Welby Defies Officials To Visit Persecuted Christians In Pakistan

The Archbishop of Canterbury rejected foreign office advice not to visit persecuted Christians in Pakistan over the weekend.

Source: Welby Defies Officials To Visit Persecuted Christians In Pakistan | Christian News on Christian Today


Noisy Churches Shut Down in Nigeria

Christianity is growing so fast and so noisily in parts of Nigeria that the authorities are actually having to shut churches down – to secure peace and quiet for local residents.

CHR Comment: 70 churches were shut down for not complying with local ordinances that are trying to address noise pollution in the city. Mosques and clubs have also been shut down. But the rapid growth of numerous, small local churches alongside large churches like the one pictured above are contributing to overwhelming noise pollution. The article notes the large number of Anglicans in Nigeria and the fact that the population of the country is projected to double by 2050.

The article also mentions a conservative Anglican organization called Gafcon, which stands for Global Anglican Future. For more on Gafcon, see second link below.

Source: Churches forced to shut in Nigeria – for being too noisy | Christian News on Christian Today


Guyana Anglicans Allow Women to Be Ordained as Priests

An Anglican diocese that represents three small South American countries has broken with local tradition and is allowing women to be trained and ordained as priests.

CHR Comment: Anglicans ordain Bishops, priests, and deacons. Different Anglican provinces have different standards for whether women may be ordained into these offices. (The second link below is to a detailed Wikipedia page that charts the practices in various provinces.) The Washington Post article also mentions that the change in practice may be due to the presence and growth of Evangelicals in the three countries but it does not name who these Evangelicals are.

Source: Guyana Anglicans to allow women to be ordained as priests – The Washington Post


Desmond Tutu’s Daughter Deposed from Priesthood

Ordained in Virginia, Mpho Tutu-Van Furth’s situation reflects the split over LBGT rights in the Anglican Communion.

CHR Comment: The circumstances of the wedding are especially odd given that Van Furth is apparently an atheist and lives in Holland rather than South Africa. One wonders whether the arrangement is more political than a lifelong bond, given that the issue of same-sex marriage is to be discussed by South African Anglicans in the next year. Mpho Tut-Van Furth cannot currently serve in South Africa but can in the United States, illustrating differences across the Anglican communion.

Source: Desmond Tutu’s daughter married a woman, and was forced out of the South African clergy – The Washington Post

Tensions in Global Anglicanism Surface during Meeting of Primates

While its viewership won’t come close to that other famous British drama Downton Abbey, we are about to begin a new season of the real life soap opera we’ve come to think of As the Anglican World Turns.

CHR Comment: Susan Russell’s opinion piece anticipated the tensions that are currently affecting the meeting of Anglican Primates in Canterbury this week. According to a Christian Today article (link below), a sizeable number of bishops are not attending worship sessions and are unhappy with the planned discussion. Key Issues involve homosexual rights advocated by Europeans and Americans in contrast with the conservative views of bishops in former colonial nations, who also sense that the “mother” church is manipulating them.

Source: ‘As the Anglican World Turns’ | Rev. Susan Russell


Lord’s Prayer May Cause Offense

The Church of England is threatening legal action over the rejection of a one-minute film featuring the Lord’s Prayer that it wanted to run before showings of the new Star Wars film that opens shortly before Christmas.

CHR Comment: The Lord’s Prayer is perhaps the most widely known text of the Bible since it is memorized and most frequently repeated among Christians. The smartly placed ad was rejected by Digital Cinema Media.

Source: Church of England fighting ban of ‘Lord’s Prayer’ film spot | Fox News#.VlJujKzTcCE.email#.VlJujKzTcCE.email

Yale Profs Call “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” a Forgery

In 2012 this purported fragment of a Coptic manuscript made headlines because in the text Jesus referred to “My wife.” Yale professors now conclude that it is a forgery. The article explains how they have reached that conclusion.

Why would a forger create this so-called Gospel? Likely motives include issues of women’s rights in the church such as the recent decision of the Church of England to ordain women bishops.

New clues cast doubt on ‘Gospel of Jesus’ Wife’ – CNN.com.