God and justice: Gay church prays for historic Kenya ruling

LGBT Bishop Joseph Tolton (R) and other members attend an inter-faith service in Nairobi, Kenya, on February 17, 2019. AFP PHOTO

What you need to know:

  • In the meantime, the reality for those like Arthur is that "basically you live a lie", with brief moments of respite in safe spaces like the CAC.
  • In between rousing gospel music and moments of candlelit reflection, the pastors gave a security update ahead of the court case, urging congregants to avoid certain hotspots and be careful if attending the ruling.

A lesbian church leader lights pink, yellow, and purple candles and passes them around to worshippers as they pray for a court decision that will mean they no longer have to live a lie.
"The Lord is in control," she says, as swaying congregants yell out "Victory!" and a musician shuts his eyes in prayer, his fingers dancing across a keyboard laid on a table covered with a rainbow flag.
The Cosmopolitan Affirming Church (CAC) is a rare space where Kenya's LGBT community can escape hostility from society, which is often reflected in hatred and vitriol from religious pulpits.


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