Traveling the 450 miles north from Namibia’s capital Windhoek to Rundu, one notices a country with vast blocks of land uninhabited. Indeed, Namibia is among the nations with the lowest population density, with only 6.7 persons per square mile. Rather than cities and suburbs, what one sees throughout most of the country are cacti trees, characteristic of the desert landscape.
The reality in the southern coastal African nation is, however, that despite having a population density that is 1/100th of that in the United Kindgom, international NGOs have made population control a priority, directly threatening life and family values in Namibian culture. Contraception is pushed relentlessly, and there is great pressure brought internationally to legalize abortion, even as it is already practiced illegally in this pro-life nation.
Magdalena Vendura, a representative of Namibia’s Ministry of Health and Social Services in Rundo, acknowledged during our visit that the HIV infection rate is still among the highest in the world at over 13% adult prevalence, and those between 15 and 45-years-old are the most affected. Sex education taught in Namibia promotes the very activity that spreads AIDS, premarital sex, while promoting the only partial protection of condoms.
We were shocked to find on this, our second recent mission trip to Namibia, that radical gender ideology is now being widely promoted. The government has been pressured to change its laws to accommodate alternative life styles. Priests whom we met in Windhoek told stories of people leaving the country for sex reassignment surgeries, a practice gaining momentum, but they are unable to gain entry back into the country with their new identity.
In our discussions with consecrated religious, we had to remind them about Catholic Church teaching on homosexuality, which condemns the practice and not the person, and who welcomes the repentant sinner back at any time. Many progressive members of our faith do not see the intrinsic evil of homosexual actions, using this argument to justify toleration: “Are they not human beings created in the image of God?” Sin is still sin and the acceptance of such disingenuous and incomplete arguments pose a serious threat to the survival of faith communities and indeed to the entire population of Namibia, where HIV/AIDS is an active pandemic.
My recent three-day pro-life training mission to Namibia was jointly organized by Father Michael Muronga, Parish Priest at Sambyu Catholic Church and HLI Representative in Rundu Diocese, and Madgalena Vendura, Coordinator of Catholic Women’s Movement in Rundu Vicariate. This mission was a follow-up to HLI’s training session in February, during which HLI president Father Shenan Boquet and I laid the groundwork for future efforts.
The wonderful singing and dancing that often accompanies our training events in different areas perfectly complements HLI’s workshops, in which we highlight the sacredness and dignity of all human life. It is a joyful truth that every human is created in the image of God at the moment of conception. It is God’s divine plan for human procreation and man’s obligation to be fruitful and multiply to fill the earth. When we abandon God’s commandment and design, we fall into sin and, consequently, death.
The Devil — always a liar and a murderer — is the primary architect of man’s fallen nature. His deceitful ways with Adam and Eve still exist today, as he deceives mankind into accepting the Culture of Death and the population control agenda, which promotes false reproductive health care, such as contraception, sterilization, and abortion, and radical gender identity.
Regrettably, it is considered a human right in many nations to kill the weakest members of our society – the unborn children, the sick, the handicapped, and the elderly. While unborn humans are killed by abortion, the rest are killed through ‘mercy killings’ or physician-assisted suicide. Advances in science are no longer directed toward safeguarding the life and well-being of mankind, rather toward the destruction of mankind.
The contraceptive mentality presumes that women need “birth control” because pregnancy is a disease. Especially in poor nations, advocates convince women that family planning is necessary, coercing them to use some form of contraception which makes women victims to unrealized harmful side effects. But natural family planning, used prudentially with a fundamental openness to life, is the best choice, as the method is in conformity with man’s nature, Catholic Church teaching, and God’s design for human fertility.
Sadly, Western influences are having an effect on Namibian culture as radio and television programs are sponsored by population control and pro-abortion lobby groups. Lately, the messaging has focused on changing perceptions aimed at African youth. Behind the messaging, people are influenced to accept anti-life pro-abortion ideology, contraception, sexual radical feminist ideology on marriage, motherhood, and family.
Although HLI is confronted with serious challenges of a culture inundated by evil agendas, we have won many victories in collaboration with our partners, who know what real people value and want for their families. And these victories only come by the grace of God. Fortunately, Africans still consider human life to be paramount. HLI will continue to spread programs that promote life and the family. HLI affiliates in Anglophone Africa consider HLI the only organization with credibility to reinforce or transform the culture to favor life and family, keeping Africa the beacon of hope for the world on life and family.