In January, the LGBT Asylum Task Force, a ministry of Hadwen Park Congregational Church of Worcester, presented UCC Justice and Witness Ministries with a certificate of appreciation for their support. The certificate was given to UCC Justice and Witness representative Loey Powell during a special thank you event at the church. The evening included a spread of foods prepared by LGBT asylum seekers from Uganda, Jamaica, Kenya and elsewhere, as well as dances and songs native to these countries.
The certificate ceremony was highlighted in this month's issue of Take Action!, the newsletter of the Justice and Peace Action Network.
The LGBT Asylum Task Force, now a central Massachusetts volunteer organization affiliated with Lutheran Social Services, has supported over 25 LGBT individuals seeking to escape violence and imprisonment in their home countries. Eighty-seven countries have laws against homosexuality; in seven of those countries, the punishment is the death penalty. The task force provides housing, food, clothing, a cell phone and legal representation, as well as a supportive faith community, as these persecuted individuals seek political asylum. To learn more about the task force click here or here.
Karen Methot is the Program Support Associate for the Innovation Team of the Southern New England Conference.