The secret church supporting the Kenyan gay community

Just like in general Kenyan society, mainstream churches in the country always treat members of the LGBTQ community as outcasts. 

They are viewed as sinners who should not be even allowed near a church building.

The community is not welcome, and if found to be gay, one is excommunicated from the church.

As a solution to feeling unwanted in these mainstream churches, the gay community in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi decided to set up their own queer church that could accept and treat LGBTQ people as human beings with equal rights.

Due to the oppressive laws against gay people, the secret church operates at a location known only to its members.

For security reasons, it has no permanent venue or address.

It operates on Fridays and Saturdays, and members are only notified about the venue on the morning of the day of worship.

The church is open to gay, lesbian, trans, and bisexual members.

Spiritual nourishment, relationship and marriage counselling, mental health awareness forums, and prayer sessions are some of the services that gay community members can receive from the underground church.

In operation for the last 11 years, it is led by an openly lesbian pastor.

Through the secret queer church, some members of the gay community have been able to access connections that have led them to relationships and jobs.

Even though gay relationships and marriages are still banned in Kenya, the pastor has secretly blessed several unions between same-sex couples.

The church and its leadership also engage in resource mobilisation to fund hospital bills and college education fees for members who are in need.

The most encouraging aspect of the church is that it does not discriminate against members based on their religious backgrounds.

It admits all LGBTQ community members, whether they are Christian, Muslim, or even non-believers.

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