“Who will rise up for Me against the evildoers? Who will stand up for Me against the workers of iniquity?” Psalm 94:16
When a “Sexpo” was advertised to take place in the Cape Town International Convention Centre, Africa Christian Action launched a campaign to expose and oppose this. Through a vigorous letter to the editor campaign, letters to the Mayor, many phone calls, e-mailings and radio programmes, Taryn Hodgson, Charl van Wyk and Dr. Peter Hammond alerted Christians in Cape Town and sought to mobilise opposition to this outrageous event.
Many contacts of ACA reported back on replies that they had received from the Mayor’s office, and on letters to the editor published in their community newspapers. Some outraged citizens ripped down posters of the Sexpo. Other posters were defaced or had pro-family stickers placed on them. All over town bumper stickers declared: Real men don’t use porn; Pornography ruins a mind, and other slogans in Afrikaans and Xhosa.
On Friday 9 May Africa Christian Action held a placard protest, prayer vigil, literature distribution and personal evangelism outreach at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Some came to pray and spent the time outside the Convention Centre, either on their knees, or standing, praying the Scriptures interceding for our city. Others held placards declaring: Porn exploits women; Porn is the theory – rape is the practice; Pornography fuels crime; Women are not objects; Sexpo = gateway to perversion; Child sexual offenders have ALL used child pornography; Women need protection and respect – ban porn! Execute rapists! “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36; and Boycott Hell! Repent!
In addition to the placard protest and prayer vigil, missionaries of KwaSizabantu Mission, Waymakers and Frontline Fellowship engaged in a vigorous literature distribution and personal evangelism of delegates and exhibitors to the Sexpo.
The placard protest attracted much media attention and prominent articles - with photographs - published in Die Burger, The Weekend Argus and the Sunday Times. Radio KFM came and conducted spot interviews with protestors and evangelists at the CTICC. Taryn conducted numerous interviews with the press, and continues to receive invitations to deal with the subject on radio. One of her radio interviews was with the Muslim radio station Radio 786.
The protestors and evangelists came under some pressure from the CTICC security officials who insisted that we had no right to be there. We informed them that we most certainly had a constitutional right to freedom of speech, freedom of religion and the right to protest. They informed us that the CTICC was private property and we were trespassing. Dr. Peter Hammond pointed out that in fact no one was trespassing inside the Convention Centre, nor even at their doorways or stairs. All the protestors were on the public pavement. The security officials then claimed that they owned the pavement as well and that we had to go across the main road to the pavement facing the Convention Centre! Dr. Hammond reminded them that the pavement was a public thoroughfare and as it had municipal traffic signs on it that confirmed that this was public property and we would continue to pray, protest and distribute Gospel literature on the pavement surrounding the CTICC.
Shortly after this some city police arrived claiming that we were trespassing and that we had to move to across the road. The policeman concerned admitted that he had been summoned by the CTICC people, and that he was responding to their complaint. He acknowledged that the Mayor’s office had informed him that we were having a protest there, but claimed that we had no right to distribute any literature. Dr. Hammond pointed out to him that distribution of Gospel literature falls under freedom of religion, and is an inalienable right. The policeman said he was going to check with his superiors and get back to us. However, he never returned and the literature distribution and personal evangelism continued uninterrupted.
By God’s grace, many hundreds of Gospel leaflets were handed to people going in to the Expo or coming out of it, and many evangelistic conversations resulted. Clive Human of STOP (Standing Together Opposing Pornography) had conversations with numerous prostitutes who were “working” at the Sexpo. Each of them felt degraded and exploited by the “work” they were doing and longed for a way out. One of them requested more copies of our “Freedom From Pornography” leaflet to give to her friends.
John Leach of Waymakers, spent hours sharing the Gospel with passers-by and delegates to the Sexpo. He recognised some professing Christians and challenged them, calling them to repentance.
Gerhard Le Roux of KwaSizabantu Mission also recognised some professing Christians attempting to enter the Sexpo and confronted them with the Gospel challenge.
Dr. Peter Hammond spent over 40 minutes counselling one young man who had planned to go into the Sexpo, but turned around and acknowledged that while he had planned to come there to sin, it was obviously God’s plan that he had heard the Gospel instead.
One of the protestors, Gail, challenged some of the Africans who were wearing the Sexpo posters as sandwich adverts. Some admitted to being “born again Christians” and being ashamed of what they were doing. Numerous left the area and resolved not to “serve satan” again.
“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” Ephesians 5:11