Abuja – The Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, left Abuja on Sunday at the head of Nigeria’s 470-man delegation to Kenya, to attend the second Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), opening on Oct 21.
Okoh, while in Nairobi, will join leaders from Anglican Provinces in Africa, Asia, Australia, South America, UK and the U.S. to discuss the future of the Anglican Communion.
GAFCON was established in 2008 as a result of the strange teaching of western churches of the Anglican Communion, particularly on sexual preferences and homosexuality.
The maiden conference took place in Jerusalem in 2008, the same year Nigerian bishops pulled out from the Lambert Conference, the once-a-decade meeting of all Anglican bishops.
In a prayer and fasting session on Oct. 15 in Abuja, Okoh urged Anglicans in Nigeria to pray for the security and success of the conference in Nairobi.
He recounted that in 2008, the hotel where some delegates stayed in Jerusalem was bombed hours after they checked out.
The meeting in Kenya is coming nearly a month after the terror attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi.
The primate noted that as expected, organisers had ensured tight security around the venue of the event, All Saints Cathedral, Nairobi from Oct. 21 to Oct. 26.
Meanwhile, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most. Rev. Justin Welby, will address the GAFCON primates on Sunday in Nairobi before the conference opens the following day.
A delegate, Mr Abraham Yisa, who is also the Registrar of the Church of Nigeria, said the issues that brought about the birth of GAFCON in 2008 had not abated five years after.
“The things that brought about GAFCON have not changed, indeed, they are worse off. In England, the parliament has legalised gay marriage.
“Canada and America have persisted in their revisionist teachings and this has kept the GAFCON primates, clergy and laity more united
“They resolved to work together to protect the true religion as delivered by the saints,” he said.
Yisa, who participated in the maiden conference, said that in Nairobi the conference would review progress made between 2008 and now.
“We need to refocus properly because GAFCON is the only alternative to the kind of religion being preached by the western churches,” he said shortly before departing for Nairobi.
The focus of GAFCON 2 will be on shared Anglican future, discussing the theme: Making Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ”.
According to the organisers, 1,200 leaders and lay people from around the world are expected in Nairobi for the six-day conference. (NAN)