Jakarta Statement on Church and Homophobia

We, the participants of the International Consultation on Church and Homophobia held at Jakarta Theological Seminary, believe that each person is created in the image of God, and each person is precious to God.

We affirm that sexuality is a divine gift, and hence God intends us to celebrate this divine gift in life-giving, consensual, and loving relationships. It is in such celebrations of our sexuality that we grow into the fullness of our humanity, and experience God in a special way.

We believe that our negative attitudes towards sexuality and our body-denying spirituality stem from distorted understandings of God’s purpose for us. The embodied God who embraced flesh in Jesus Christ is the ground for us to love our bodies and to celebrate life and sexuality without abuse and misuse. So God invites us to experience sexual fulfillment in our relationships of justice-love with the commitment to be vulnerable, compassionate, and responsible.

We recognize that there are people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions. The very faith affirmation that the whole human community is created in the image of God irrespective of our sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions makes it imperative for us to reject systemic and personal attitudes of homophobia, transphobia and any kind of discrimination against persons of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions.

We believe that the Church as ‘Just and Inclusive Community’ is called to become a community without walls to reach out to people who are stigmatised and demonised, and be a listening community to understand their pains, desires, and hopes.

We envision Church as a sanctuary to the ostracised who thirst for understanding, friendship, love, compassion and solidarity, and as the Body of Christ that joins in their struggles to live out their God-given lives. So we appeal to the Christian communities to sojourn with people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions and their families without prejudice and discrimination, to provide them with ministries of love, compassionate care, and justice.

We implore Christian communities to begin to engage in dialogue – not debate – with persons with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions and listen to their stories and struggles as acts of love.

We urge churches, seminaries and Christian communities to engage diverse voices and perspectives in theological reflections, particularly persons of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions. We encourage more research to be undertaken on issues pertaining to human sexuality in their respective socio-cultural context.

We hope and pray that the embodied God will bless our endeavours to grow into the fullness of life, and to transform our faith communities into communities of dignity, respect, egalitarianism, justice and love.

The Participants of the International Consultation on Church and Homophobia held at Jakarta Theological Seminary from 23rd to 26th November 2014:

Individuals:

1. Michael J Adee, Horizon Foundation (laity, USA)

2. Joas Adiprasetya (clergy, Jakarta Theological Seminary, Indonesia)

3. Bambang Subandrijo (laity, Jakarta Theological Seminary, Indonesia)

4. Dian Novita Kristiyani (laity, Talita Kum, Indonesia)

5. Ellen Patricia (laity, Indonesia)

6. Elly de Bell (clergy, Protestant Church in Western Indonesia, Indonesia)

7. Esther Bharathi (clergy, Church of South India)

8. Dewi Sinta Bratanata (clergy, Protestant Church in Western Indonesia, Indonesia)

9. Devon Cammock (clergy,Jamaica)

10. Luciano Chanhelela Chianeque (clergy, Angola)

11. Chung-Yen Chuan (laity, Tong Kwang Light House Presbyterian Church, Taiwan)

12. Mary Philline T. Descalzo (laity, WSCF-Asia Pacific, Philippines)

13. Abraham Ferdinandus (clergy, Protestant Church in Western Indonesia, Indonesia)

14. Surya Samudera Giamsyah (clergy, Indonesian Christian Church, Indonesia)

15. Vanya O. A. Ginting (laity, Jakarta Theological Seminary, Indonesia)

16. Joseph N. Goh (clergy, North American Catholic Ecumenical Church, Monash University, Malaysia)

17. Juliana Hindradjat (laity, Indonesia)

18. C.Y. Hoon (laity, Singapore)

19. Juswantori Ichwan (clergy, Indonesian Christian Church, Indonesia)

20. Septemmy Lakawa (clergy, Jakarta Theological Seminary, Indonesia)

21. Yael Lamorahan (clergy, Indonesian Christian Church, Indonesia)

22. Yosua Lamorahan (clergy, Evangelical Christian Church in Sangir Talaud, Indonesia)

23. Marjorie E. Lewis (clergy, Jamaica)

24. Laura Mustamu (clergy, Protestant Church in Western Indonesia, Indonesia)

25. Godson Lawson (clergy, Methodist Church of Togo)

26. Raymond Y.C. Lee (laity, Good Samaritan Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia)

27. Ratna Lesawengen (laity, Fellowship of Woman Theologians in Indonesia)

28. One Liew (laity, Good Samaritan Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia)

29. Nortje Lumbantoruan (clergy, Fellowship of Woman Theologians in Indonesia)

30. Adeleide Marasut (clergy, Fellowship of Woman Theologians in Indonesia)

31. Clare Amanda Mead (laity, Church of Sweden)

32. Donald Messer (clergy, USA)

33. Yohan David Misero (laity, LBH Masyarakat, Indonesia)

34. Teguh Wijaya Mulya (laity, Surabaya University, Indonesia)

35. Irene Dame N. Nainggolan (laity, Jakarta Theological Seminary, Indonesia)

36. Asnath Natar (clergy, Duta Wacana Christian University, Indonesia)

37. Ngeo Boon Lin (clergy, MCC New York, USA)

38. Dede Oetomo (laity, GAYa NUSANTARA, Indonesia)

39. King Oey (laity, Arus Pelangi, Indonesia)

40. Pauline Ong (clergy, Free Community Church, Singapore)

41. Pelangi Kurnia Putri (clergy, Indonesian Christian Church, Indonesia)

42. Philip Vinod Peacock (clergy, Bishop’s College, Kolkata, India)

43. Benny Prawira (laity, Indonesia)

44. Evangeline Pua (clergy, Indonesian Christian Church, Indonesia)

45. Darwita Purba (clergy, Duta Wacana Christian University, Indonesia)

46. Christopher Rajkumar (clergy, National Council of Churches in India)

47. Vincent Rajkumar (clergy, National Council of Churches in India)

48. Chillkuri Vasantha Rao (clergy, Andhra Christian Theological College, India)

49. Rosalita (laity, Talita Kum, Indonesia)

50. Theresia Pratiwi Elingsetyo Sanubari (laity, GAYa NUSANTARA, Indonesia)

51. Kristina Schneider (laity, Germany)

52. Mikha Zakharia Sebastian (laity, Indonesia)

53. Melinda Siahaan (clergy, STAKN Tarutung, Indonesia)

54. Miak Siew (clergy, Free Community Church – Singapore)

55. Lisbeth Simanjuntak (laity, WSCF-Asia Pacific, Indonesia)

56. Evani April Rama Sinurat (clergy, Jakarta Theological Seminary, Indonesia)

57. Nova Yulanda Putri Sipahutar (laity, WSCF-Asia Pacific, Indonesia)

58. Stephen Suleeman (clergy, Jakarta Theological Seminary, Indonesia)

59. Khanis Suvianita (laity, GAYa NUSANTARA, Indonesia)

60. Nicole Siu Wing Sze (laity, WSCF-AP, Hong Kong)

61. Lisiani Tambunan (laity, Jakarta Theological Seminary, Indonesia)

62. Simeon Theojaya (laity, Indonesia)

63. Nova Tumbol (laity, STAKN Palangkaraya, Indonesia)

64. Jonah Vincent (clergy, India)

65. Vinod Wesley (clergy, Gurukul Theological Seminary, Chennai, India)

66. Pearl Wong (laity, Queer Theology Academy, Hongkong)

67. Danny Irawan Yatim (laity, Indonesia)

Organizations

68. Free Community Church, Singapore

69. Metropolitan Community Church (USA)

70. Youth Interfaith Forum on Sexuality (YIFoS – Yogyakarta, Indonesia)