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Josiah Idowu-Fearon addresses CAPA on progressives, poverty, and militant Islam

Josiah Idowu-Fearon addresses CAPA on progressives, poverty, and militant Islam

The ACNS reports on an address by the Most Revd Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, to the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA), meeting in Rwanda. While the full text of the Secretary General’s address is not published, he is reported encouraging African Anglican churches to resist pressure from the West to fall in with socially progressive programs.

The secretary general of the Anglican Communion, Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, has urged Anglican leaders in Africa not to “fall in line” with “socially progressive” views and programmes “which suggest that the Bible is wrong”. Speaking to members of the Council of African Provinces of Africa (CAPA) [sic] during their meeting in Rwanda, Dr Idowu-Fearon said that the Church “will not crumble or bow the knee to a godless secular culture that despises the Bible and what it teaches” and urged the Churches in Africa to remain focused on serving the people of the continent. …

“It was Bible-believing Christians who have transformed the face of Africa in the last 150 years and we can transform it again.”

He criticised the views expressed by some commentators in the West which sees the Church in Africa as being “fifty years behind the rest of the world.”

He said: “Their view of progressivism places them at the forefront of historical and social development – with us Africans bringing up the rear. Even worse, deep down, they think that all of us, whatever our faith and commitments, have our price.

“They really believe that it will only be a matter of time before we fall in line with their view of the world, of culture, of marriage, of community; either through conviction or, if not, then through convenience. …

“Our African Churches can never be social progressives in the sense beloved of the West. We will never allow our churches to be taken over by views and programmes which suggest that the Bible is wrong. We will not crumble or bow the knee to a godless secular culture that despises the Bible and what it teaches.

“Actually, our African churches are already progressives. We are seeking to live our lives in accordance with the will of God in the kingdom of God which is the real future for humanity that measures all human progress. And that kingdom is marked here on earth by the priority it gives to the poor in the ministry of the gospel and the concerns of the people of God.”

While he was “deeply disturbed” by moves among Communion members towards marriage equality, Idowu-Fearon suggested that the strength and necessary work of the Anglican churches in Africa centered around poverty relief, maternal and infant health, HIV/AIDS prevention, and protection against militant Islam, according to the ACNS report. In such areas, he described the Anglican Communion as “the one organisation throughout Africa which is trusted to deliver on projects.”

Read the ACNS story including more of Archbishop Idowu-Fearon’s remarks here.

Featured image: photo banner from CAPA-hq.org, homepage of the Council of Anglican Churches of Africa

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JC Fisher

Is this the Most Revd Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon who was supposed to be such a bridge-builder in the AC? [Because, rather like a certain U.S. Presidential candidate, I see him fomenting a wall.]

Prof. Christopher Seitz

Is that +John Chew, erstwhile Archbishop of SE Asia, in the front row?

Rousing address by +JI-F. That they even invited him is a significant development, given tensions between himself and Nigeria.

Paul Woodrum

It is sad, if not down right sinful, that the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion finds it necessary to pit African and Western members of the Communion against one another. Better to support dialogue, promote understanding and build unity rather than sow discord and division.

David Allen

I think I would have posted this under a different headline! 🙂

AC Sec Gen slanders & stabs “Western” Anglicans in the back.

Jos. S. Laughon

As demographics change, Africa will continue to be the leader of the Church. Considering its early place in the Church as well as providing several early Popes and theologians, I do not know why the West constantly and condescendingly talks down to Africans as if they are moral children.

David Allen

By “leader of the Church,” are you speaking about numbers? Otherwise, I’m not really aware of Anglican churches in Africa leading the Church.

David Allen

I don’t see anything mentioned as pertaining to Africa leading the Church. Those are all evidence that Africa is now sharing the leadership of churches on a more equal footing than in the past.

JoS. S. Laughon

I am speaking about both. Statistically your average Christian is not some middle class westerner but a Global Southerner and soon, likely a Sub-Saharan African.

Historically one of the first converts is from East Africa and the man called even to carry Christ’s cross is from Africa, not to mention the African popes and saints in the past.

In the Roman communion, Africa now provides the same amount of leading cardinals as North America and Asia, while now having more leading cardinals than South America, Oceania or Central America. Also a disproportionate number of leaders in our Communion are from Africa. Even one of the primates of the CoE is ancestrally African.

So unless you hold that only ECUSA is the only manifestation of “the Church” I’m not sure how Africa isn’t a major leader in our Church.

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