Thinking Anglicans

Primate calls for Nigeria to leave the UN

Two news sources from Nigeria report this story.

Sunday Trust Anglican Primate urges Nigeria to withdraw from the UN

Weekend Observer Homosexuality:Pull Out Of United Nations … Anglican Primate Urges FG

The Primate, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, last Thursday called on Nigeria to quit the UN, over the latter’s support for homosexuality.

Okoh said that it was regrettable that the UN was currently using human rights bodies and non-governmental organisations to ensure the entrenchment of homosexuality globally. The cleric made the call in Lagos at a reception held for him by the Ecclesiastical Province of Lagos at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Lagos.

“If the UN has made itself an agent for the propagation of homosexuality globally, then it is time for us (Nigeria) to pull out of the organisation.

“This is because the UN has no right to determine for or impose moral standards on us (Nigeria). Let us stand firm and refuse to be bought over by the West,’’ he said.

Okoh promised to continue the fight against homosexuality and urge the Anglican Church to support him…

Hat Tip, Lionel Deimel.


  • Counterlight says:

    Well what do you know?

    The John Birch Society, and its many spin-offs, have been saying the same thing for the USA for similar reasons, and for over 50 years.

    The more things change the more they stay the same.

    Perhaps someone should tell the Archbishop about the famous black helicopters.

  • JPM says:

    Counterlight is right that we have people right here in the good ole U.S. of A. that have been calling to leave the U.N. for years.

    Of course, in our case, such people are the lunatic fringe, not the heads of the nation’s most powerful institutions.

  • Good Lord. They really are beyond satire at this point.

  • Chris Smith says:

    I wonder what the Archbishop of Canterbury thinks of The Archbishop of Nigeria’s latest call to pull out of the Untied Nations? Is Rowan even listening to the voices of progressive Christians or has he stopped listening at all because he is too busy dreaming up ways to EXCLUDE the Anglican Church of Canada and the American Episcopal Church because of their INCLUSIVE theology? His silence on every major issue is shameful. If he says anything at all, it is AFTER most every other primate has had their say. Fearing the right wing and using that fear to maintain “unity” is just outrageous. That seems to be his plan of action at the moment. Maybe Rowan Williams is in over his head and it is time for him to retire his crosier. A younger person who understands and respects the issues of minority communities such as glbt might be a good replacement in Canterbury.

  • Cynthia Gilliatt says:

    Some interesting responses to this over on Episcopal Cafe, including suggestions about who is pulling the puppet strings. Talk aboutneo-colonialism!

  • Pluralist says:

    _Good Lord. They really are beyond satire at this point._

    Don’t encourage me. There seems to be a heavy demand at the moment, given so many on high pronouncements. Unfortunately or fortunately I’ve a thousand and one little tasks to do, not least write a (progressive) church service for next week.

  • …Untied Nations?

    Chris, your typo gave me a laugh. Abp. Okoh and the lunatic fringe in the US want to be untied from the UN.

    Rowan has long been in over his head. It seems to me that what he’s doing now is kicking the ball down the field in order to run out the time until he retires and leaves behind a semblance of what he can call an Anglican Communion.

  • Lapinbizarre says:

    Right after Rowan Wiliams’ letter. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot!

  • Fr Mark says:

    Chris Smith: “A younger person who understands and respects the issues of minority communities such as glbt might be a good replacement in Canterbury.”

    Yes, though, isn’t it unlikely that that is who we’ll get? As Rowan was the liberal Anglo-Catholic appointed to follow the Conservative Evangelical George Carey, shouldn’t we expect another in Carey’s image next time?

    One consequence of Rowan’s bigging-up of Anglicanism as a quasi-Roman “world church” during his archiepiscopate is that at both extremes of the spectrum, Anglicans worldwide will increasingly wonder whether a British subject appointed by the UK government of the day is really going to be the best choice of worldwide head of the Communion.

    At least the Roman College of Cardinals gets to vote for someone (even if none of the RC laity do!), and comes up nowadays with international figures rather than Italians every time. If Canterbury must be modelled on the 20th century Vatican (big mistake in my opinion though it would be), wouldn’t a worldwide process of election be a prerequisite?

  • Fr. Jon says:

    Dangerous stuff. These people obviously will not be happy until they become the ecclesiastical equivalents of Mugabe. God help our Nigerian brother and sisters – as their church obviously won’t!

  • Jim Naughton says:

    The global Anglican rights is funded in part to advance the agenda of the rightmost faction of the US foreign policy establishment.

  • Father Ron Smith says:

    Obviously, Primate Okoh considers the United Nations not an Okah organisation – despite the fact that it protects the citizens of God’s world from endemic discrimination. Apparently he considers monogamous gays more dangerous than any other threat to the people of Nigeria – including Aids, Poverty & Corruption. And he’s an Anglican, to boot!! Is this the new Global South Initiative?

    Now anyone can see why many of us Anglicans in other Provinces could never sign up to a Covenant with such a homophobe.

  • JCF says:

    The Secretary of the UN, that “Westerner” Ban Ki-moon! *ROFL*

  • kahu aloha says:

    I don’t mean to sound glib although it may come across that way. This latest pronouncement from the Primate of the Church of Nigeria moves the question of the place of gay and lesbian people in the Church and in society from the realms of theology and ethics to the realm of mental health.

    It sounds as if the Archbishop has taken a page from the Muslim fundamentalists and denies that there can be any human civil rights outside of accepted religious beliefs. In that sense he may again be a pawn for his Western backers. Christian Sharia anyone?

  • Who is kidding whom? Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh is playing another punishing round of the old Nigerian game of ¨that will teach ém¨ and ¨how dare they¨ make us look like who we REALLY are…too close for comfort!

    This is a direct face+slap back at President Bingu wa Mutharika and UNITED NATIONS Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who in the last days released, on “humanitarian grounds,” Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza, two adult Gay men, sentenced to 14 years at hard labor, for loving one another.

    The Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, really doesn´t like it when all human beings aka Gods Children are discovered in AFRICA to be treated with compassion…Bishops Akinola and Okoh prefer to exclude fellow human beings at Church and build a wall around their very own isolated/dangerous version of Who´s In with GOD and Who´s Out…as if they knew…hate/fear-mongering cornered with no place to run…plain desperation and grandstanding.

  • Scott says:

    Are there any Anglicans in Nigeria? It seems clear that the Primate of Nigeria is not. Perhaps the communion should be learning from the AMIA who would like TEC “un-communioned” in favor of a more Anglican-infused Church (namely themselves). Surly the Archbishop’s statements violate that most holy of Lambeth resolutions which required listening and pastoral care of LBGT. Surely groups like AMIA would support such a move since it is logically consistent with their position re TEC…

  • Merseymike says:

    Really is about time that these countries were internationally isolated.

    No more aid for any country which has discriminatory laws against gay people, without exception and under any circumstances

  • MarkBrunson says:

    This just confirms what I’ve been thinking about the Anglican church in Nigeria: they’re not Christian, so much as violently not-Muslim.

  • Counterlight says:

    “You may see this as a rights issue, but the large majority of the Communion is telling you yet again that it isn’t a rights issue but a moral issue. Go ahead and tell the rest of the Communion they are wrong but don’t accuse it or Rowan of acting out of unfair or uncharitable motivations. TEC has made this bed, now they have to sleep in it.”

    It IS a rights issue. If a majority says the earth is flat, does that make it so? I think not. It is also a moral issue, though not in the way that you suppose.

  • Kieran says:

    The Nigerian church’s leadership is slipping further away from the Anglican Communion by trying to deny gay men and women the civil and human rights repeatedly upheld in the instruments of Communion. From Archbishop Williams, in 2007:

    “The Instruments of Communion have consistently and very strongly repeated that it is part of our Christian and Anglican discipleship to condemn homophobic prejudice and violence, to defend the human rights and civil liberties of homosexual people and to offer them the same pastoral care and loving service that we owe to all in Christ’s name.”

    I would like to see them called further to task for this although, in the case of Nigeria they are already facing the same discipline as the US church.

    Nevertheless, much as I respect him this is not an issue Rowan should be ignoring. The very lives of gay men and women, and integrity of the Christian Gospel is at stake if the Primate of a church begins calling for a removal of people’s human rights. It requires additional addressing from Canterbury, and should most certainly lead to further formal sanctions if the Nigerian church comes close to advocating for Ugandan style laws Rowan openly cannot see “how one can be considered Anglican” for supporting.

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