Reverend Rowland who was running a gay Church underground in Lagos, Nigeria, relocated to the UK and speaks on the new anti-gay law.
The initial reaction about his exposure was that such a Church could not exist within Nigeria as such things are common in abroad. But an uproar in the Anglican communion in Europe on gay bishops brought up the case of Reverend Rowland, a Nigerian who was residing in Lagos.
He was also operating his gay Church in Lagos. In his plot 145 flat 1, Jakande Estate, Isolo, Lagos, where Rev. Rowland Olajide Macaulay, the gay Pastor lived, the apartment was locked. It was learnt that the Reverend left his house on Saturday, September 13, immediately after a national newspaper carried the story of his homosexual Church and ever since, he had not been seen.
According to his neighbours, the Sunday service could not hold both at the Jakande Estate branch and the Ojodu headquarters of House of Rainbow Ministries after that publication.
Right now, Rev. Rowland has relocated abroad where he is presently running his gay Church, “House Of Rainbow Fellowship”. According to the gay Pastor, “any negative effect on the anti-gay bill will have detrimental effect on the work and mission of House Of Rainbow in Nigeria. The lives of LGBTI people and their friends, families and allies will be further frustrated with fear and prejudice. We need to pray and stand up against injustice.”
“My Church is a voice of the younger generation of citizens, activists, and diaspora, and our collective belief in a more progressive Nigeria. They are afraid of our growing influence as we gather allies not just from the West, but from people that are not afraid but powerful and resilient. Right now, we are spreading their tentacles to every village, town and city around the world. The Church is also calling on faithful and dedicated local leaders who believe in homosexuality and lesbianism. Ten House Of Rainbow Fellowship local leaders are in Ghana, Nigeria, UK, Burundi, and Lesotho. Religion is a backbone to life in Nigeria, so, we all want to go to Church. But we don’t want to lie to God about who we are.”
Macaulay first set up House of Rainbow in 2006 and openly held Sunday services in a Lagos hotel hall decorated in rainbow colours. A public backlash culminated in members being beaten as they left the Church. Macaulay fled to the UK after receiving death threats.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International and gay rights activists and groups have also condemned the law, calling it discriminatory and incompatible with international human rights laws to which Nigeria is a signatory.
Clashes and discussions over the new law still continue in the country.