Den anglikanske kirke i Nigeria har strøket moderkirken i Canterbury fra sitt charter, og i realiteten splittet den anglikanske kirke. Årsaken er toleransen for homofile. Den anglikanske kirke i Nigeria har planer om å fordoble menigheten innen kort tid, og vil opprette søsterkirker i USA for konservative kristne som ikke føler seg hjemme med den liberale politikken.

Det er en dramatisk utvikling med tanke på at det er i den tredje verden, og særlig Ngeria, at kristendommen er på fremmarsj.

The move comes weeks before the «global south» conservative Anglican leaders meet in Alexandria, Egypt, to discuss their continuing programme of opposition to gay rights. Some sources say that this meeting could mark the start of the formal process of schism, with a new Anglican communion being founded to represent orthodox Anglicans.

Any references to «communion with the See of Canterbury» have been deleted from the constitution. Instead, the Nigerian Church is defining itself as in communion with Churches, dioceses and provinces that uphold the «historic faith, doctrine, sacrament and discipline of the one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church». This will certainly rule out the pro-gay Churches of the US and Canada. It will probably also exclude the Church of England.

The Nigerian Church is one of the biggest and is the fastest growing in the communion. It is strictly evangelical and does not ordain women. Dr Akinola recently started a missionary campaign to double the 17.5 million members by 2007 with the aim of making Anglican Christianity the country’s leading religion within a few years.

But his ambitions extend beyond the borders of Africa. Further changes in the constitution allow Nigerian missionaries for the first time to create Anglican «chaplaincies» outside Nigeria.

The newly formed Convocation of Anglican Nigerians in Americas will now work on setting up a network of Anglican chaplaincies across the US to give «refuge» to conservative evangelicals unhappy with the consecration of Gene Robinson, who is gay, as Bishop of New Hampshire, and other liberal developments.

Nigerian Church breaks with Canterbury over gay rights