Support the Café

Search our Site

Church of Nigeria attacks UN for “foisting vices as rights”

Church of Nigeria attacks UN for “foisting vices as rights”

The Church of Nigeria has finally issued the communique of its so-called national consultation on human rights. The consultation was held at the end of June. At the time The Lead reported that Archbishop Okoh told the Panafrican News Agency that “Nigeria should not condescend themselves into being a party to such immoral act. If the United Nations make themselves an agent to promote gay marriages, then Nigeria should pull out from such organization.” The communique is signed by The Most. Revd. Nicholas D. Okoh. M.A. LLD, Fss, Mss, Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria.

A sampling from the communique:

Participants were drawn from Brazil, India, Mozambique, South Africa, Southern Sudan, UK, USA, Zambia and the host country Nigeria. The consultation attracted many legal luminaries, (SAN), Judges, Senior academics, Archbishops, Bishops and Clergy, advocacy groups representatives and politicians.


The Consultation was held because of the need to:

1.1 Protect the moral health of the Nation in the light of the UN Human Rights Groups approach to promoting vices as rights in Africa.

1.2 Undertake a comprehensive overview of the foundations and ideology of rights as globally understood.

1.3 Identify the role of the Church in shaping the discourse and policies on human rights in Africa.

1.4 Examine the Biblical resources for understanding human rights.

1.5 Examine how human rights are framed, promoted, protected and to some extent, violated within the context of the African culture.

2.7 While we appreciate the global efforts to address the indignity associated with HIV/AIDS, there is need to underscore the fact that there are other ravaging health issues and problems plaguing Africa e.g. leprosy, malaria, sickle cell anemia etc. Governments, Corporate bodies, the Church and individuals should employ similar proactive efforts to deal with such diseases. We regret that certain powerful well funded bodies use the rights issue in relation to HIV/AIDS to undermine the Church’s mission of promoting and protecting godly sexual behaviour in its work with people living with HIV/AIDS and vulnerable groups.

2.12 The Church must stand in the vanguard to resist any attempt to establish local or international platforms to foist societal vices e.g. homosexual behaviour, prostitution, etc as rights on others. These are redeemable conditions, by the power of the Gospel.

Okoh was repeating his July 2010 call for Nigeria to withdraw from the UN. At the time Jim Naughton observed:

1. Rowan Williams, Tom Wright and others would have you believe that while those who oppose the blessing of gay and lesbian relationships, the ordination of LGBT clergy and the consecration of LGBT bishops are deeply concerned about the welfare of these individuals, but are simply uncertain about whether the church is at liberty to include them fully in its sacramental life. But every now and then, the curtain slips back and the true ugliness of the anti-gay forces within the Communion becomes apparent. This is one of those instances, and it makes more obvious than ever that the effect of William’s policies has been a) to underestimate the radical agenda of the anti-gay forces within the Communion and b) to embolden men like Okoh.

2. The Anglican Church of Nigeria receives significant funding from men on the American political right such as Howard Ahmanson and Emmanuel Kampouris . It has found common cause with these individuals in their opposition to homosexuality, but that issue, while central to cementing the alliance, is actually something of a sideshow. The right’s real intention is to use its relationships with African evangelicals to influence U. S. foreign policy. Some African Christian leaders are supportive of the American right’s anti-Muslim agenda due to bitter personal experience. Now, we see an African primate embracing another pet right wing cause, the delegitimization of the United Nations. No sane political analyst would argue that there is any benefit to Nigeria in cutting itself off from the world community in this way, but the benefit to the American right—in having an influential leader in the developing world call the importance of the UN into question is fairly obvious.

Note the modus operandi here: cultivate foreign relationships by wooing influential leaders with gifts; get them to embrace policies that advance your agenda at the expense of their own people; say that those who object those this practice as captives of a colonialist mindset, even as you enact the colonialist playbook.


Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Cyberia Rune

“Feed My sheep.” A simple injuction, yet complex in its’ proper execution, and Simple Faith is its’ reflection – in both regards.

When, many years past, a few brazen individuals decided that the sheep needed a change of diet and began mixing partisan Party politics into the feed, it seemed to me a very bad idea. Yes, Jesus was unquestionably a hands-on activist in a very real world where regional and imperial politics held sway – but He made no mention of “Senator Gracus” in any parable, and no dispute between Roman or Judean political parties saw Him champion either side. His focus was human, humane and spiritual, not political.

The situation which led to the first Deacons’ arrival indicates, pretty clearly I think, that there was quite a lot of sermonizing and general discussion that didn’t make it into the scriptures word-for-word. That “serving at tables,” phrase most likely means precisely that: a lot of people, a lot of chatting, questioning, debating, listening, learning… and consequently, hunger and thirst. I have no idea who paid for the food or the drink, though most was probably donated by various hosts. But I do know that Jesus left us NO creed along the lines of, “Send me your $25 credit card donation and God will send you $250!,” which is what those brazen individuals were claiming then and still do, today.

They need it to get politicians elected, to change nations, to redeem countries… they say. And we know what comes of it. We see it each day. And I still think that it was a lousy idea from anyone’s standpoint, perhaps because I take a somewhat longer view of such blasphemy. But what broke my heart then and today is the trust of the sheep, their placement of their treasured Simple Faith, in the hands of those sheep-feed-poisoning “pastors.”

Nigeria is in some ways a very similar case; many of those political operators’ acolytes are active there. Yet it is still dominated by Christianity and Islam, and from any bishop’s perspective the sheep are being beckoned to the mangers of Rome, Protestantism, and Islam almost equally. As it happens, neither Islam nor Rome is amenable to homosexuality, nor are the so-called “Fundamentalist Christian” representatives. And the same kinds of alluringly, reassuringly clarion voices that called many sheep astray in America are equally attractive to the abused, downtrodden and dispossessed in Africa. They hear a “champion” in those strident proclamations. Consequently, were the Nigerian Church to be declaimed by those same voices as “the church of SIN!!!,” that too would be heard, and lead more souls of Simple Faith tragically astray.

I read the Nigerian communique, and find that if the Bishop was advocating leaving the UN a year ago, he now signs on under, “2.8 All States of Nigeria and nations in Africa must re-enact and domesticate the Child Rights Act 2007 and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child within their areas of jurisdiction to promote and protect the rights of the child…

2.14 The Consultation identified Corruption as a human rights issue and an abuse of entrusted authority, power and position for private gain, instead of public good. Accordingly, every sector of governance at all levels should be committed to eradicating corruption.

2.15 Poverty is also identified as a human rights violation. It is advised that various governments should initiate policies and programmes that will not only alleviate but completely eradicate poverty among the generality of the people….”

Given that the modus operandi of the activists who abuse religion as camouflage for their political aims is that they are notorious corruptors of politicians for their own financial gain, and in view of the stupendous panoply of impoverishing economic wreckage now strewn worldwide in no small part due to their influence and actions, perhaps we should support those admirable goals and statements of the communique and recognize that in other areas of equality and understanding, there’s plenty of room for helpful, caring improvement if we are to do a proper job of feeding His sheep.

We know that the situation is difficult. Perhaps the Bishop’s just too proud to ask for our help. So, maybe we should simply give it to him anyway!

Rev. CW Brockenbrough

Clint Davis

Ok, so I want y’all to explain to me how you’re still in communion with these folks. I just wanna hear it.

Michael Russell

Please remember too that CofE luminaries like N.T. Wright dispute the continuing value of the enlightenment “project” and thus human rights. The push of Curial-fundamentalism is to create centralized authority that can supress the free exercise of conscience.

John B. Chilton


Yes, we reported the involvement of the Anglican Presiding Bishop of Ghana in our item of July 20th:

Elizabeth Kaeton

And now, Ghana. GHANA! One of the most stable, progressive governments in West Africa.

“Ghana MP: Round up all gays”

I smell a K-street connection.

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café