College of Prayer’s Julius Oyet promises arrests after the Anti-Homosexuality Bill is passed

Apostle Julius Peter Oyet is a co-laborer with Martin Ssempa in the effort to pass Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Oyet is a leader in the Born Again Federation of Churches in Uganda and has championed the “7 Mountains” theology in Uganda and the United States. Essentially, Oyet believes that the church should infiltrate the government and the media and run them by the teachings of the Bible. He is also President of the Ugandan branch of the College of Prayer, a ministry run by Rev. Fred Hartley and based in the Lilburn Alliance Church in Atlanta. I have posted on the College of Prayer previously here and here.

Oyet was deputized by Parliamentarian and bill author, David Bahati, to collect signatures on a petition to Parliament to quickly pass the bill. Oyet was with Ssempa in the gallery when David Bahati sought permission from Uganda’s Parliament to introduce the bill as a private member’s initiative. Both Ssempa and Oyet were involved in the early stages of bill development. According to Jeff Sharlet, Bahati told him that Ssempa was on the phone with Bahati nearly every day during the early stages of bill writing. In a interview to be released as a part of a film by Dominique Mesmin in September, Oyet elaborated on his role:

I was there. I have been part of the brains behind it. We worked on it. We planned who should propose it. It is the Ugandan’s bill. It is the culture of Uganda to keep purity. It is everybody’s voice. I worked with Bahati on this.

Here you see Oyet sitting next to Ssempa during one of the infamous hard core porn shows:

Oyet, Ssempa and Bahati have worked closely together to move the bill along. Oyet, however, takes a different approach to his advocacy for the Anti-Homosexuality Bill than Ssempa and Bahati. Whereas Ssempa and Bahati have misled audiences by minimizing the scope of the bill saying that it is designed to remedy non-existent gaps in child abuse law, Oyet is more forthcoming about the bill’s effects. He is also candid about his beliefs in relationship to what penalties should be enacted. For instance, watch this trailer from Mesmin’s upcoming film, Killing in the Name. At 2 minutes into the clip, you will see Oyet preaching and giving an interview where he invokes Mosaic law:

I was told by Mesmin that Oyet was acting in a more public role in March because Martin Ssempa was out of the country (at Canyon Ridge Christian Church, we now know). A bit later, in May, Oyet was interviewed for the British documentary, Africa’s Last Taboo. In this video, you can see the forceful advocacy of Oyet and the promise that once the bill is passed, gays will be arrested.

As noted, Oyet is pretty clear about the purpose of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Those who suggest that the bill only pertains to child abuse or sexual assaults will have a hard time explaining Oyet’s advocacy. Oyet cannot be dismissed as an outsider; he is a major player working for David Bahati and a colleague of Martin Ssempa.

His advocacy for the College of Prayer is signficant. He told Dominique Mesmin that he has an offices in London, South Africa, Kenya and Atlanta. I suspect the Atlanta office is the College of Prayer office in Lilburn Alliance Church in metro Atlanta (the church and the COP share the same phone number). Here Oyet speaks about his admiration for the work of the College of Prayer in the Parliament of Uganda. David Bahati and Nsaba Buturo are Parliamentary leaders for this ministry.

According to the organization’s 990 form, the College of Prayer paid $11,350 in 2007 for Oyet to travel to Atlanta. He was scheduled to speak at a COP leadership training conference in March, but the conference did not take place.  Director of the College of Prayer, Fred Hartley, told me that he did not support the bill but declined to make a more public statement. If there has been any distance between Oyet and the COP, Oyet does not seem to be aware of it.

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