NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair lashed out at evangelical Christian groups Monday, accusing them of going “completely against” Canadian values and law.
Mulcair’s anger spilled over when reporters asked about Crossroads Relief and Development – a group getting around $540,000 from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to build wells and provide clean water in Uganda.
Crossroads has also called homosexuality a sin, earning the ire of the NDP, which tried to connect that belief to anti-gay violence in Uganda and a stalled Ugandan bill to prohibit gay rights promotion.
“We don’t understand how the Conservatives can … subsidize a group in Uganda whose views are identical to those of the Ugandan government,” Mulcair said.
It’s not clear how Mulcair drew that conclusion.
Crossroads’ partner group on the ground in Africa, Victory Outreach Ministries, states on its website that while homosexuality is sinful, gays are “created in God’s image, and we condemn the activities of those who are violent towards gays.”
Don Hutchinson, with the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, said Mulcair should know the Supreme Court has ruled Canadians can’t disqualified from engagement with government over religious beliefs.
He adds that Canadian evangelicals have spent more than $535 million on development work overseas.
“When you work with organizations that function on the ‘love your neighbour’ principle, you get a better return on your dollar,” he said.
CIDA has frozen Crossroads’ funding until it can review the organization’s work.
A government source told QMI Agency the review will seek to ensure Crossroads isn’t denying aid to Ugandans based on sexual orientation.