Sunday, June 18, 2006

An admission from a Nigerian cleric

In The Tide, Nigeria (today), Rev. Akuruse-Okike Omubo of Port Harcourt writes of his three-year stint as a Pastoral Theology student in Canada. He candidly discusses the theological and cultural differences between the Nigerian and western Anglican churches, and makes this important admission [emphasis mine]:
... my number one view about the gay issue is that our culture here in Africa does not permit it and anyone who is a gay in Africa will not come out openly to claim that he is a gay because he is going to be an outcast in the society.
I am currently working to establish a working account of the Church of Nigeria's response to Changing Attitude's presence in Nigeria, and the most important issue for me, as someone who has never visited Nigeria, is why Davis Mac-Iyalla, director of Changing Attitude Nigeria [see here and scroll down] and a professed Anglican, never visited the Church of Nigeria offices in Abuja to make his presence known. Such a step, early on, would have dispelled much of what made and continues to make the Church of Nigeria's response to Changing Attitude so difficult to judge.

Of course, Rev. Omubo's words come as no surprise. Africa is a notoriously difficult place to be openly gay or lesbian, and the Church makes it no easier. But would a visit to the Church of Nigeria have put Davis's life in danger? I welcome comments, especially from Nigerians who visit this blog.

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