THINKING ANGLICANS

Nigeria in the news again

Updated
The Church Times take on the Guardian interview is broader, as revealed by the headline over the report by Rachel Harden: Dr Williams defends Akinola on anti-Muslim riots. The CT press column also deals with the interview at length, but that will not be available on the web for another week.

Meanwhile, Archbishop Peter Akinola, acting as President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has issued A Call to National Mourning as explaine in this press release: CAN declares Two-Day National Mourning.
The Living Church reported this together with some comments from Canon Popoola, in Nigerian Strike Will Protest Sectarian Violence.

And for completeness, here is the defence of the archbishop’s earlier remarks that was made by Bishop Robert Duncan.

Added Friday afternoon
However, there is further news via Blog of Daniel about how others outside the church view the Nigerian legislative proposals in Human rights in Nigeria. And Peter Akinola says “Amen.”

Sixteen human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, have urged Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo in this Letter to President Obasanjo Regarding Bill to Criminalize Gay Rights to withdraw what the groups characterize as a “draconian” measure that not only “contravenes international law” but violates the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which “ensure(s) rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly.”

The bill also undermines Nigeria’s struggle to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS, as a further story from Human Rights Watch points out: Nigeria: Obasanjo Must Withdraw Bill to Criminalize Gay Rights.

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MerseymikeDaveCheryl CloughJ. C. Fisherclive sweeting Recent comment authors
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Dale Rye
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Dale Rye

It is interesting that, even after the criticism of Abp. Akinola for his prior remarks, he has now issued a statement calling for Christians to stage a general strike to protest Muslim violence in the North, but which fails to even mention the Christian violence in the South.

J. C. Fisher
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“Dr Williams defends Akinola on anti-Muslim riots”

Ouch! (If that headline gets Rowan Cantuar where he lives . . . well, *Truth Hurts* ;-/)

Dave
Guest
Dave

Although I don’t agree with Akinola’s support for banning gay people forming associations, I do think we should support him and all Christians in Nigeria when so many are being attacked and killed, and churches and properties destroyed. The story of Abdul Rahman in Afghanistan – being persecuted and officially threated with death for his faith – is being repeated constantly in many parts of the Muslim world (though it looks like US pressure may force the authorities to release Rahman). Then there is the low level violence that Christians in Muslim areas often just have to live with.. with… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
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On an other note, I think that Simon Sarmiento should be proud that this horrible Nigerian affair is in the news again.

It is much due to his dedication and good work.

Cheryl Clough
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Cheryl Clough

I wish I’d posted on this a couple of days ago, but real insight only came with a few nights sleep and the sermon today on Habbakuk. Rowan Williams is doing a good job of modelling Jesus’ exhortation to “love thy neighbour” (which some might say includes our enemies) – as Jesus expanded at (see Luke 6:27-28 & 6:37). It is also consistent with Desmond Tutu’s position as expoused at the 9th World Congress of Churches (see summary at http://www.canadafreepress.com/2006/cover032306.htm ) I also liked Tutu’s humility when he admitted to his own concern where someone he had previously encouraged had… Read more »

Marshall Scott
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Dave: With respect, I think the Western churches are in fact quite well aware of the case of Mr. Rahman in Afghanistan. I am aware from the news that some are appealing to the US State Department. I’m sure some are appealing to the Foreign Office in London. On the other hand, I have to stop and question our expectations. We should have no expectations that Christians would be well treated in many parts of the world. People are certainly suffering for the Christian faith in many places: Pakistan, India, China. Sometimes they’re suffering because they don’t have the “right”… Read more »

grada3784
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grada3784

Doesn’t anyone remember that Jesus didn’t just say love your neighbor as yourself, He also said to love your enemies.

In illustrating the love your neighbor statement, Jesus chose a Samaritan, considered by Jews to be unclean and possessed by the devil to show that love. The Jews were so against Samaritans that they tried not to even talk about them directly, except as a slur. Sort of like the way the Churchian are wont to treat with gays.

clive sweeting
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clive sweeting

The campaign for homosexual rights- with much though not all of which I would go along- needs to be set in perspective when Christians in different parts of the world face death for their beliefs- or escape it with Soviet style impugning of their mental integrity. I am not an Anglican (why incidentally are their no comparable Catholic sites?- I am continually asked for a UK address although I live in France when I attempt to register) but cannot help admiring Archbishop Rowan’s attempts to handle these seemingly intractable issues. Ps The western agenda for freeing these various countries (with… Read more »

J. C. Fisher
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“The campaign for homosexual rights- with much though not all of which I would go along- needs to be set in perspective when Christians in different parts of the world face death for their beliefs- or escape it with Soviet style impugning of their mental integrity.” Well, speaking of “impugning of their mental integrity”, Clive: I dare say many more LGBTs have been historically and/or currently “impugned” (via electroshock, castration, imposed hormones, painful aversion treatments, not to mention the cruel joke that is “reparitive therapy”) than have Christians… On-topic: How sad, that Human Rights Watch seems to have a better… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
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Cheryl Clough

This is a slight tangent, but relates in that a major obstacle to peace are religious shepherds who embrace violence, suppression or isolation to retain their authority. There were four articles I’ve read in the last day that address this theme and combined they cover all three Abrahamic religions: http://www.torah.org/learning/halacha-overview/chapter4.html which includes: “A Jew who incites others to idolatry must be mercilessly punished… your hand shall be the first to put him to death…” http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4850080.stm which includes: “…an apostate in a Muslim society, according to this view, forfeits his freedom of expression. If he goes public he should be executed…”… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
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Cheryl Clough

The other thing that worries me about the “kill the traitor” approach is that the boundaries keep getting blurred. At a broad brush stroke, religious leaders justify killing people of other faith or those that convert because they are worshipping false gods. However, what I also see is that they then start to justify suppressing or murdering those of other branches of the same faith. Even more insidious, the targetted murder degenerates to killing those of the same faith and branch who would jeopardise the violent leader’s power base. Somewhere in this transition the idea of protecting people from false… Read more »

Dave
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Dave

Dear Cheryl, I always find it incredible that, despite Christ’s teaching to love your neighbour as yourself and “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” even some branches of Christianity have resorted to inquisition and execution for people who do not believe as they do. I guess that it was very much caught up with the secular politics of the time, but nevertheless it shows how human considerations can drive the heirachy and their supporters to act in ways that are far from Christian. How much more those religions that have no such high morals about love… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
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Cheryl Clough

Dear Dave Thank you for continuing the dialogue, and I think your last paragraph encapsulates the conundrum quite nicely. That is, that humans find it easy to “love” those that affirm our self-identity and power base, but not those who are seen as irrelevant or, even more so, those that are seen as a threat. However, the last few days have been heartening. People are becoming aware that there are players who benefit from having people unable or unwilling to talk to each other, and starting to contemplate what that means. Even more heartening are people talking about not allowing… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest
Cheryl Clough

Who doesn’t remember the Nigerian leadership asking the Nigerian Vanguard to not acknowledge the Changing Attitude meeting of November 2005? This is one example of those in power doctoring the truth to preserve their power base. Yet apparently this kind of behaviour doesn’t just happen in Nigeria, at least according to this article I found via the Melbourne Anglican website this morning… http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/the-email-that-ignited-a-parish-war/2006/03/24/1143083999429.html Page 2 of this article includes: “No minutes were taken. Those who attended were asked to show their support for the … ministry by standing. As they left, they were advised to keep the matter private and… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest
Cheryl Clough

My second last posting missed this ray of hope from aljazeerah of 28 March 2006 called “Interfaith Dialogue, Need of the Hour” @ http://www.aljazeerah.info/Opinion%20editorials/2006%20Opinion%20Editorials/March/28%20o/Interfaith%20Dialogue,%20Need%20of%20the%20Hour%20By%20Minhaj%20Qidwai.htm

Cheryl Clough
Guest

More good news came in via email overnight. Some Muslims are starting to contemplate whether they should review Sharia law’s violent punishments (see http://www.countercurrents.org/beg300306.htm called “Apostasy Laws – An Injury To Islam By Muslims”) I really hope they pursue this line of thought, it would be a major breakthrough for God in 2006. (Two of God’s big ones for 2005 were acknowledging that God is greater than any human edifice or paradigm. Also many peoples’ disstisfaction with the US was not because they were rich but because they because they were unjust and selfish). There are many souls who need… Read more »

Dave
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Dave

Dear Cheryl, Trouble with trying to influence other people’s religions is that we tend to project our own assumptions and attitudes. I think that fulfilling Christ’s great commission is the real answer. From what I know of the life and writings of Muhammed, he was more reconciliatory and positive towards other religions earlier in his life and then became very much more agressive when he was rejected by Jews and Christians etc, and later made war against them and others in Arabia. This seems to be reflected in the Koran – later writings are the more condemnatory of others, and… Read more »

Merseymike
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Merseymike

There would have been precious few ‘Christian’ countries which didn’t also follow that pattern , Dave – before the welcome influence of Enlightenment liberalism.