Silent protest at church over homophobic views
A WOMAN, who calls herself “a concerned citizen”, started a silent protest against a service celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Shofar Church in Stellenbosch tomorrow.
Saya Pierce- Jones said she is opposed to the “homophobic” views of its founder, Angus Buchan.
The church advertised the celebration service which will be held at Coetzenburg Centre, at 6pm, on its website and social media.
Entry to the celebration service is free but attendees had to reserve seats via e-mail.
Pierce- Jones and her friends reserved seats but have no intention of attending the event.
She told Weekend Argus that the idea behind the “silent protest” is that many seats would be empty and this would “indicate to Buchan that many people also do not agree with his views”.
“This man, as a religious leader, has been known to perpetuate homophobic sentiments to his followers that sexual orientation and alternative sexual orientation is something that he does not agree with.
“Not just in Cape Town, but in the Western Cape, countless examples of human rights violations, hate crimes against persons of different sexual orientations and different gender identities have occurred,” she said.
Pierce-Jones said she does not believe that “it’s okay for us to allow a man this great platform to perpetuate sentiments that are then filtered down into communities and give people a sense of justification in then attacking someone based on their sex, attacking someone based on their gender”.
Buchan, in turn, responded that the service is solely to celebrate the anniversary of the church and that they are expecting 5 000 people.
Buchan was also not aware of any protests against the service.
None of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and intersex organisations contacted by Weekend Argus knew about the “silent protest”.