Botswana religious groups threaten rule of law and refuse LGBTQ rights

SALC: Country’s Council of Churches applauded 2019 decriminalization ruling.

Botswana is considered a secular state and all people have equal access to religious organizations and institutions. There are three Christian umbrella bodies in Botswana — being the Botswana Council of Churches, the Evangelical Fellowship of Botswana and Organization of African Instituted Churches — all of whom have great influence io public perceptions and attitudes towards various social and rights-based issues.

Faith in action, embracing diversity!

The Botswana Council of Churches, including the Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Church, Lutheran Church and the Methodist Church, in 2019 released a statement applauding the Court of Appeal in decriminalizing consensual same-sex sex in the country. In the statement, the council encouraged its members to abide by the judgment and not discriminate against anyone who identifies as LGBTIQ+. The BCC has been intentional about their views on LGBTIQ+ rights and has continually engaged with queer organizations to get human rights literacy. It is safe to say that they are friends of LGBTIQ+ persons.

Religious discrimination: A barrier to LGBTIQ+ persons‘ rights in Botswana

Recently, there has been a visible increase in anti-LGBTIQ+ rights rhetoric by the EFB and its members, who include politicians. The EFB has been imposing its assumed Christian values on to the nation — a nation that is diverse in beliefs, cultures and identities. Discriminatory behavior towards the LGBTIQ+ community is on the rise, with the EFB being a notable obstacle to progress towards equality. The constitution does provide for freedom of religion and religious practices, but to what extent does religious practices become incitement of violence and hate towards the LGBTIQ+ community?

Read full article: Botswana religious groups threaten rule of law and refuse LGBTQ rights

14 August, 2023
Type of Update:
Updates from our Partners
Human Rights
Campaign Partners:
Southern Africa Litigation Centre

The Campaign to Decriminalise Poverty and Status is a coalition of organisations from across the world that advocate for the repeal of laws that target people based on poverty, status or for their activism.


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