Churches need to re-imagine how they engage with members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community, says Reverend Tebogo Klaas.
Klaas, of The Other Foundation, advises that theology needs to be interrogated and churches should continue conversations with LGBTI people to become more progressive.
He says the impact of language and discourse used in churches goes very far and has traumatic consequences beyond places of worship.
The language that has been used in the church has a way of demeaning people's gender identities and sexual identities that are different.— Reverend Tebogo Klaas, The Other Foundation's religion programme officer
We can't say that the church is violent, but certainly the messages that emerge from churches have a way of sparking violence elsewhere.— Reverend Tebogo Klaas, The Other Foundation's religion programme officer
Klaas says exclusionary churches have the potential to divide and destroy families and contribute to mental health issues for young LGBTI people.
Listen to his full perspective:
On Sunday, LGBTI activist held a picket outside Grace Bible Church after a sermon last week which was deemed homophobic.
#OccupyGraceBibleChurch why does it matter how you display love, as long as u love and are loved.— Mamohato (@Phoenix_Rey07) January 30, 2017
So, after they are done with #OccupyGraceBibleChurch , are they also gonna go occupy mosques, temples and synagogues?— Hlubi Hendricks 🇿🇦 (@HlubiHendricks) January 29, 2017
#OccupyGraceBibleChurch my fellow Queers y'all should stop begging heterosexual people to accept u. Focus on urselves, positive vibes only— Baby waga Angel💜 (@MmakgosiThe1st) January 29, 2017