Prayer Cures AIDS, Claims Uganda Health Minister Tied To New Apostolic Reformation
By Bruce Wilson, TalkToAction.org, September 1, 2011
“If a man sleeps with a man, if a woman sleeps with a woman, the Bible, this Bible, says such people should be killed.” — Apostle Julius Oyet, head pastor over Ugandan Health Minister Christine Ondoa, 2010 Kampala rally
Along with her role as a medical professional, Christine Ondoa also serves as pastor in the Life Line Ministries of apostle Julius Peter Oyet, one of the most powerful clerics leading Uganda’s ongoing crusade against gay rights.
Julius Oyet’s Life Line Ministries runs a Uganda branch of an international faith healing ministry under Wagner apostle Cal Pierce, head of the International Association of Healing Rooms. Cal Pierce’s Healing Room Ministries listsalmost 400 healing room branches in cities and towns across the United States, and well over 1,000 internationally.
Since her appointment as Health Ministry head, Ondoa has promoted the claim, an established tenet of Peter Wagner’s apostolic movement, also advanced by Oyet’s Life Line Ministries, that HIV/AIDS can be cured through prayer. According to a story published September 2008 in the Uganda Daily Monitor, “Unverified faith healing is posing a threat to adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) by persons living with HIV/Aids.”
Apostle Julius Oyet has stated that “even animals are wiser than homosexuals”, forthrightly declared that homosexuality should be a capital crime, and claimed to have co-authored the internationally condemned, so-called “kill the gays” bill–submitted in 2009 by a member of Oyet’s elite “College of Prayer” group in Parliament.
As reported by evangelical psychologist Warren Throckmorton, who has closely tracked Uganda’s anti-homosexuality campaign, Julius Oyet was one of two religious leaders who in April 2011 presented to Uganda’s parliament a petition, reportedly signed by 2 million citizens, calling for passage of the Anti Homosexuality Bill. Oyet has an official commission from the Ugandan government, through parliament, to rally public support for the bill.
The College of Prayer and eliminationist legislation
According a 2008-2009 annual report from the Alberta, Canada Spruce Grove Alliance Church (PDF file of report), both Christine Ondoa and Julius Oyet have visited the church under the auspices of the Atlanta-area based College of Prayer International, which is currently soliciting funds for Julius Oyet’s branch of the ministry, College of Prayer Uganda. The College of Prayer International’s 2007 990 tax form shows payments of over $11,000 to Oyet, for travel expenses.
A team from the Spruce Grove Church helped to launch The College of Prayer Uganda, which officially began with an April 18th, 2009 inaugural “Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast”reportedly broadcast on Ugandan national television and attended by over 50 members of parliament. The ceremony was officiated by MP Benson Obua Ogwal, who along with MP David Bahati is a member of Julius Oyet’s elite COP “servant leadership team” in parliament.
According to the official web site of Uganda’s parliament, the Anti Homosexuality Bill was originally introduced on April 29, 2009, by MP David Bahati, with supporting comments from MP Benson Obua Ogwal, described in Ugandan media as a longtime personal friend of Christine Ondoa.
Recognized by the Deputy Speaker of the parliament in conjunction with the bill’s introduction was Christine Ondoa’s church head Julius Oyet, then serving as Vice President of Uganda’s Born Again Faith Federation, and pastor Martin Ssempa. Oyet works closely with Ssempa, formerly a close ally of Purpose Driven Life author Rick Warren. Pastor Ssempa has been noted internationally for his work against gay rights in Uganda.
According to an account originally posted on the College of Prayer International web site, describing COP’s April 18, 2009 inaugural prayer breakfast, speakers included Nsaba Buturo, then-head of Uganda’s Office of Ethics and Integrity and a leading backer of Bahati’s bill, Julius Oyet, who “gave an eloquent exhortation rallying the participants to seize the moment and forcefully pray for the advancing of Christ’s kingdom throughout the nation”, and College of Prayer International head Fred Hartley, III.
Hartley’s keynote address was based in Biblical scripture from I Kings 18, which describes a confrontation, between the prophets of Elijah and the prophets of Baal, that ends with the wholesale slaughter of the Baal prophets. C. Peter Wagner’s apostles often depict homosexuality as a manifestation of Baal worship.
Wagner apostle Lou Engle, cofounder of The Call who serves on Wagner’s Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders along with other apostles known for their work against LGBT right such as Cindy Jacobs and Bishop Harry Jackson, traces the moral decline of Israel’s King Ahab to his marriage to Jezebel, a member of the Sidonian tribe who, according to Engle, “worshiped Baal and Ashteroth… Their religion was essentially a fertility cult that involved child sacrifice, lewd and licentious worship, and fertility rites that were both heterosexual and homosexual in nature” (page 84, Elijah’s Revolution: Power, Passion and Commitment to Radical Change, by Lou Engle and Jim W. Goll, Treasure House, 2002)
On June 1, 2009, six weeks after Fred Hartley’s Elijah/Baal keynote sermon, Julius Oyet’s ministry launched a 42-day long prayer and fasting event which included the following exhortation to Life Line Ministries members:
“Pray for a fresh anointing and God’s wisdom, discernment upon Apostle Julius as he leads the fight against Human sacrifice and all evil battles in the Land, may the mantle of Elijah be upon him as he dealt with Baal dominion (I Kings 18:39-40, Psalms 45-7; Deuteronomy 4:6; 1 kings 4: 29)”
Two weeks after MP David Bahati “tabled” (put on the table) the Anti Homosexuality Bill in October 2009, activating the bill within the legislative process, College of Prayer International head Fred Hartley, III led a two-day COP training session to “mentor” Bahati and 50 other members of parliament.
He warned them to stay away from witchcraft, “told the MPs that if they prayed in line with the Kingdom of God they would be able to cast out demons,” and picked out eight parliament members, including David Bahati, to personally mentor for three years as part of College of Prayer Uganda’s “servant leadership team,” according to the Ugandan news service New Vision. “You have to confront the enemy, Satan, using God’s authority,” Fred Hartley told his Ugandan pupils.
On November 27, back in the United States, Hartley made a radio show appearance in which he stated,
“just two weeks ago I was with the members of parliament and had a marvelous time, these are dear brothers and sisters in Christ and they are in earnest about righteousness and the cause of Christ and the amazing thing is they are standing for righteousness in areas that where we have long ago sold ourselves down the river but they’re looking to us for spiritual mentoring”
As shown in video from “Missionaries of Hate”, a Current TV documentary expose’ on American involvement in Uganda’s deteriorating LGBT rights situation originally aired in May 2010, Julius Oyet has accompanied Martin Ssempa, under the auspices the “Inter Religious Task Force Against Homosexuality”, at meetings (made internationally notorious by the Current TV footage) during which Ssempa has screened fringe gay pornography in an attempt to portray homosexuals as unusually prone to coprophilia. Ssempa has also been accused of orchestrating the publication, in a Ugandan tabloid, of lists of suspected homosexuals.
Rick Warren say he’s not conspiring with C. Peter Wagner to “rid the world of homosexuals”
In December 2009, under heavy pressure because of his alliance with Martin Ssempa, Rick Warren publicly stated his opposition to the Uganda Anti Homosexuality Bill.Accompanying Warren’s statement was a list of “Key Facts Concerning Recent Media and Blog Reports on Rick Warren’s Position on Uganda” with several factually incorrect claims.
Rick Warren claimed that C. Peter Wagner had not been his adviser, for Warren’s Doctorate of Ministry dissertation from Fuller Theological Seminar (Wagner is listed as the sole adviser, a “mentor”, for the work.) Warren also made a jarring denial – that he was not “conspiring” with Wagner to “rid the world of homosexuals.”
Both men were listed on one of the original advisory boards of Wagner apostle Lou Engle’s The Call, a rolling stadium event has Engle staged in many countries around the world which features, as one of it’s central themes, heated rhetoric against homosexuality.
In May 2010, Lou Engle’s The Call held an internationally denounced Kampala, Uganda rally officiated by Wagner apostle John Mulinde, during which government officials and religious leaders, including Nsaba Buturo and apostle Julius Oyet, called for speedy passage of the “kill the gays” bill which, in its original draft version, would require Ugandan citizens to report suspected homosexual activity or face prison sentences of up to 2 years.
In his books, C. Peter Wagner has repeatedly cited, as a model for “Transformation”, the late 14th Century exploits of Girolamo Savonarola, a Dominican friar known for instigating, in the Italian city of Florence, the infamous “Bonfire of the Vanities”–during which objects deemed to incite lust and sensuality, including profane books and artwork, including by some accounts several paintings by the Renaissance painter Botticelli, were burned.
Less well known, but detailed at length in the 2003 academic work Homosexuality and Civilization, by Louis Crompton, was Savonarola’s obsession with legislating burning at the stake as a punishment for sodomy.
Peter Wagner and other top apostles in his networks, including Cindy Jacobs, Ed Silvoso, and Chuck Pierce, have described in their books the need for believers to burn, smash, flush down toilets, or otherwise destroy a wide range of allegedly sacrilegious and demonized objects including books, religious relics such as statues of Catholic saints, and native art objects.
In his 2008 book Dominion! How Kingdom Action Can Change The World, C. Peter Wagner states that the Dominion (or “Kingdom now”) theology of his movement traces through Christian Reconstructionist theologian R.J. Rushdoony, who advocate Biblical capital punishments such as stoning or burning at the stake for a wide range of alleged crimes including homosexuality, female unchastity before marriage, blasphemy, idolatry, and witchcraft. As Wagner wrote on page 59,
“The practical theology that best builds a foundation for social transformation is dominion theology, sometimes called “Kingdom now.” Its history can be traced back through R.J. Rushdoony and Abraham Kuyper to John Calvin.” (C. Peter Wagner, Dominion! – How kingdom Action Can Change the World, Chosen Books, 2008)
Among the apostolic networks of the charismatic movement C. Peter Wagner has dubbed The New Apostolic Reformation, the dominionist imperative has recently been branded as the “Seven Mountains” mandate. Entire conferences have been convened under this brand name, such a conference series launched in 2007, by apostle Os Hillman, named “The Church In The Workplace” series, billed as “Reclaiming The Seven Mountains of Culture”.
Along with a number of Wagner apostles, notably Jacquie Tyre, Vanessa Battle, and Lance Wallnau, Julius Oyet was listed as a speaker at Hillman’s conferences in 2008 and2009. At the 2008 conference, Oyet was billed as an expert in reclaiming the “government mountain”. Oyet touts the 7 Mountains imperative on his Life Line Ministries web site and links to apostle Os Hillman’s Reclaim 7 Mountains site. Oyet has candidly described “infiltrating” Ugandan culture, via media, to achieve control of the “Seven Mountains” including government.
Julius Oyet’s other myriad ties to Peter Wagner’s apostolic networks include teaching acourse for the Wagner Leadership Institute Southeast (“Living Victoriously In Changing Times”) and partnering with Wagner apostle Tom Hess, author of the anti-Semitic tract “Let My People Go”.
A leading figure among Uganda’s fast-growing born-again community, Julius Oyet has held top positions in Uganda’s two major born-again umbrella associations and enjoyspersonal favor with Uganda’s First Lady and President.
Oyet was the star of a full-length 2005 video, “An Unconventional War”, in the “Transformations” video series by George Otis, Jr., a close movement colleague of C. Peter Wagner’s whose videos, which show believers triumphing over competing belief systems, vanquishing witches and demon spirits, and creating mini-utopias in which vegetables grow to enormous size. Otis, Jr.’s videos have played a major role in disseminating New Apostolic Reformation ideas and practices.
“An Unconventional War”, which showed Julius Oyet leading a supernatural offensive against the brutal Lord’s Reformation Army, featured interviews with Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni. Produced with help from the presidential media team, the video depicts Oyet’s campaign as redeeming Northern Uganda’s Gulu region from evil spirits, thus “healing” the land and bringing peace to the Acholi tribespeople of the area.
In an earlier Otis Jr./Transformations video, Transformations II – The Glory Spreads, Ugandan evangelist Bishop Grivas Musisi, who ordained Julius Oyet as an apostle in 2002, claims mass miracle healing of HIV/AIDS. As researcher Rachel Tabachnick describes,
Bishop Musisi is seen in the video (from Transformations II) claiming that he has overseen 372 miraculous healings of AIDS. Musisi later instituted home AIDS care from his church, stating that quite a few people seeking healing were dying, as many as 15 in one week, although he still maintains that some are miraculously cured.
A June 30, 2006 story dubbed “Uganda’s Miracle“, published in Charisma a magazine owned and edited by, respectively, two men serving at the time as apostles in Peter Wagner’s International Coalition of Apostles network, Stephen Strang and J. Lee Grady, also claimed miracle healings of AIDS:
In the mid-1990s, dozens reported that they were healed of AIDS during crusades led by apostle Deo Balabyekubo…[…]
After Balabyekubo died in a car accident… Grivas Musisi, who served as bishop under Balabyekubo, took the reigns of the ministry. He led another crusade, where 300 hundred people were healed of AIDS and their cases verified by doctors.
The ministry later helped pioneer home care for AIDS patients. Musisi says too many people were seeking healing at the church and quite a few were dying. “There was one week when 15 died on us,” says Musisi, now senior pastor of the Prayer Palace Christian Centre in Kampala. “We realized that God heals, but also that He may choose not to heal.”
Although there is debate among academics over the influence of American evangelicals in Africa, George Otis Jr.’s globally distributed Transformations videos are clearly an American export. Discussing the Ondoa appointment in the context of her belief in faith healing, and the influence of American charismatics, in an August 16, 2011 post for the website Freethought Kampala, Ugandan doctor James Onen writes,
Charismatic Christianity (Born Again, Pentecostal, etc) is very popular in Uganda and they specialise in the business of healing miracles. On their various programmes on television, or during their crusades or services, the pastors who lead these churches engage in elaborate rituals of `casting out demons’ from their flock. These `demons’, according to their doctrine, are responsible for everything from poverty, misfortune, unemployment, dysfunctional families, marital problems, and sickness. This kind of Christianity has come packaged in modern Americanized flash, dazzle and music that has made it hugely popular among upper middle class Ugandans, especially those in urban areas.
As I explained in the May 2011 story Atlanta Pastor Solicits $ For Co-Author of Uganda’s “Kill The Gays” Bill, most existing coverage has missed the political symbiosis between Julius Oyet and his fellow charismatic, born-again Ugandans, and the Musevenis who, in turn, have given rhetorical support for Uganda’s mounting, eliminationist antigay crusade.
Ugandan born again Christians have represented a crucial block of support for president Yoweri Museveni and in 2006, while Oyet was General Secretary of National Fellowship of Born Again Pentecostal Churches, the Fellowship supported Museveni’s legal bid to change the Ugandan constitution so he could run again for a third presidential term….in 1999 [President Yoweri Museveni] stated that homosexuals should be rounded up and imprisoned… At the August 2010 National Youth Convention at Uganda’s leading Makerere University, Janet Museveni told assembled students,
“In God’s word, homosexuality attracts a curse, but now people are engaging in it and saying they are created that way. It is for money The devil is stoking fires to destroy our nation and those taking advantage are doing so because our people are poor.”
Janet Museveni was referencing a conspiracy theory, now endemic to Uganda, which holds that homosexuality is a Western and American colonial import being insinuated into Ugandan society by wealthy homosexual operatives who bribe Ugandan youth with cash and consumer goods to engage in gay sex.
Wagner apostle Ed Silvoso has enjoyed, according to the Uganda State House web site, official dinners hosted by Janet and Yoweri Museveni and First Lady Museveni has, in turn, journeyed with an entourage that included her daughter Patience, top government officials, and top Ugandan born-again leaders, to Silvoso’s International Institute For Nation Transformation Network conferences in Argentina.
The IITN was co-founded by Silvoso, Cindy Jacobs, and C. Peter Wagner. As shown in the documentary Transforming Uganda, operatives of Ed Silvoso’s International Transformation Network claim to be conducting the mass training of “marketplace ministers” through a Ugandan network, in which Julius Oyet has held a top leadership position, of over 10,000 Ugandan born-again churches.