The documentary “God Loves Uganda” should resonate in Utah where religious missions and missionaries are a part of the cultural fabric even for non-Mormons.
Still, considering the questions “God Loves Uganda” raises, it's probably not a film that will be shown at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Missionary Training Center.
The documentary follows the Kansas City-based International House of Prayer that sends missionaries around the globe to spread the Gospel. But Uganda, “The Pearl of Africa” is a special target for evangelists—sort of a beachhead for the implementation of Biblical law and the redemption of the entire continent. Uganda, the Christian Right says, is the perfect place to halt man's descent into evil, as seen in the spread of AIDS, acceptance of homosexuality and promiscuity.
With millions of dollars and hundreds of young, shining-faced missionaries, IHOP (yep, that's the acronym) is successful in undermining the UN's anti-HIV program, which promotes on condom use, in favor of abstinence, and along with other Christian conservatives influences the Ugandan Parliament to criminalize homosexuality, with a death penalty for repeat offenders.
A major irony of the film is that IHOP's main critics are two African priests—one Episcopal and the other Church of Uganda—who are the products of earlier waves of Christian missionaries.