Kanye West‘s Sunday Service collective have been booked to play at an evangelical event in the US this weekend which has attracted controversy due to its roster of guest speakers.
The rapper has been performing with his live band and gospel choir since January 2019, and they featured on West’s recent ‘Jesus Is King’ album. A full Sunday Service album, ‘Jesus Is Born’, followed on Christmas Day.
Sunday Service will perform on Saturday (January 18) at Awaken 2020 in Tempe, Arizona at the Sun Devil Stadium. A description of the event implores people to “open the door and enter into a new era, a new decade, of revival that is bringing a movement of signs and wonders, healing of the sick, and preaching of the gospel”.
However, as noted by such outlets as the New York Daily News and LGBTQ Nation, a series of controversial Christian speakers who’ve expressed anti-LGBTQ views in the past are also set to appear at Awaken 2020 this weekend.
The speakers include Cindy Jacobs — who has encouraged Christians to “rise up” in order to stop the passing of the Equality Act — and The Call co-founder Lou Engle, who was an advocate of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill in 2011 and who once likened the modern US to Nazi Germany due to its embrace of gay rights.
A number of Twitter users expressed their disappointment with West’s decision to play at the event following its confirmation.
People will still stan Kanye despite him legitimizing and supporting radical anti-LGBTQ evangelicals/bigots. 🤦🏻♂️ https://t.co/YeVWB7yubS
— Alex Sanchez (@AXELSCYTHE) January 15, 2020
What a fucking asshole https://t.co/8sxWxvehOy
— Liz (@revaewzil) January 16, 2020
there’s some serious cognitive dissonance when ppl still listen to kanye or pay attention to the kardashians and say they care about lgbt issues https://t.co/y19poq3tOD
— Andy Ward (@adubjose) January 16, 2020
Asked about West’s booking by The Western Journal, Engle said that “we believe Kanye is a sign to this nation that in a moment, thousands and thousands can be swept into the kingdom when [God] converts key people and their voices will be like thunder.”