Colin Coward of Changing Attitude-England has looked into a report by Chris Sugden of Anglican Mainstream, that the Episcopal Church had withheld $100,000 in donations to the Church of Sudan after Sudanese Archbishop Daniel Deng called for the resignation of Bishop Gene Robinson at the Lambeth Conference. He writes:
Meanwhile, my contacts in the USA continued to investigate and have reported the following: support from the budget of TEC to Sudan hasn’t decreased. It is wired quarterly. No dioceses broke off relationships with Sudan over Archbishop Deng’s remarks. Rather, some dioceses are expanding said relationships and others are exploring relationships with Sudanese dioceses that currently don’t have a partner in TEC. No one my contacts have been in touch with have any idea what money Chris Sugden could be referring to.
I'd like to know the truth about the $100,000, given that so much misinformation finds its way onto the web. The Episcopal Church is portrayed as the guilty party by conservative groups such as Anglican Mainstream. Accusations such as that made by Chris Sugden made are rarely questioned or substantiated.
The issue of making damaging allegations without doing rudimentary reporting is one thing, but there is a larger ethical issue here. Why do economically comfortable, Western evangelicals laud African bishops when they turn down money that would buy food and medicine for their people? (Not that Archbishop Deng has been callous enough to do so.)
As the struggle for control of the Anglican Communion wears on, it becomes ever more apparent that Africa's ostensible allies are willing to let Africans suffer to advance Western ends.
Update: Archbishop Deng has appealed to the British government for help in ending hte crisis created in Sudan, Uganda and Congo by the "Lord's Resistance Army. Meanwhile, Sudan's president, Omar Hassan Al-Bashir has expelled foreign aid groups in the wake of the International Criminal Court's decision to issue a warrant for his arrest. The efforts of the Anglican right to disrupt existing relationships between Sudan and its friends in other countries is particularly troubling at a time when the Sudanese people would seem to need all the help they can get.
And finally: turns out the Episcopal Diocese of South Dakota is also involved in work in Sudan.