the author of five books. He previously worked for Youth for Christ in South Africa and was Editor of In Magazine and Christian Living TODAY and currently serves as Consulting Editor for JOY Magazine and a Trustee for Radio CCFM and was one of the founders of Sports Outreach Africa. He previously served on the national executive of the SA Association of Evangelists and as a Trustee for the Bible Institute of South Africa and on the advisory board for the South African Theological Seminary and on the executive of The Evangelical Alliance Relief Fund (SA). For further information, please contact: email@example.com .
** You may republish this or any of our ANS stories with attribution to the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net). Please also tell your friends and colleagues that they can receive a complimentary subscription to our news service by going to www.assistnews.net and signing up there.