The role that American religious right leaders have played in fomenting anti-gay bigotry in Uganda has been well-documented, but never before with the emotional punch delivered by God Loves Uganda, a new documentary by Academy Award-winning director Roger Ross Williams that premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
“I love Uganda,” says Kapya Koama in the film’s opening words. But, “something frightening is happening that has the potential to destroy Uganda.”
Filmmaker Williams was given remarkable access to leaders and missionaries affiliated with the International House of Prayer (IHOP) movement based in Kansas City, and he makes the most of it. Dominionist Lou Engle describes Africa as a “firepot of spiritual renewal and revival,” and be believes Uganda has a special prophetic destiny. Engle has tried to distance himself somewhat from the infamous “kill the gays” bill that is pending in Uganda’s legislature, but here he is on film, at his TheCall rally in Uganda, standing with speakers calling for passage of the bill.
Engle tells the crowd he was “called” to encourage the Ugandan church for taking a stand for righteousness in the face of pressure from the United Nations and non-governmental aid organizations. Uganda, he says, is “ground zero.” The film also includes footage of Engle’s pro-Prop. 8 rally in California at which he warned that allowing same-sex couples to get married would unleash “sexual insanity” and a spirit “more demonic than Islam.