A Ugandan Catholic bishop has called on the country to avoid “harming” gays, because they are created in God’s image.

John Baptist Odama, the Archbishop of Gulu, warned people to not take the law into their own hands, amid calls to restore the country’s Anti-Homosexuality Act.

He said: “Let us learn to love God’s human creatures.

“It is not that I am advocating for homosexual practice in the country, but we should not take laws into our hands to harm and hate the homosexuals because we all have weaknesses.

“The country has been struggling to have a law to criminalises homosexuality.

“However, the struggle has been frustrated by the constitutional courts.

“People should not take the laws into their hands and harm homosexuals, since they are also human beings though with different sexual feelings.”

Earlier this month the Anglican Archbishop of Uganda, Stanley Ntagali, called for the anti-gay law to be restored.

He said: “The court of public opinion has clearly indicated its support for the Act, and we urge Parliament to consider voting again on the Bill with the proper quorum in place.

“I appeal to all God-fearing people and all Ugandans to remain committed to the support against homosexuality, which is contrary to God’s order, until the law protects our families, the youth and children of our country.”

The country’s Constitutional Court struck down the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Act earlier this month, finding that the speaker of Parliament acted illegally by moving ahead with a vote on the law despite at least three lawmakers objecting to a lack of quorum.

However, MPs have changed parliamentary regulations to allow the law to be passed again, and are currently working on a new version.