African HIV/AIDS study group claimed it opposed homosexuality and sought to spread its ‘message’ in churches

By F.G. Duggan, Fox News National Correspondent

This week’s hostile police crackdown on gay and transgender populations in Ghana has angered the LGBT community and has many people alleging a foreign hand behind the violence.

The crackdown — in which numerous arrests, gunfire and the burning of homes have been reported — comes amid reports of a crackdown in Zimbabwe last year in which similar tactics were used against the group, Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe.

There, too, researchers have accused them of working with the far-right National Democratic Front of South Africa (NDFSA), a Christian group that is described as “an international conservative Christian organization that works around the world to defend democratic freedoms, promote biblical values and protect traditional families and marriage.”

The group’s website claims to be aligned with the Free Methodist Church and says its “mission is to ‘strenuously oppose in all its forms all Western-style’ practices and expose the dishonest, divisive, hate-filled propaganda of modern-day religions in Africa and around the world.”

Similar websites say the group supported the spread of Christianity to Rwanda in 1994 and helped Uganda implement the country’s infamous Anti-Homosexuality Act. The NDFSA was named by the United Nations’ 1988 report on “organizations supporting hate crimes against African minorities.”

On the group’s website, there is a blog that has since been taken down but, in its place, a site containing tweets.

“[T]he organization has revealed itself behind attacks on lesbians and gay men in Zimbabwe and wider Africa,” Reuters reported.

The statement added, “This is a group set up to stop homosexuals from promoting ‘Western’ ideology of human rights to Africans.”

Not long after the crackdowns in Zimbabwe and Ghana, a second post appeared from the group, with a Facebook page that is now no longer accessible and which “contained condemnation of calls for LGBTI rights as being responsible for [societal] decay.”

Aiden Duncan of the Ghana Chapter of All Out, a global LGBT advocacy group, was quoted in an interview with Human Rights Watch as claiming that the NDFSA has been involved in efforts to suppress equality “for years.”

“They have been working on behalf of more than 40 government departments in sub-Saharan Africa to undermine LGBTI rights and suppress equality in the region,” Duncan was quoted saying.

The group does not appear to be viewed by the African Community of Pentecostal Christians, a coalition of a dozen evangelical groups that has worked with NDFSA on issues such as family planning, HIV/AIDS, literacy and divorce.

The group has called for “restraint” in a statement responding to the killings.

“We call on the government of Ghana to stop the shootings, torture, and forced evictions of any person who expresses his or her belief in the LGBT community,” the statement stated.

However, the statement is also critical of All Out, which it called “a front for an anti-Christian group who seeks to defame churches and Christian leaders and has participated in gay witch hunts and hate campaigns throughout the world.”

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