Atheist Freethinkers

Micheal Mpagi Kirumira


Unfortunately, Micheal Mpagi Kirumira's visa was denied at the last minute by immigration authorities at the Canadian High Commission in Nairobi, Kenya. He was thus unable to travel to Montreal and his talk was therefore cancelled.

Micheal Mpagi Kirumira


Micheal Mpagi Kirumira is the leader of the Atheist Association of Uganda, an organization created in 2009 to challenge religious superstition and prejudice, promote the scientific method and uphold the constitutional separation of church and state in Ugandan society.

Synopsis of Presentation

Religious Freedom
The Theocratic Bend of Today's African Governments

Ladies and Gentlemen, I do feel so privileged to have a chance of addressing this convention after a strong visa struggle which was denied on many occasions due to discriminatory policies of the Western Governments towards poor people of Africa. I would like to thank the Atheist Alliance International and the Humanist Canada for all the cooperation and support they have provided to enable travel to this Country. Finally, am speaking outside Africa. It feels good indeed to be a winner.

Although many African Governments endorse secular constitutions, religious leaders override these principles, rendering African nations into theocracies. Yes, there are many politicians denouncing religious interference in state affairs, but they then turn right around write large cheques to religious organisations in search of political support from their congregations.

So many cruel, discriminatory and oppressive things are committed in the name of Religious Freedom. White fundamentalists come to Uganda to teach my fellow citizens to hate and kill one another. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009--heavily influenced by America's The Family organisation--has not been tabled, nor has it been revised. The death-penalty provision for gays is still in the bill. The churches of America are still funding the state and religious sponsored homophobia in Africa. Additionally, freedom of speech for those advocating equal rights for members of the GLBT community is punishable with three years in prison. Where is the will of so-called freedom-loving Americans to stop spreading hatred and taking away my basic human right to even live?! Surely this must be a violation of international human rights laws. Who has taken Eleanor Roosevelt's place?

Not only do most people in Uganda believe in the power of witchcraft--that would include educated members of Parliament and CEOs of successful businesses--but they believe that homosexuality is a disease that can infect other people. They believe that the way homosexuality is spread among children is through recruitment by those who have been infected with the disease of homosexuality.

How are they infected? Through the intervention of Satan. And to prevent this, homosexuals have to be denied employment, imprisoned and in some cases, executed. The other method of getting rid of homosexuals is by driving them out of Africa. And since, in the name of Religious Freedom, the United States allows their fanatical fundamental clergy (that would include both Protestants and Catholics) to come to my country to preach their vile hatred, where is your program for giving GLBT members asylum in America--the same as you do Somalians, Liberians, Sierra Leoneans and Jews of Yemen?

America claims to be a beacon of freedom, but for whom? Only heterosexual religious people? It's so contradictory!

So in the name of Freedom of Religion, my freedom is completely taken away from me--and I'm not getting any help from North America's atheist community. None of you know what it's like to live in fear every single day. I fear that my landlord will determine that I'm one of those who should be imprisoned because I don't have children (in an already-overpopulated country), nor do I speak of a wife and I wear no wedding band. This has already happened to me, where I was evicted from my flat. I fear that a bodaboda may determine that I'm gay and will beat me to death. This has been threatened on at least one website.

What I see is the disease of Christianity flying like malaria-carrying mosquitoes to Uganda--and other African countries. I also see nice liberal Atheists in Canada and America sitting in parlours discussing how terrible things are in Uganda because of their fellow American Christian fascists. What I DON'T see is any movement on the part of American/Canadian atheists to actually come here into Uganda, to confront toe-to-toe these preachers. I don't see American/Canadian atheists coming here in person holding attractive rallies to teach my people the value of human equality, human rights, and the absurdity of religion.

Why is that? Where are you? The people of Uganda definitely do not need your religious preachers coming to Uganda. We need preachers of science and rationality to come to Uganda--and that would include you. Let's establish a date for the first 100 American/Canadian atheists to arrive in Uganda to start countering the hatred delivered by your fellow Americans who are religionists.