This write up exposes 15 things you need to know about the first gay church in Nigeria also called the House of Rainbow.
Homosexuality in Nigeria is a topic that is controversial. The gay practice of Lesbianism is against the laws of Nigeria and even her culture. The first gay church in Nigeria is named House of Rainbow. The name was chosen because it rhymed with the colours of the rainbow in which the LGBTIQ international movement uses.
In Nigeria, majority of the population are strictly against the movement and acts of homosexuality. Even the constitution offers a punishment of a 14-year jail sentence when caught indulging in the act. Most countries offer death sentence as a penalty to offenders.
It will shock you that the man behind the House of Rainbow movement is Rowland Olajide Macaulay, a reverend who sees himself as an activist for the LGBT movement.
Below are 15 things you should know about Nigeria’s first gay church
- Although it was founded in Nigeria, there is no record of a physical church structure for House of Rainbow on Nigerian soil.
- It was founded in September 2006 by Macaulay, Nigeria’s first openly gay pastor.
- In Nigeria, Macaulay ran the church from his home in Jakande Estate, Isolo, Lagos and a “worship space” in Ojodu Berger, Lagos.
- 32 people were in attendance at the first meeting which took place at Ikeja Capital City Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.
- On December 31, 2006, House Of Rainbow hosted the largest number of LGBT people of faith gathering in Lagos for the New Year’s eve celebration. Over 200 people attended.
- The Nigerian house of assembly invited Macaulay in 2007 to speak on the same sex prohibition bill but he never got the chance to address the chamber.
- He fled the country after national newspaper publications emerged about his church in 2008. Following the release of the articles, Macaulay received numerous death threats.
- Macaulay once considered committing suicide because of his homophobic family members.
- Macaulay was married to a woman in 1991 and got a divorce in 1994.
- The House of Rainbow church is located in London, UK.
- There are currently 13 active groups with 17 volunteer local leaders, 11 cities and in 7 countries, Nigeria, Ghana, Malawi, Lesotho, Burundi, Zambia, and the United Kingdom.
- House of Rainbow has two groups dedicated to LGBTIQ Muslims in Nigeria and Ghana respectively.
- The religious organisation has performed over 10 same sex weddings or blessings in the past 10 years in Europe and Africa.
- House Of Rainbow has printed and distributed over 10,000 copies of pocket Ddevotional for LGBT Christians.
- House Of Rainbow now includes fellowships to LGBTIQ Christians and Muslims.