DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (ChurchMilitant.com) - An African prelate is warning his people that it's better to starve than to embrace homosexuality.
In an appeal to Tanzanian lawmakers last month, Cdl. Polycarp Pengo of Dar es Salaam lashed out at Western aid programs that force poor countries to promote LGBT ideology in exchange for development aid.
At a thanksgiving Mass celebrating the November harvest, Cdl. Pengo denounced the threat by post-Christian Western nations to choke off economic and humanitarian aid to Tanzania unless the country decriminalizes homosexual acts and rallied government leaders to stand firm against secularist coercion.
"It is better to die of hunger than to receive aid and be compelled to do things that are contrary to God's desire," he declared.
"We cannot accept such displeasing things to God; and if we are starving because we have refused to engage in such acts, then we would rather die with our God."
Increasingly, Western activists and their allies are injecting LGBT and pro-abortion ideology into foreign policy, pressing developing nations to overthrow traditional religious and cultural norms in favor of post-Christian social re-engineering.
But as Cdl. Pengo demonstrated, multiple Catholic leaders are fighting back.
Pope Francis frequently slams coercive development programs, warning they represent a corrosive "ideological colonization." In an address to the United Nations earlier this year, the Pope denounced emerging "new rights" that disrespect "social and cultural traditions" and ignore developing nations' "real needs."
"Somewhat paradoxically, there is a risk that, in the very name of human rights, we will see the rise of modern forms of ideological colonization by the stronger and the wealthier, to the detriment of the poorer and the most vulnerable," Francis warned.
Likewise, Culture of Life Africa founder Obianuju Ekeocha is a fierce critic of the new imperialism.
In an interview with the National Catholic Register last year, the Nigerian-born pro-family advocate observed: "The western world has been — and is still — undergoing rapid and radical moral shifts especially with regards to human sexuality, marriage, family and of course the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death."
"These changes have been toxic to society," Ekeocha reflected, "as casual sex, abortion and contraception have become acceptable in many western countries, just as gender fluidity, same-sex 'marriage' and homosexual lifestyles are being supported and normalized by the same wealthy and powerful western leaders who hold and control the purse strings of foreign aid."
In 2015, 45 prelates from more than three dozen African countries came together to issue a "Common Declaration of the Bishops of Africa and Madagascar," demanding an end to foreign efforts to cultivate a Culture of Death across Africa under the guise of economic and humanitarian aid.
"By what right do Western NGOs, who only represent their own ideological interests, claim to legally bind African states to their world vision?" they asked. "Why such a programing and will to pollute and pervert, extending throughout the African continent?"
"This is a new type of slavery!" they exclaimed. "We want the dignity of our people to be respected."
Speaking to his congregation in Dar es Salaam last month, Cdl. Pengo reminded his flock that the stakes involved in their fight run very deep.
"The sin of homosexuality," he warned, is "contrary to God's plan in creation," and was "the cause of destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah."