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Sunday Mirror



November 3, 2013

Gay couples

Anglican Communion:

Stir of the homosexuals There is growing disquiet in the Anglican Communion over the vexed issue of homosexuality, a practice that has resonated in the permission of same-sex marriage by some dioceses, especially in the United States and Europe. But the Anglican community in Africa, particularly Nigeria, is resolute in its rejection of homosexual practice. Deputy Editor, Kayode Fasua, reports that the debate is currently raging like wildfire, in God’s vineyard


arried for words, a crowd of spectators that milled at the gate of United Bible University in Ojodu, Lagos, was stupefied. They watched on end as sprightly men held hands in sensual display of affections as they gathered to worship. Ordinarily, it was no big deal as the hue was that of a Pentecostal church holding a special programme inside the auditorium of that theological school. But certain indices added up to confound the onlookers. All the worshippers were young men, natively regarded as ‘aje butter’ (spoilt children). They were smartly dressed and were occasionally engaged in impassioned kisses and suggestive whimpers, as to express the joy of the occasion or the ecstasy of hot kisses or both. The next day, the media in Nigeria went viral with reports of the gay church fellowship, announcing

that for the first time, a gay church has made a debut in Nigeria. That was five years ago. Today, leader of the dramatis personae behind the Lagos gay gathering, is 40 years old. He is Reverend Rowland Jide Macaulay, who then founded House of Rainbow Fellowship, a Christian community for sexual minorities and marginalised people, in Surulere, Lagos. The son of a theology teacher, Macaulay who is being pilloried at home for being a gay preacher and for building a community of gay Christians, is ironically now making waves in England, where he is being celebrated. This maverick preacher, who started out as a Pentecostal pastor, has wondrously found inroads in the Anglican Communion where he was recently ordained a Deacon of the Anglican Church. In an elaborate ceremony June



this year in Chelmsford, United Kingdom, the Bishop of Chelmsford, the Right Reverend Stephen Cotterel, ordained Macaulay at the Chelmsford Cathedral. Though Macaulay’s ordination was anchored on his religious sagacity, having inspired many ethnic minority people in the Newham area of London when in 2000 he played ‘Jesus’ in 2000 Newham Millennium Passion Play, other suggestions saw his ordination differently. Macaulay’s emergence as an Anglican Church cleric was seen in some circles as a hit below the belt for anti-gay Anglican community in Africa, which has been campaigning stridently against homosexual practices. The African Anglicans are particularly wrought that homosexual behaviours, regarded as demonic, had crept into the house of God. But in the Church of England, which is the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, there is unhidden tolerance of homosexual members while the global church is divided as to the godliness in allowing same-sex marriage. Enthused over his ordination, Macaulay had told journalists, “My ordination into the Anglican Communion is an important continuation of my call to parish ministry, to reach out to all people regardless of who they are. I believe whilst my ordination is not anything new to the church, for me, it is both relevant on the state of persecution and righteous living for sexual minorities. My message to all, especially Lesbian, Gay, BisexuCONTINUED ON PAGE 4



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