Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria has been denied entry to Jordan. This is an embarrassing beginning to the GAFCON conference of conservative Anglicans who now plan to leave Jordan for Jerusalem three days early.
The GAFCON planners have issued a press release saying that the archbishop flew into Tel Aviv, but was not allowed to cross into Jordan because "previously granted permission was deemed insufficient." The Jordanians apparently told Akinola that he needed clearances beyond those afforded by his diplomatic passport.
Readers of the Café will remember that Akinola, a fierce critic of Islam, has refused to answer questions about his knowledge of, or involvement in, the retributive massacre of some 700 Muslim in the town of Yelwa in northern Nigeria in 2004.
The massacre was carried out by a para-militia wearing clothing associating it with the Christian Association of Nigeria of which Akinola was then president. When asked about the massacre by Eliza Griswold, who wrote The Atlantic's story, Akinola refused to comment. He has since ignored requests for clarification.
Ruth Gledhill broke the story that Akinola was turned away from Jordan. Her story is here and here. Someone close to the power that be behind GAFCON also confirms the story. The GAFCON version of this turn of events is here. A portion:
Hotel and meeting rooms previously unavailable in Jerusalem became available at the same time GAFCON leaders learned that previously granted permission for the Jordan consultation was deemed insufficient.
The time in Jordan was very valuable for prayer, fellowship, and networking. The group made pilgrimages to Mt. Nebo and the Baptism Site of Jesus. GAFCON Chairman Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, and Archbishop Greg Venables of Southern Cone, were for different reasons unable to be in Jordan. Both are, however, expected to play significant roles at GAFCON in Jerusalem.
GAFCON book, The Way, The Truth and the Life, will be released on Thursday, 19th June, in Jerusalem.
The Café also has learned that the "book" prepared for the GAFCON conference is actually the same document that was passed to us last week. We posted a summary on June 13. Here is a pdf copy of the "book."