Tuesday, July 31, 2007

An Anglican Revival? It's Happening in Africa!


[News Bloggers] 31 July 2007--"The younger churches of Anglican Christianity will shape what it means to be Anglican," Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi writes in the August-September issue of First Things. "The long season of British hegemony is over." Orombi can afford to be confident. While Anglicanism stumbles in Britain, the land of its birth, it is thriving in Africa. The Church of Uganda has more than 9 million Anglicans, making it the second largest Anglican province in the world, after that of Nigeria.

The distinguishing element of Third World Christianity is its traditionalism and orthodoxy. Orombi writes that "the Bible cannot apear to us a cadaver." Rather, he says, the Bible is seen as a relevant guidebook to contemporary life. More, the Bible is how most Africans have historically learned to read. While African society had an oral culture for millennia, the Bible was "the first book available in our own languages." It has helped to assure equal status for women, undermining the African customs of polygamyand female genital mutilation. While African tribes preached revenge, Orombi writes that "the Bible brought the teaching of Jesus to love our neighbors and even our enemies." For centuries, Africans regarded their future as determined by spirits residing in rocks and trees. But according to Orombi the Bible "brought hope for deliverance from fatalism" and replaced it with the dignity of living under a monotheistic Creator and Redeemer.

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