Overseas Conference

International Consultation on Church and Homophobia

Queer Theology Academy(QTA) - Participations in Overseas Conferences and LBGT Coalition Groups

 

International Consultation on Church and Homophobia –

November 24-26, 2014

at Jakarta Theological Seminary

 

Background

Sexual minorities have become a great concern of many religious communities around the world, including churches and Christian seminaries. However, the latest development on this issue shows that the views about sexual minorities are varied. Some churches show their full supports towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, even marrying them and ordaining LGBT priests, while others accept them with certain conditions. Many people, however, still believe that it is against the Christian doctrines and ethical teaching to accept them.

 

Bearing this in mind, Jakarta Theological Seminary in Indonesia, the Commission on Justice, Peace and Creation of the NCC India, the Theological Department of the Christian University of Duta Wacana, and the Communion of Churches of Indonesia have organized  a consultation of Asian churches and Christian seminaries to raise the awareness and understanding of this issue.

 

Goal

As the outcome of this consultation it is expected that Asian seminaries will start engaging themselves with this issue, and thereby reflecting the true nature of God’s inclusive love without discriminating anyone. It is also hoped that Asian churches will start opening themselves to ministering to people of sexual minority, taking side with those who are oppressed because of their sexual orientation and gender identities and expressions, with the final aim of erasing discrimination towards people of sexual minority.

Pearl Wong, director of QTA was invited to present a paper on Queer Theology.

 

Participants (about 60 people)

·      Representatives of theological seminaries

·      Representatives of Asian churches, including churches that are open to sexual minorities.

·      Pastors and other people who serve churches in any other capacities, who are interested on these issues and are hoping to develop this ministry in their own contexts.

·      Friends from the sexual minority communities who are interested in contributing their faith experience to enrich others and to get them involved in the ministry towards sexual minorities and developing Queer Theology.

·      Representatives from organizations and Christian churches (U.S.A., New Zealand, Jamaica, Asia: India, Philippines, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and the European Forum of LGBT Christian groups)

 

 Issues to be addressed:

·      Understanding Sexual Orientations and Gender Identities and Expressions (SOGIE)

·      LGBTIQ Movement in Indonesia and the Problem of Religions

·      Muslim and Christian Understandings about Sexual Minorities

·      LGBTIQ Issues as human right issues

·      Pastoral Counseling for Family with LGBTIQ

·      Asian Queer Theology

 

The German Protestant Kirchentag Stuttgart, Germany  (June 3-7,2015)

The Rainbow Centre

Around 100,000 participants from all over the world attended The German Protestant Church Assembly 2015, events included political, social, ecological debates, spiritual and cultural programmes, civil society forums, etc. The Rainbow Centre invited Pearl Wong, director of QTA as speaker at a forum, “Closed doors – opening windows: Homosexuality in the church between North and South”. The forum explored the challenges and new opportunities for churches in dealing with the topic of homosexuality from different countries. Other speakers include representatives from the Protestant Church, WCC, Basel Mission from Germany, human rights lawyer from Cameroon and pastor and professor from the Jakarta Theological seminary;  and over 100 people attended. Pearl also hosted one workshop on LGBTIQ situations in HK and queer theology. The Rainbow Centre had also organized a workshop for Young Queers; three young people from Eastern Europe shared their struggles in their own countries. The East-European LGBT Mentoring program was introduced.

 

 

Women Theological Educators and Women in Theological Movements Conference ,Manila (June 21-25, 2015)

This conference is sponsored by The Foundation of Theological Education in South East Asia (FTESEA) and the Association for Theological Education in South East Asia (ATESEA) Pearl Wong was invited as a panel speaker on the "Present and Future of Asian feminist theology and Asian queer theology. There were 35 participants from theological seminaries, theological movements, ecumenical partners, etc.

Outcome of the Conference

Data and facts on women in theological education and women in theological movements were collected. The conference identified the changing global, Asian, and local contexts for Asian feminist theology and emergent issues Asian feminist theologians have to face. A network of women in theological education and women in theological movements in Asia were formed. The conference identified important linkages between theological education and grassroots theological movements in the struggle for justice for women and in the articulation of theological visions. Furthermore, the conference proposed to fund future conferences on the theological themes: feminist sexuality and spirituality, feminist interfaith theologies, eco-feminism, and feminist theology of struggle.

 

in God's Image - Special Issue on Queer Theologies ( December 2015)

 

The special issue of In God’s Image (IGI) is a collection of essays that engage in intersecting religious, theological, spiritual, scriptural, cultural and societal issues from queer Asian and Christian perspectives. 9 contributions focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex perspectives with critical queer theological perspectives that go beyond fixed, essentialist and identity-based ideas.  Guest editors of this issue are Pearl Wong (Hong Kong) and Joseph N. Goh (Malaysia) .

 

In God’s Image (IGI) is the Journal of the Asian Women’s Resource Centre for Culture and Theology (AWRC).  It is an “Asian Christian women’s effort to provide a forum for expressing our reality, our struggles, our faith reflections and aspirations for change.”

 

 

Global LGBT Coalition Partners

 

A coalition allies was founded in 2015 between Christian groups and churches working together for the human rights of sexual minorities (LGBTI people). Partners are from Asia: Korea, Indonesia, Hong Kong (QTA), Europe, USA, Africa, and Metropolitan Community Churches, International (MCC). We meet and exchange reports regularly via Skype.