The Anglican Church of Nigeria is purging gay priests

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Various news sites are reporting that four more priests in the Anglican Church of Nigeria have been dismissed for “homosexual practices.” Their dismissal and defrocking follows similar actions against two other priests less than two weeks ago, according to WithinNigeria.com and others.

Their bishops’ letters were published by the paper, and included strong language warning people against associating with them, “as such can drag the image of the Church into the mud.”

The BBC, reporting the story in Pidgin, notes that the Nigerian Anglican Church has asked for “special status” to maintain its hard line against LGBTQ persons. The BBC links on to a story it ran late last year which found that Nigeria is responsible for the third largest group of asylum claims in the UK from people leaving their homeland because of anti-LGBTQ discrimination and danger.

The Primate of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, the Most Revd Nicholas Okoh, has railed against the inclusion of LGBTQ Anglican bishops in gatherings such as the Lambeth Conference, writing in his March letter to GAFCON that

…faithful Anglican bishops from North and South America are excluded, while those who tear the fabric of the Communion by word and deed are welcomed.

Okoh recently concluded his term at the Chairman of the GAFCON Primates Council, and is succeeded in the position by Archbishop Foley Beach of ACNA, who has been invited to Lambeth as an observer.

On the other side of the story, the Revd Jide Macaulay is a gay activist and Anglican who founded the House of Rainbow church center in Nigeria, but was forced to leave the country after public backlash and death threats. He continues to support the LGBTQ church community in Nigeria, and reestablished the House of Rainbow in London, where, among other services, it offers counsel and support to LGBTIQ asylum seekers.

Macaulay is to be ordained a priest in the Church of England at the end of June.

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Steve Price
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Steve Price

I would like full disclosure of the usage of all funds that ECUSA puts into the Anglican Communion so as to be sure that not one cent given by Episcopalians is used to aid in these atrocities!

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Jon White
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The monies disbursed by the Episcopal Church are easily found in the budget. I hear this alot, but the money we send to the Anglican Communion is actually a tiny sliver of the overall budget and it is spent on the operation of the Anglican Communion offices and agencies themsleves, not on the individual member churches operations. Last I looked, TEC (DFMS, ERD, UTO, etc) doesn't send any money directly to other provinces to spend as they wish, but do support specific ministries that affect real people in need.

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Kurt Hill
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Kurt Hill

I'd say it's about time to form some kind of alternative episcopal oversight for Nigerian Anglicans who can't stomach such bigotry any more...Given the GAFCON activities around the planet, perhaps it's time to help to form and finance a liberal Anglican Church faction/opposition in Nigeria. Such a formation might, or might not, lead to the development of an independent denomination...

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Henry Galganowicz
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Henry Galganowicz

So they want 'special status' to persecute people for who they are? That doesn't even make rational sense, never mind respecting everyone's dignity and being compassionate.

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Cynthia Katsarelis
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Cynthia Katsarelis

This activity tears at the body of Christ. Okoh has also supported laws criminalizing gay people, which a violation of human rights. The recent ACC-17 meeting called for renewing the parts of the famous Lambeth 1.10 that called for treating LGBTQ+ people with respect and dignity.

This persecution speaks for itself and informs the whole GAFCON process. I'll be eager to hear what Justin Welby has to say about this, but I won't be holding my breath.

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